Macbuntu: The Mac OS X Transformation Pack for Ubuntu

macbuntu-before-1

Since I recently slipped over into the dark side and bought a MacBook, I’ve been spending a whole lot more time in OS X than I ever have before.

I wouldn’t consider myself a Mac fanatic (yet), but its difficult to not fall in love with the great amount of attention to detail.

Out of curiosity, I decided to look into macifying Ubuntu again (as I’ve looked into in the past and had decent results) only this time I came across Macbuntu. Macbuntu is an all-in-one package to transform your Ubuntu desktop (fresh dual screen account pictured below) from this:

Before

To something that resembles the infamous Mac OS X a little more closely, like this:

After

For an Mac purist, this transformation pack would be no where near acceptable with small differences and quirks here and there. The good news, however, is that the transformation pack appears to be maintained and updated regularly so it may not be much longer before your Linux box is indistinguishable from an original Mac…at least on the inside. ;)

The Macbuntu installation is extremely easy. If you’re interested in installing this, but afraid of messing anything up, keep in mind that there is an uninstall option that is extremely painless and it restores all of your original settings!

Install

  1. Download the transformation package from SourceForge or GNOME-Look.org if you prefer (but they are both hosted from SourceForge) and save it to your Desktop.
  2. Extract the package to your Desktop. You can do this by right clicking and selecting “Extract Here” from the menu.
  3. Open a terminal and type “cd Desktop/Macbuntu-10.10/” (without the quotes) and press enter.
  4. Now type “./install.sh” (without quotes) and press enter.
  5. Follow the directions and answer a few questions and it does all of the rest! …and you’re done!

Uninstall

  1. If you’ve deleted the original files that your extracted before, re-download them and extract them using the same steps as before.
  2. Open a terminal and type “cd Desktop/Macbuntu-10.10/” (without the quotes) and press enter.
  3. Now type “./uninstall.sh” (without quotes) and press enter.
  4. Follow any directions or quick questions and before you know it, things will be back to the way they were before!

While I was impressed with the degree of success after I installed this transformation pack, I quickly uninstalled it. Part of this was due to pure testing, but the other part was simply because I want to spend more time tweaking it to perfection later and don’t have the time right now.

Amazingly, I was able to take a stock Ubuntu 10.10 desktop and morph it into a decent OS X lookalike and back again all in a matter of 15 minutes, and that includes a short amount of time spent looking around. :D

My Notes & Ramblings (probably boring)

One thing I’d really like to do is to create a Mac OS X skin for Opera to be included with this package since the one for Opera for Mac isn’t compatible with other platforms (afaik). I’d also like to figure out how to get the full menu bar removed and placed into the top panel properly, where it was only partially added in the screenshots.

A lot of the dock details are accurate, but then again a lot of them are just flat wrong. Empathy needs an icon replacement to Adium or iChat. The dock itself is angled slightly higher and the gloss detail is completely different (lacking the wavy design). The separator is also incorrect and needs to be updated.

One thing that I think would go far with adding a genuine feel is to organize the Dock icons properly as the default dock icons are in a specific order already and the order from this install seems to be somewhat random in some cases.

Stacks would be great, however, I recall hearing not long ago that this or a similar feature is on the way already possible, just not included yet (maybe I’ll send them an email soon :D ).

A white drop-shadow for text and icons in the top panel would be great for perfection. It also wouldn’t hurt to add the default slight transparency to the top panel so the background and shine through a little.

The actual theme being used appears to be very outdated, with buttons using old icons such as the back and forward buttons in Nautilus. The breadcrumbs are also very outdated visually and need to be updated. The author(s) of the transformation pack probably have nothing to do with the development of the theme that’s packaged with it, but this is the most important element and is in dire need of some TLC.

Conclusion

Macbuntu is a great and quick solution, but its not pixel perfect or even close to pixel perfect. If you’ve got any suggestions or know of better options such as themes or tweaks, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

36 Responses to “Macbuntu: The Mac OS X Transformation Pack for Ubuntu”


  • using Opera 11.00 Opera 11.00 on Windows 7 Windows 7
    Opera/9.80 (Windows NT 6.1; U; en) Presto/2.7.39 Version/11.00

    Thanks, a Mac skin for Opera would be cool, too. Can’t wait for more improvements.

