Make Your Linux Desktop Look Like A Mac - Mac4Lin Project Documentation - Page 4

11 Pidgin

11.1 Pidgin Plugin for Avant-Window-Navigator

Extract the from the archive to ~/.purple/plugins. Create a launcher for Pidgin on AWN, launch it, right click on the Pidgin tray icon and select Plugins. Enable AWN plug in.

Default Pidgin icon on the AWN Dock:

Status Idle/Invisible:

Status Available:

Status Connecting:

Status Offline:

Unread message (number of unread messages are shown):


11.2 Pidgin OSX Theme

Extract the theme archive(s) in the temporary folder. Now, as root, move the "pidgin" folder to /usr/share/pixmaps. Overwrite the existing one after taking a backup. This will install the OS X Theme for Pidgin.

Remember to reinstall this theme whenever you perform a Pidgin upgrade as the upgrade will revert back to the default theme.

This is a screenshot of Pidgin with OS X Theme:


12 Exaile Avant-Window-Navigator Plugin

You will need to have Exaile Media player installed to use this.

To install this Plugin, copy both the and awn.pyc files to ~/.exaile/plugins. Launch Exaile, goto the Plugins dialog, enable AWN Plugin. The status will now be shown on the Exaile launcher on AWN (you need to create an Exaile launcher on AWN first).

NOTE: Some users have not been able to use this Plugin. Hence it may or may not work for you.

Idle Exaile icon on AWN:

Exaile icon in representing remaining time in animated mode:

Exaile icon in representing remaining time in numerical mode:


13 Mac OS X System Sounds

Extract OSX Sounds archive to a temporary folder. Copy OSX Sounds folder to /usr/share/sounds, as root, for easily applying Mac Sounds.

Go to System > Preferences > Sound > Sounds Tab

Now assign sounds as you wish. An example screen is shown here:

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From: Anonymous at: 2009-05-20 02:59:43

yes.  It worked great except for the apple icon in the upper left corner...

From: Fletchinho at: 2009-05-13 18:24:34

There is a new version of Mac4lin available with documentation on their official site.

From: Methanoid at: 2009-06-18 09:50:28

Yes, new version but with a manual that is too much... Contrast to the same sort of things for making Ubuntu look like XP. A simple script you run and it does it all.

The guide isnt accurate. If I run the script I get no output at all but things do happen. Was I supposed to run it in Terminal or Open/Run it? It doesnt do the GTK stuff. You have to do manually.

Great idea but definitely NOT noob friendly.

From: Hozey at: 2009-05-09 22:44:24

Yes and got lost.  It's a same this tutorial hasn't been updated in almost a year and a half.  With the release of 9.04 and for the benefit of us newbies who want to use linux but remain tied to the Mac desktop, somebody please update this and the Mac4Lin project as well.

From: Hozey at: 2009-05-03 04:47:48

I did.  But being a newbie to Ubuntu and Linux I got lost due to some of the commands and screen shots being different in Jaunty.  An update would certainly be appreciated.

From: Anonymous at: 2009-05-02 08:06:02

Has anyone tried this for Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) yet?

From: Anonymous at: 2009-06-16 12:45:47

yeah I have, but however I couldnt install the MacMenu.. or AWM...

From: Anonymous at: 2009-07-12 17:51:54

Yes. I couldn't get past step one.

From: darchstar at: 2009-07-18 16:55:21

I just installed this and the newest version comes with an install script that automates the whole process for you

