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The Mac OS interface can be replicated on Ubuntu, the terminal style, the icons and a whole lot more.So a little rundown of what this article covers:
- Getting the GNOME shell.
- Getting a Mac theme for GNOME shell.
- Getting a Mac OS desktop dock.
- Getting a Mac OS icon set.
- Choosing a Mac OS style system font.
Here is an ultimate picture of what you can be achieved as seen by Jason Spaceman on Flickr:
Now let‘s get started.
Getting the GNOME shell
One of the great advantages of using Ubuntu is the fact it there are enough desktop environments for everyone to choose from like Unity, Cinnamon etc. The desktop environments change the entire look of the software interface, gives it uniqueness and style.
The GNOME shell is one of the most popular desktop environments available out there. You can carryout basic functions such as launching applications, switching between windows and using a widget engine. All in all, the GNOME shell is pretty simple but very functional.
As simple as the GNOME shell may be, it supports theme customization and that‘s exactly what we are going to do as we would attempt turning this seemingly simple design into that of the Mac OS.
If you already have the GNOME shell and the GNOME Tweak Tool installed on your machine, you can skip the remaining part of this section.
The shell can be installed using the terminal command below:
During installation, a prompt may come up asking you to choose the display manager, simply choose the ‘lightdm‘ option.
The installation is complete now, however making customizations to the shell at this point could still be a pain in the neck.
For this reason, there is a tweak tool that allows for easy customization of the GNOME desktop environment, named the GNOME Tweak Tool.
You can install GNOME Tweak Tool using the terminal command below:
sudoapt-get install gnome-tweak-tool
You shouldn‘t expect an instant change in the environment just yet. To access the new desktop environment, you should log out of the current desktop session or better still do a reboot.
Before logging in, you should click on the icon of the current desktop environment which would be found somewhere close to the password box. GNOME Desktop is the one you want to select.
Getting a Mac OS theme for GNOME shell:
Now that the GNOME desktop environment has been installed, getting a suitable Mac OS theme is next on the agenda.
There are lots of themes out there however, the theme of our choice is the GNOME OS X II GTK theme. This may not be a perfect replica of the Mac OS X, however it is one of the best.
This theme requires ubuntu 16.10 and above. If you use a version below there is an alternative which is the macOS Sierra GTK theme, it exists on github so you would have to clone the project.
To install the theme, simply extract the theme folder into the ~/.themes folder. This folder exists in the home directory, if you can‘t find it you should select the option to show hidden files.
After extracting the theme into that folder, open the GNOME Tweak Tool then select the Appearance section. There you would find the theme, and select it.
Now you should get a feel of the Mac OS, however the icons do not yet look the Mac. Keep calm, that would be tackled soon.
Getting a Mac OS desktop dock
Desktop docks always bring a different sort of flavour to any desktop environment. A dock such as the default Ubuntu desktop dock has gained lots of popularity as much as the Mac OS desktop dock.
To replicate this, we would be using the Plank desktop dock. This is because it is lightweight and comes close to giving the needed Mac OS dock look.
It can be installed using the terminal command below:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/macbuntu
sudoapt-get install macbuntu-os-plank-theme-lts-v7
Let‘s give the icons a touch of the Mac OS.
Getting a Mac OS icon set
One of the most unique things about the Mac OS is its icon set. Its very simple but has a classic design and is one of the best icon sets you would ever find.
Luckily for us, we can easily install this using the La Captaine pack.
After download, you should extract the icons folder into the ~/.icons folder. This folder should be present at the home folder, if you can‘t find it then it is hidden you should set the file manager to display hidden files.
After extracting the files there, then from the GNOME tweak tools you can select the icon pack from the appearance section.
Choosing a Mac style system font
Font styles are of great importance in designs. They could be the subtle difference between very beautiful and not quite for any interface.
As with all Apple products, fonts are taken very seriously and this has ensured that the already beautiful design becomes much more classy.
You can easily get the Apple font styles by running the following command on the terminal.
sudounzip mac-fonts.zip -d/usr/share/fonts; rm mac-fonts.zip
Now go to the GNOME tweak tool and select The Garuda Regular which is the standard font style of the Mac OS.
More can be done to make Ubuntu more Mac-like, such as changing the icons in LibreOffice, installing a Launchpad etc. Now you can show off your Mac OS interface to your friends.
Starting from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, the OS now shows the Trash icon right on the desktop. There are some people though who prefer having a cleaner desktop with nothing on it but the wallpaper. Fortunately, it isn’t all that difficult to remove the trash icon from the desktop in Ubuntu.
Remove Trash from Desktop in Ubuntu
First of all, let’s make it clear that putting the trash icon on the desktop does make sense. Clearly, it’s a good thing to make it really easy for users to get to the trash folder. Although, once could argue that the Ubuntu dock would have been a much better place for the trash icon. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS only shows a trash icon by default, but later versions also put a Home folder icon on the desktop.
Regardless, the good news is that both the trash icon and the home folder are easy to remove from the desktop. As is so often the case with Linux operating systems, there are multiple ways to do this. A simple way is to copy and paste a single command. You can also go the GUI route but you’ll need to install the GNOME Tweaks app. If you want to have a better experience, don’t miss these 5 tips to speed up your GNOME desktop.
Use GNOME Tweak Tool
GNOME Tweak Tool is one of the first apps anyone would recommend you to install on a new Ubuntu system. Even if you don’t want to install icon packs and themes, the Tweak tool has many little and nifty options that make life with Ubuntu much easier. So if you haven’t installed it yet, you should probably do so now while you’re at it.
First, make sure you have enabled the enable universe repository already from the Software & Updates app. To install it, simply copy and paste the command below in Terminal or search for it in the Software Center.
Once the GNOME Tweak tool is installed, follow the instructions below to remove the trash icon from the desktop.
- Open the GNOME Tweak Tool.
- Navigate to the Extensions section from the left column.
- Click on the cog icon next to the DesktopIcons toggle.
- Toggle off show the wastebasket icon on the desktop.
- Similarly, to remove the home folder icon, toggle off show the personal folder on the desktop.
For Ubuntu 18.04 and earlier, goto Desktop in the GNOME Tweak Tool. You can simply turn off the toggle next to Trash.
Use the command line
Run Ubuntu On Mac
As mentioned earlier, you can also do this multi-step process in one single step. If you’re using Ubuntu 18.04 or earlier, copy and paste the following command in a terminal and hit enter.
Ubuntu For Mac Usb
To remove the trash icon from the desktop in Ubuntu 19.10 or later, use the command below.
The home folder can also be similarly removed with the following command.
Regardless of which method you choose between the GNOME Tweak Tool or the command line, the changes are immediate. Once you’ve executed the command or turned off the toggle, you will no longer see the trash icon on the desktop.
How to Add Trash Icon on Ubuntu
Mac Icon For Ubuntu Virtualbox
It’s obvious that you can have the icons back by turning the toggle back on in GNOME Tweak Tool. If you prefer the command line method, you can get the icons back by simply executing the same command but switching false to true. For instance,
That was all about adding and removing the trash icon from the desktop in Ubuntu. Before you leave, do not forget to check out our tutorial on backing up and restoring Linux.