    • using Google Chrome 8.0.552.224 Google Chrome 8.0.552.224 on GNU/Linux GNU/Linux
      Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.10 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/8.0.552.224 Safari/534.10

      Thanks alot
      worked exactly as you said :) :)
      but can i add the quick lunch bar(or whatever u call it) at the bottom of the screen???

    • using Chromium 10.0.648.133 Chromium 10.0.648.133 on Ubuntu 10.10 Ubuntu 10.10
      Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.16 (KHTML, like Gecko) Ubuntu/10.10 Chromium/10.0.648.133 Chrome/10.0.648.133 Safari/534.16

      I can’t find the hidden folder “macbuntu”, even not in the console.
      Could you give me a hint where to find it?

  • using Firefox 3.6.12 Firefox 3.6.12 on Ubuntu 10.10 Ubuntu 10.10
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.9.2.12) Gecko/20101027 Ubuntu/10.10 (maverick) Firefox/3.6.12

    This is happened everytime I trying to install this.

    “[: 863: 0: unexpected operator
    Tester…”

    • using Opera 11.00 Opera 11.00 on Ubuntu 10.10 x64 Ubuntu 10.10 x64
      Opera/9.80 (X11; Linux x86_64; U; Ubuntu/10.10 (maverick); en) Presto/2.7.39 Version/11.00

      Hmmm, I’ll have to look into this. I’ve not encountered this error myself and have only been using Macbuntu for a few days project, but I’ll make a note of this and see if I can trace down the problem.

      FYI, the changes that I’ve posted in this post and “Macbuntu, Part 3″ are not available for download at this moment from sourceforge, but should be available soon.

      Just a couple of standard questions:
      1. Did you modify the install.sh script at all? If so please redownload and try again.
      2. What procedure (step by step) did you use to (attempt to) install this? This will be helpful in figuring out where this script is failing for your computer.

      • using Google Chrome 9.0.595.0 Google Chrome 9.0.595.0 on Windows 7 Windows 7
        Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.13 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/9.0.595.0 Safari/534.13

        I’ve encountered the same issue:
        [: 863: 0: unexpected operator

        my machine: ubuntu 10.10 zh-CN
        my steps:
        1. download macbuntu from sourceforge
        2. unzip the package
        3. open console
        4. cd to the dir where install.sh is
        5. run cmd “./install.sh”
        6. input password when asked.
        7. error:
        Checkin for a root access…
        [: 863: 0: unexpected operator
        Tester…

        • using Firefox 3.6.13 Firefox 3.6.13 on Ubuntu 10.10 Ubuntu 10.10
          Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.9.2.13) Gecko/20101206 Ubuntu/10.10 (maverick) Firefox/3.6.13

          I had the same problem and fixed it by changing the install.sh file (line 185)
          if [ $tester == 0 ] ; then
          to
          if [ “$tester” -eq 0 ] ; then

        • using Google Chrome 14.0.835.186 Google Chrome 14.0.835.186 on GNU/Linux GNU/Linux
          Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686) AppleWebKit/535.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/14.0.835.186 Safari/535.1

          Hi Qisheng,

          Have you tried the “chmod +x” command for the install.sh? This will make the “install.sh” file executable.

          Basically(referring to the steps you posted), after completing step 4, which was: cd to the dir where install.sh is.

          Type the following command into the terminal (excluding the quotation marks): “sudo chmod +x install.sh”. You will the me prompted to enter in your password, please enter it in.

          Afterwards, just to further ensure that the install.sh file runs properly… add the word “sudo” to the front of the ./install.sh (in your step 5). Therefore, the step 5 command should look like this (excluding the quotation marks): “sudo ./install.sh”

          Hope this help!