From: ryuken at: 2010-02-19 02:40:28

To understand my message, use Google translate
I use Indonesian
Saya sudah mencoba tampilan Mac ini di Ubuntu Jaunty (9.04).
Bug yang saya temui:
main Icon tidak mau berubah, masih Icon GNome.
Wallpaper tidak mau berubah secara otomatis ketika tema dipasang.
Usplash tidak mau muncul.
Ketika saya mengubah settingan CUBE, di Compiz, efek tidak muncul. Begitu juga ketika saya coba shift. banyak error di sana.
Settingan Sound ada yang berbeda. Dan ada sound yang tidak ada dalam paket ini. Ketika saya mengubah settingan sound, dengan mengikuti petunjuk ini, suara tidak mau berubah.
Screenlet, ketika saya login, muncul Item-item screenlet yang dobel-dobel. Secara otomatis aku direpotkan untuk meng-klik item yang dobel tersebut. misalkan aku memasang clock, ketika aku restart komputer saya, ketika sudah login, muncul beberapa clock dan kadang lebih dari 2 clock.
ada plugin yang tidak kompatibel, misalkan plugin untuk mozilla firefox tidak kompatibel. mozilla yang saya pakai versi 3.0.17

From: Hozey at: 2009-04-28 13:38:54

Any chance you'll be updating this for 9.04 any time soon?  It's sorely needed for us novices.  Thanks.

From: Anonymous at: 2009-04-11 12:41:53

works fine, better than 8.04 or 7.10

From: at: 2007-11-01 12:21:18

sudo apt-key add reacocard.asc
rm reacocard.asc
sudo apt-get update

I changed my GPG key, so you have to switch to this one. Also, the guide on the wiki is sorely out-of-date, use this one instead:
That thread is the ONLY method of using my repo that I keep up-to-date, and therefore the only one that can be expected to be up-to-date.


From: Anonymous at: 2009-06-07 01:00:45

I'm trying to down the Mac4lin.tar.gz file, but the site: is site DB @ 17:17 UTC and the server/site DB went out at 18:38 UTC

13:00 = 1pm
14:00 = 2pm
15:00 = 3pm
16:00 = 4pm
17:00 = 5pm
18:00 = 6pm
19:00 = 7pm
20:00 = 8pm
21:00 = 9pm
22:00 = 10pm
23:00 = 11pm

This is not good...

From: Anonymous at: 2010-08-04 19:04:47

Tested on Fedora 13 and this actually WORKS!!!


From: at: 2008-01-06 14:28:19

Thank you for the excellent guide, but I wanted to let you know that there is a slight error in the text that may cause users problems.

During the portion of the tutorial on the first page where you are utilizing gconfig-editor to change the orientation of the window operations buttons, you mispelled maximize in your first use.

Delete that & type: 'close,minimize,maxmize:menu'

Without the correct spelling of 'maximize' a user will only see the close and minimize buttons.

Again, thank you for your work!

From: Anonymous at: 2008-10-01 02:24:21

hey, can anyone tell me, if you do this, is it easy to change back if you want to? Thanks

From: How to Windows at: 2011-07-11 23:26:55

I've tried to run this and also had trouble switching back...

From: Anonymous at: 2008-10-03 02:57:34

When I go to my add to panel in this proccess it don't look like the screen shot above. Can someone help me??? I can e-mail anyone a screen shot of what mine looks like if you want to help.

From: Anonymous at: 2008-11-10 00:07:56

i tried it on ubuntu 8.10 it works fine

From: vinitd at: 2008-11-06 06:18:52

Has anybody tried this on latest ubuntu (8.10)??

From: Chris Voeltz at: 2008-11-20 00:10:31

wow, im amazed at this guide! love it! mind if i put it on my website with a link to the original source and anything else you would like me to include... email me:

and also, i dont have the "Theme Preferences" option... please help me... where and how do i get it?

thanks!! :D

From: RayJ at: 2008-11-22 03:10:28

Flawless execution! I always like the clean look of MacOSX and now I have it!


From: Christian Müller at: 2008-12-14 00:15:48


I have a big problem to find the whole software apps, on which site i can download all files i need for this !

Best Regards

Christian Müller

From: Quentin at: 2008-12-24 08:02:52

- The provided Firefox themes are not compatible with the current version (3.0.5).

- Usplash doesn't work on widescreen. Even the default Ubuntu Usplash is deformed and off-centered.

- Some of the icons still look ugly. Where can I post a screenshot ?



