Macbuntu, Part 3

I’ve finally gotten around to contacting the Macbuntu maintainer about some of my changes and modifications and have now been granted administrative access to the project!

Most of the changes I’m making are in the details, as most of the features are already available. I’ve contributed plenty of code and images to make Docky appear nearly identical to the Dock in OS X and even made the Docky bar image in Inkscape myself. ๐Ÿ˜€

I’ve contributed an Opera skin, that I mentioned in my last post, but it is still very unfinished. Over all it looks well, but there are several areas that need to be corrected and the skin itself needs to be slimmed down a bit.

The Docky icons zoom by default, though its not an OS X default setting to the best of my knowledge. It can very easily be toggled on or off from the Docky settings window.

I’ve removed the Docky settings icon that was seen in previous screenshots so that the Nautilus application launcher (Finder icon) is the first item in Docky as it is in OS X. You can still access Docky settings by right-clicking the separator on Docky between the Trash icon and the others.

I’ve also written a very very simple application that toggles the Widget layer, which is powered by Compiz, on and is handily disguised by the Dashboard icon…meaning it reveals the widgets. As of writing this, there are no default widgets installed.

Eventually I plan to work in Screenlets and preinstall a few default ones as you would find in OS X, but I’m still waiting to make sure that my tiny tool works pre-compiled on other computers (is 32/64 bit versions). ๐Ÿ˜‰

A lot of people are impressed with Compiz’s ability to render your workspaces in a Cube, Sphere or Cylinder. I’m pretty impressed with this feature myself, but having used it for a long time in the past I’ve found that I usually end up just switching workspaces with the keyboard and not paying much attention to the fancy cube in all of its transparent glory.

Honestly, this is one thing that should appeal to even OS X users as it looks cool and can give you a good quick visual of your windows. However, in Mac OS X 10.7 there will be a feature for Mac users that gives them a quick look at all of their activities and may possibly pass this Cube design right on by. Who knows? ๐Ÿ˜›

One feature that you couldn’t see in the first Cube screenshot was the 3D window aspects and stacking. This is a neat feature and helps make the Cube look a little less boring. Especially when you can see how busy, or possibly bored, you are!

As always, proof that this is indeed Ubuntu Linux. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Several other changes that I’ve contributed to this project include:

  • New transparency for the Top Gnome-Panel and all Menus
  • Alpha blurring for Docky
  • Added folders to Docky for the Applications, Documents, Downloads and Dropbox folders (where relavent)
  • Added detection for other applications and add them to Docky upon installation
  • Re-arranged several Docky launchers
  • Brand new Docky theme — Macbuntu
  • Reset the default wallpaper to the Snow Leopardย  wallpaper (was the Leopard wallpaper)
  • Changed the clock format the match OS X’s clock (with tips from OMG! Ubuntu)
  • Added setting to ensure that people with multiple monitors see the workspace cube as One big cube instead of each screen rotating separately.
  • Default the screensaver to blank in case its already set to something like Gnome Feet, but it would be neat to have an elegant OS X screensaver!
  • Various other bug fixes, minor details and cleanups.

Its great to see a project come together, but its even nicer to have the ability to speed it up. ๐Ÿ˜€

A few ideas that I’ve got include pre-installing Gloobus for a feature that mimics “Quick Look,” but until I find a good way to install this and until I can work out the bugs with this tool myself, it won’t be getting any prime time in Macbuntu.

The Docky Stacks feature that was covered at OMG! Ubuntu is also on the map, but is currently far too unstable to be included. I’ve been testing it out for a few days, but it consistently crashes Docky and ceases to function. When I come across a stable ppa for this tool, it will be adding to Macbuntu in a hurry!

Obviously there are several areas that I/we won’t be able to mimic thoroughly. Mac OS X is a great operating system and has a great deal of “simplicity” worked into it by design, somethings that just aren’t possible by “skinning” Ubuntu Linux.

If you have any suggests that are actually feasible, I’d love to here them! The biggest area that I’d like to work on is the GTK theme and get the theme’s quality up tremendously. I’ve had no part in the GTK theme (originally known as GTK Leopard) thus far, and its actually a great piece of work, but it still has a long way to go before being smooth and finished.

One last thing thats interesting is the fact that someone has already began a spin of Macbuntu, dubbing it Macbuntu-iso, and it is available for download in 32 and 64-bit!

26 thoughts on “Macbuntu, Part 3”

      1. using IceWeasel 3 IceWeasel 3 on GNU/Linux GNU/Linux
        Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20101028 Iceweasel/3.5.15 (like Firefox/3.5.15)

        I’d not be surprised to know all OMG Ubuntu writers use Windows 7 as the default OS on their Desktops and own Mac books with OS X and use Ubuntu (live) on VMware.