  • using Google Chrome 9.0.576.0 Google Chrome 9.0.576.0 on GNU/Linux GNU/Linux
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.12 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/9.0.576.0 Safari/534.12

    Hey, it’s cute, but when I want to remove it, it writes:

    ‘Checking currently installed version of Macbuntu-10.10…
    Failed. The script is not able to determine what version is currently installed
    Exiting…’

    • using Opera 11.00 Opera 11.00 on Ubuntu 10.10 x64 Ubuntu 10.10 x64
      Opera/9.80 (X11; Linux x86_64; U; Ubuntu/10.10 (maverick); en) Presto/2.7.39 Version/11.00

      Hmm, thanks for the report. Can you try this…

      1. Navigate to the hidden folder (without quotes) “~/.macbuntu” and make sure there is a folder called “10.10-2.3″ and a file called “current” with no file extension.

      If the “current” file don’t not exist, create it by right clicking -> create document. Then paste the following in it without quotes: “10.10-2.3″

      2. Now run your uninstallation script again. If that fails, try the one that’s in the hidden folder with:

      ./.macbuntu/10.10-2.3/uninstall.sh

      Please let me know if either of those work.

  • Amanda in the South Bay
    using Firefox 3.6.12 Firefox 3.6.12 on Ubuntu 10.10 x64 Ubuntu 10.10 x64
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US; rv:1.9.2.12) Gecko/20101027 Ubuntu/10.10 (maverick) Firefox/3.6.12

    I got the same problem trying to uninstall it, and simply ended up reinstalling 10.10. Of course if only I had known of your answer a couple of hours ago!

    • using Opera 11.00 Opera 11.00 on Ubuntu 10.10 x64 Ubuntu 10.10 x64
      Opera/9.80 (X11; Linux x86_64; U; Ubuntu/10.10 (maverick); en) Presto/2.7.39 Version/11.00

      Sorry for the inconvenience! …but at least you now have a shiny clean installation. :D

      I’m not sure what the problem is with that error exact as it should be a simple check from the script, but I’ll look into it before the next release.

      So far, nothing I’ve contributed is available for download so the next version will certainly be better. :/

  • using Chromium 7.0.517.44 Chromium 7.0.517.44 on Ubuntu 10.10 Ubuntu 10.10
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.7 (KHTML, like Gecko) Ubuntu/10.10 Chromium/7.0.517.44 Chrome/7.0.517.44 Safari/534.7

    thank you for your sharing..:) and I was try it,but I still like ubuntu theme..:D

  • using Google Chrome 9.0.576.0 Google Chrome 9.0.576.0 on GNU/Linux GNU/Linux
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.12 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/9.0.576.0 Safari/534.12

    Dear Kyle
    I was searching something like it for a long time… now I have got what I just needed…

    I’m using Mint 10 Julia (Based on Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat)
    But when I tried to install with default system it gives me a error

    Checking Ubuntu version…
    Failed. System not supported, script will end here
    To ignore their compatibility with current OS try ./install.sh force
    Exiting…

    So I tried ‘./install.sh force’ It worked…But I think it hadn’t turned the whole system into Mac…
    Cause My Fonts Haven’t Changed…Its the old Ubuntu’s ‘Sans’
    What Can I Do?

  • using Firefox 3.6.10 Firefox 3.6.10 on Windows XP Windows XP
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.9.2.10) Gecko/20100914 Firefox/3.6.10

    Hi,

    Please be careful when you install the Macbuntu on Ubuntu 10.10.
    I will suggest not to install it if you are using Qtcreator or GTK programming.

    Qtcreator and GTK is crashing with Macbuntu. I have filed a bug report for it.

    There is also issues with the Uninstall.sh script of mac buntu on ubuntu 10.10. If you are facing such issues please follow the following guide mentioned at the official project site.

  • using Opera Mobile 10.1 Opera Mobile 10.1 on Android Android
    Opera/9.80 (Android; Linux; Opera Mobi/ADR-1011151731; U; en) Presto/2.5.28 Version/10.1

    What about appreciating the beauty of Mac OS X would make you want to export it to a platform where it inevitably falls short? Every theming that I have ever seen fails to have the niceness of OS X or the OS before I tried to.