From: Zakir Khan at: 2009-01-03 16:16:03


From: Matt at: 2009-03-18 18:06:12

Hey, this is a fantastic project, but has anyone tried it for Mandriva 2009 yet? Is it guaranteed to work? Do you need GNOME or will it work on KDE?

From: johnnyBob at: 2009-11-25 12:05:33

it works dude easy way to do it is to look at the bottom of the folder and select install then go through and customize the rest yourself

From: Anonymous at: 2009-06-13 22:27:04

Some other Firefox themes that may suit Mac4Lin: (works well on ff 3.5b4) (works quite ok on ff 3.5b4) (works quite ok on ff 3.5b4)

From: Jude Pereira at: 2009-08-06 17:33:03

Can you please send me a link to the wallpaper in your first image? The nice bluish one? Please. Thank you in advance!!!

From: technoeunuch at: 2009-08-11 17:51:41

can this one be updated for gnome 2.26?

From: Bruno Braga at: 2009-10-30 17:36:50

I think there are a lot of changes on the new Ubuntu releases, difficult to follow up.

 I got passed the first steps of the install script by creating the missing directories myself.

mkdir ~/.icons

mkdir ~/.themes

However, the setup does not happen autmaticaly You can just right click the desktop > change background > themes > and choose the mac4lin option saved there.

From: ricardo at: 2009-11-05 03:55:55

guys i dont understand y you are having problems because im using ubuntu 9.10 and i was able to pretty much get everything working. :)

From: LJ Dellar at: 2009-10-30 13:50:34

It is now.  The guide is two years old and following it did not work on version 9.04.


There is a newer guide here 

but it is still a year old and really for 8.10.

From: Ian MacGregor at: 2009-08-18 18:24:58

I've been using Mac4Lin for a while on Ubuntu and I still love it!

From: at: 2009-08-19 17:55:00

The first step of this process crashes latest gnome.

From: Anonymous at: 2009-09-10 18:40:53

Excuse me, but ubuntu 9.10 is not released yet. It's beta, maybe...

From: chambersc at: 2010-01-01 19:59:44

run this (not  sudo or root)

 gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/general/button_layout --type string "menu:minimize,maximize,close"

From: gene at: 2010-04-08 16:25:57

Hello, I got everything working per guide. My buttons are on left and I did input the command as copy and paste to get it to move to the left side, but maximize button is missing for some reason. Please help.

From: Peter at: 2010-03-27 18:16:07

this theme is soo brilliant...i applied it flawlessly..always love the look of mac and now i have it on my ubuntu woow..i love you man!!

From: thegamez18 at: 2010-04-11 04:20:58

Do not install the theme if you dont want to loose network manager (removes network manager panel applet)

From: Chris at: 2010-04-24 15:30:12

Look at this update to the process...

From: Anonymous at: 2010-06-12 19:55:04

Awsome! i love the mac theme! but I downgraded to ubuntu 7.10, because of network issues, but will this guide work for ubuntu 7.10?

From: network monitoring software at: 2010-07-19 00:25:27

Good job. Thanks for your sharing.

From: Mark at: 2010-08-25 20:23:52

THanks, works great.

Just wanted to know, where can i get those folder icons you are using, and how do I install em?

From: frenchn00b at: 2010-11-25 06:56:25

Hi Linux fans, 

I am pleased to post you the fvwm mac os x design environment. It is also close to this site in term of result. Please find the webpage.

It is  a very powerful Windows manager designed to be simple to everyone.

 or here :


From: Anonymous at: 2010-12-30 07:31:14


I have an arch system set up with gnome. When I downloaded the archive, everything is fine but the cursor archive is corrupt. Please fix it. 


From: Anonymous at: 2011-01-07 21:04:20

I was looking for a way to get rid of the horrible Mac OS X interface on a Mac, and replace it with Gnome or something similar. "Do you want to give your desktop a dash of Mac OS X? Do you want to change your GNOME desktop from the default look to something like this?"  Gods, no!!! This may be beautiful, but utterly annoying in about every single detail.