        Try UserAgent Switcher on Firefox to post comments to other blogs. LOL

  1. using Firefox 3 Firefox 3 on Windows 7 Windows 7
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20101026 Firefox/3.6.12

    Hi kyle, Thanks for the updates to already awsome macbuntu. One question. When i tried to download u-pdated macbuntu for ubuntu 10.10 i still see version 2.3 which is the one that i already installed… Will there be a new version coming out with your changes.. or is it packed in the same 2.3 version…

    thanks for theaming.

    1. using Opera 11 Opera 11 on Ubuntu 10.10 Ubuntu 10.10
      Opera/9.80 (X11; Linux x86_64; U; Ubuntu/10.10 (maverick); en) Presto/2.7.39 Version/11.00

      Hi, thanks for asking! Currently the 2.3 version is still being served. There are still at least a few changes that will make it in before an update, but it shouldn’t be too much longer! Sorry for the tease. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        1. using Opera 11 Opera 11 on Mac OS X 10.6 Mac OS X 10.6
          Opera/9.80 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.6.5; U; en) Presto/2.7.39 Version/11.00

          Sorry, no update yet. I’ve been busy with school lately, but hopefully we can get v2.4 stable before the end of the year.

          We’re working on simplifying the install process and making installs/uninstalls more reliable, so this will take some time to test.

  2. using Google Chrome 7 Google Chrome 7 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

    Great work Kyle, Now what else is needed to make it a perfect mac?
    I guess externally every thing is in place.

    1. using Opera 11 Opera 11 on Ubuntu 10.10 Ubuntu 10.10
      Opera/9.80 (X11; Linux x86_64; U; Ubuntu/10.10 (maverick); en) Presto/2.7.39 Version/11.00

      After reading Joeyโ€™s post about the Marlin file browser, Iโ€™m beginning to think it would make a nice addition. Unfortunately itโ€™s currently just not ready to be included. And that is the case for several features that Iโ€™m looking into and putting on the back burner for now.

      Most of the work that really needs to go into this project is in the GTK theme. While the interface mimics OS X well in a screenshot, there are differences (such as hovering a non-selected button, it should turn bright blue if its not blue already) that make it fail to behave as clear and clean as OS X.

      Aside from minor tweaks and adjustments, most of the basic OS X functionality is in place and working well. Unfortunately it will never fully mimic Mac OS X.

      1. using Google Chrome 7 Google Chrome 7 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

        Gnome is Great and highly configurable but certainly has its own limits. To copy exact mac OS X UI macubuntu should start its own DE ๐Ÿ˜› .
        But I guess the current macubuntu will give all necessary feel one wants to get from mac UI. I can make any windows user a fool by showing him macubuntu and saying “see I installed mac on my PC”. I guess macubuntu has done the task, and done it very well.

  3. using Chromium 9 Chromium 9 on Ubuntu 10.10 Ubuntu 10.10
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.12 (KHTML, like Gecko) Ubuntu/10.10 Chromium/9.0.576.0 Chrome/9.0.576.0 Safari/534.12

    thanks! came here from omgubuntu. had been googling and stumbling through the mac4lin solutions.

    i am recently married.

    my new wives $3k mac with it’s exploding battery and keyboard letters that wipe off and power cables that melt and displays that have offered some nice negative space (dead pixel lines across the screen) and all around shite hardware (thank you for the free replacement of known, defective shit!).

    so anywhoo… i’ve been using linux since some early mandrake garbage and have am able to fix a PC (personal computer), regardless of OS.

    but i wanted to make my new wife happy.

    $500 thinkpad + ubuntu + this blog post and macbuntu = i am a good husband.

    and i am easily able to admin the shit out of all our machines with ease. and i saved us over 2k.


  4. using Chromium 9 Chromium 9 on Ubuntu 10.10 Ubuntu 10.10
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.12 (KHTML, like Gecko) Ubuntu/10.10 Chromium/9.0.576.0 Chrome/9.0.576.0 Safari/534.12

    i also drink. apologies for the un-edited gramma and typos.


  5. using Firefox 3 Firefox 3 on Ubuntu 10.10 Ubuntu 10.10
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US; rv: Gecko/20110303 Ubuntu/10.10 (maverick) Firefox/3.6.15

    So whatยดs happening with this?
    i see on wiki that the new style is displayed, one with docky icon removed, menu bar transparent, and so on……one with changes you made. But I can find this anywhere, and Iยดve been searching.
    Is it available like a patch, or something?
    (mind my ENG.)

    1. using Opera 11 Opera 11 on GNU/Linux GNU/Linux
      Opera/9.80 (X11; Linux x86_64; U; en) Presto/2.8.115 Version/11.10

      I’ve made a lot of changes to Macbuntu, but unfortunately it has slowed down a great deal. I’m busy with work now, but hopefully I will soon be able to look over what I’ve got so far and maybe publish the changes up to this point.

      I can’t make any promises, but thanks for the reminder.

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