  • using Google Chrome 7.0.517.41 Google Chrome 7.0.517.41 on Mac OS X 10.5.8 Mac OS X 10.5.8
    Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10_5_8; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.7 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/7.0.517.41 Safari/534.7

    Does it work on Ubuntu Netbooks Edition?

  • using Google Chrome 7.0.517.44 Google Chrome 7.0.517.44 on GNU/Linux GNU/Linux
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.7 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/7.0.517.44 Safari/534.7

    In “places” I get repeat bookmarks and can’t delete them when I try edit bookmarks. I’m kinda a newbie to linux. I’m sorry if it’s a stupid question. but how can I get rid of those bookmarks? thanks.

  • suresh chandra nathsharma
    using Firefox 3.6.13 Firefox 3.6.13 on Ubuntu 10.10 Ubuntu 10.10
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.9.2.13) Gecko/20101206 Ubuntu/10.10 (maverick) Firefox/3.6.13

    it slow my ubuntu both working and internet
    so it not satisfy me.
    if eny modification available plz reply sir.

  • using Firefox 3.6.13 Firefox 3.6.13 on Ubuntu 10.10 Ubuntu 10.10
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.9.2.13) Gecko/20101206 Ubuntu/10.10 (maverick) Firefox/3.6.13

    For the one who cannot uninstall macbuntu that showing cannot determine version..

    try install it again n after done
    try uninstall it…it work on me..

    this is the only solution that work for me..
    tq..hav fun

  • using Google Chrome 10.0.648.151 Google Chrome 10.0.648.151 on GNU/Linux GNU/Linux
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.16 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/10.0.648.151 Safari/534.16

    I cannot uninstall…
    When I run uninstall.sh, it shows:

    Checking currently installed version of Macbuntu-10.04…
    Failed. The script is not able to determine what version is currently installed
    Exiting…

  • using Chromium 13.0.755.0 Chromium 13.0.755.0 on Ubuntu 11.04 Ubuntu 11.04
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686) AppleWebKit/534.34 (KHTML, like Gecko) Ubuntu/11.04 Chromium/13.0.755.0 Chrome/13.0.755.0 Safari/534.34

    will this work in ubuntu 11.04 or will i have to go back to ubuntu 10.10

  • using Firefox 4.0.1 Firefox 4.0.1 on GNU/Linux x64 GNU/Linux x64
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:2.0.1) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/4.0.1

    Currently, I am using Pinguy 11.04 RC2 version. I tried the Macbuntu transformation package, that I previously used with Pinguy 10.10, and it could not install. Will there be an updated version that’s compatible with version 11.04 available soon?

    Thank you.

  • using Firefox 4.0.1 Firefox 4.0.1 on GNU/Linux x64 GNU/Linux x64
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:2.0.1) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/4.0.1

    Thank lot, Its Working fine..

  • using Chromium 28.0.1500.71 Chromium 28.0.1500.71 on Ubuntu Ubuntu
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Ubuntu Chromium/28.0.1500.71 Chrome/28.0.1500.71 Safari/537.36

    hey thank you for the post. It was a real help in transforming my tuxpreience!! :)
    Please continue on with your awesomeness!!

    • using Chromium 28.0.1500.71 Chromium 28.0.1500.71 on Ubuntu Ubuntu
      Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Ubuntu Chromium/28.0.1500.71 Chrome/28.0.1500.71 Safari/537.36

      hi!! mm.. I got an error!! :(
      “Checking Ubuntu version…
      Failed. System not supported, script will end here
      To ignore their compatibility with current OS try ./install.sh force
      Exiting…”
      I use Ubuntu 13.04 Do you think it’d be okay to force install?

  • using Safari 4.0.5 Safari 4.0.5 on iPod iOS 4.1 iPod iOS 4.1
    Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7

    Thanks for the suggestion, but Macbuntu is actually a fork of Mac4Lin, with the bonus that it’s still being actively developed. ;)

    My additions will be available soon enough. :P

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