Well, thanks for your efforts, anyway.

From: Jorge at: 2011-01-22 04:43:59

I tested and installed it in Ubuntu 10.10. It looks great, just 3 clicks and it is installed, easier imposible.

 GREAT. I just wanted to thank.

From: Nick at: 2011-03-22 07:46:09

*You should try macubuntu 10.10 its a much better transformation pack. You can get it here *After you have done i would advise you to download cairo dock to replace the default dock that comes with the package and download the mac os x theme with app it self. *You can search online for gnome global menu applet and install that as well to get the mac menu.

From: Anonymous at: 2011-02-21 15:33:00


 Im a novice at using Linux... Im struggeling with applying the mac theme.

I have downloaded it and installed it, the computer went to the apple Gray with all the taskbars and everything. 

When i follow the instructions, my computer gives me a error  (cant move directory over a directory)...

 Can you assist me with getting this theme working on my pc...

im Running  Ubuntu, 10.04 LTS, Gnome 2.30.2.




From: Moss Bliss at: 2011-02-22 06:53:45

You could just get a copy of MacPup 5.11, a Puppy variant (in turn, a variant on Ubuntu) using Enlightenment Desktop, and have it all - on a CD, run live without even modifying your computer.

From: Dr Freeman at: 2011-06-15 01:55:52

I can personally attest to most of this working with the new Ubuntu Unity display. The perks are that you don't need to install the buggy global menu app, and the unity bar is sort of like a dock. (More win7 than mac though) I just wanted the theme, not necessarily everything so you may find bugs when you implement other parts of this.
Overall, it worked for what I wanted it to do. Your mileage may vary.

On another note, I had several issues with parts of the theme reverting back to what it was prior to the theme install when I tried to install it on the last ubuntu LTS. A reinstall was necessary  a few times, but it was no big issue for me since I was just playing around with it anyway. If it begins to bug out on this release I may get unhappy. But then, this is probably better suited to go on the mac4lin forums than here.

From: MAGNAVOX MDR513H/F7 at: 2011-09-15 01:39:54

It is tempting to try this since I would always want to try having a mac kind of feel even though I am using linux. I guess it won't hurt if I will give it a try. I wonder if it applies to all kind of Linux.

From: Anonymous at: 2011-11-19 07:20:32

Thank you for your article. It was very useful.

From: Online Flower Delivery In India at: 2012-12-03 12:37:20

I would like to thank you for this excellent information!! I am very interested for this post.This site is so helpful.

From: Chetan at: 2013-08-01 08:48:12

You mentioned that this guide works for Gnome. But does it work for Gnome 3?

From: Anonymous at: 2010-07-12 21:03:35

Just a tip for those who are installing the avant dock. You don't need Compiz or Beryl. You can just use xcompmgr which by the way has a nice reference info You can make anything have true transparency on the fly using xbindkeys to assign a shortcut to transset-df or in my case chord key combo to it and other commonly used apps like console or your favorite text editor. 

 That's the spirit of linux. Choice!

From: Anonymous at: 2008-09-13 06:12:12

You can also use Songbird as an iTunes look like.

From: Quentin at: 2008-12-23 16:46:16

The provided Firefox themes are not compatible with the current version (3.0.5).

From: 2noob2banoob at: 2009-06-30 16:02:26

Wouldn't it be nice to have a .sh file which does all this automatically when called from the terminal with the su or sudo command? Just a suggestion for bored programmers. It would also be nice to have the menubar on the panel just like in Mac OS X, but I suspect achieving this can be a real pain in Linux. Apart from that, this all seems pretty awesome, the last screenshot is indistinguable from real Mac OS X Leopard and I might be doing this on my experimental Linux Mint box.

From: ShastaMcShasta at: 2009-07-03 00:01:55

Actually, there is a program for the Gnome panel called Global Menu that emulates the Mac Menu perfectly by moving the menu options from the window itself to the panel.  Currently it doesn't work with Firefox (and of course Songbird, since they share common code) or OpenOffice, but for everything else it's a pretty sweet deal.  Also, the first time I tried Mac4Lin, I used a .sh script.  Granted, that was from a different website.  But it worked perfectly.

From: at: 2009-07-12 20:05:23


It is indeed a great piece of work. I was successfully able to install Mac4Lin theme on Ubuntu 9.04 running on my laptop. 

Till now I haven't faced any issues. Shall post if any.

Thanks again

From: infra_red_dude at: 2009-07-18 16:02:30

Thank you all for your support and appreciation.

 I've released Mac4Lin v1.0 which does most of all that you ask for. Suggestions and feedback are welcome, as always :) You can download it at

Mac4Lin is one of the finalists at Community Choice Awards 2009. If you like Mac4Lin then do vote for it here:

Voting is open till July 20th 2009. 


From: Jack Noir at: 2009-10-21 19:15:40

I've done this myself recently and was just looking at the final screen shot you posted and i just wanted to know why you included a shutdown button in the top right, on the panel ? On mine, my log off / shutdown is in the menu accessed through the apple logo in the top left, on the panel, which is the main gnome menu. Aesthetically this looks much nicer i think. I also think Cairo dock does a better job of representing the Mac dock too.

From: AWilson at: 2010-07-20 02:29:42

First off THANK YOU for creating this doc!!!

I started using Mac4Lin when I had Ubuntu 8.04, then upgraded to 9.10.  With both of the version of Ubuntu (8.04, 9.10) I did not have any problems adding this 'theme' to my Linux.

I have now upgraded to Ubuntu 10.04 and the current version of Mac4Lin does not have all the steps necessary to change 10.04 default theme over to Mac4Lin completely.  I did run "", the theme installed but things are missing or wasn't installed by the script leaving it to me to try an figure out. I have tried to get a few things to work the list is here:

1. 'Splash Screen' not change, I went through the instructions a few times and still can not get it.
2. 'Wall Paper' had to manual change that.
3. 'Sound' could not determine if it was installed by the script, the instructions don't match Ubuntu sound control app (gnome-volume-control).
4. 'Songbird' the following files can not be used with Songbird 1.7.3: 'iSongbird.xpi' and 'mediaflow-2.9.2.xpi'
     ERROR MESSAGES: MediaFlow 2.9.2 could not be installed because it is not compatible with Songbird 1.7.3.
     "      "    "   "     "     "   "   : iSongbird 1.0.0 could not be installed because it is not compatible with Songbird 1.7.3.
5. 'GRUB' has not changed since running the script and haven't found a way to manually change this.

I'm not sure if there are other options that aren't working, but I under 10.04 is a newer version of Ubuntu and maybe the authors of the tutorial haven't had a chance to update the theme and the instructions.

PLEASE, PLEASE update this tutorial, install script for Ubuntu 10.04.  If you need me to test anything please let me know.

From: Anonymous at: 2010-11-30 16:24:39


There is a way to get the login page in 10.10 to change, though it is not completely right. Here is the script to run in terminal,

sudo cp /usr/share/applications/gnome-appearance-properties.desktop /usr/share/gdm/autostart/LoginWindow

Just copy and paste then log out and wait for appearances to open .

Set it to how you like it then close the window and log in.

Read the P.S. before you Do this so you have it in your head!

Then after you are done run this script so that appearances don't open every time you log in.

sudo unlink /usr/share/gdm/autostart/LoginWindow/gnome-appearance-properties.desktop

I haven't been able to install the Mac4Lin theme in this way but maybe you will have more luck than I.


Move the theme GTK theme files to your Desktop as the mac4lin folder is not accessible through the downloads file.


Do both the theme and the icons in the same login! That is where I messed up.

From: Anonymous at: 2011-01-18 15:58:09

can you use this pack for netboks like asuss eee 1005 ha?