How To Make Ubuntu Linux Look Like Windows 7

Windows 8 seems to be giving a hard choice for Windows 7 users, as it sports a completely new tile-based interface. Windows 7 users have to choose whether to learn Windows 8 Metro UI or switch to Linux operating systems instead, which offer better options for customizing. Windows 8 may take some time getting used to while getting used to Ubuntu Linux will only take half that time.

It is possible to customize the appearance of Ubuntu Linux to resemble Windows 7. It can be done by using Linux’s Unity desktop. There are also other slightly complicated ways to change Ubuntu desktop appearance. This tutorial provides you with instructions to make Ubuntu Linux desktop resemble Windows 7 desktop, by tweaking Linux Unity desktop.

Tweaking Unity to look like Windows 7

Although there are only a few configurable options in Unity, it is still quite flexible enough to perform some tweaks so that it resembles Windows 7.

  • Step 1: Make sure you have the current version of Ubuntu Linux
  • Step 2: Hit the Windows key and type ‘Terminal’ without quotes and then hit Enter

    Now you need to copy and run a few commands to get the Windows theme installed. There are no installation wizards. You just have to copy the commands below, without the quotes, paste them in the terminal one by one, running each command after pasting it.
  • Step 3: Copy and Paste this command (without quotes) in the terminal first, and then run it by hitting Enter ‘sudo add-apt-repository ppa:upubuntu-com/gtk3’. This installs a personal package archive in your system.
  • Step 4: Now copy the following command, paste it (without quotes) and hit Enter
    ‘sudo apt-get update’. This command allows system to retrieve information about newly available packages.
  • Step 5: ‘sudo apt-get install win2-7’. Paste and run this command without quotes. This will install Win2-7 theme.

Customizing the installed theme

  • Step 1: Copy, paste and run the following command to enable the icon gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-theme ‘Win2-7-theme’
  • Step 2: Copy and Paste this command to enable Window border
    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences theme ‘Win2-7-theme’
  • Step 3: Now do the same for the command below, to enable widget theme
    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface icon-theme ‘Win2-7-icons’ You will be able to see a launcher resembling a taskbar. It may be of different color but it’s nothing to be concerned about. This launcher uses the same color in the desktop wallpaper. To complete the Windows 7 desktop appearance, Windows 7 wallpaper must be set as the background. For this,
  • Step 4: Launch the web browser
  • Step 5: Use Google Search to find Windows 7 original wallpapers
  • Step 6: Download wallpaper and set it as background. The launcher will now appear in the color of the desktop background.
  • Step 7: Use this command to set close, minimize and maximize buttons, Windows style
    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences button-layout ‘menu:minimize,maximize,close’
    This rearranges the buttons to resemble the windows in Windows 7.
  • Step 8: To change the Mac style menu bar and replace it with Windows menu bar, copy, paste and run this command
    sudo apt-get autoremove appmenu-gtk appmenu-gtk3 appmenu-qt indicator-appmenu
    This affects each application window that you open in Ubuntu Linux.
  • Step 9: Log out and log back for the changes to take effect
    Click the button at the far right side of the screen at the top to log out.

You have successfully personalized the Unity desktop in Ubuntu Linux which should now closely resemble Windows 7 desktop.


This is a simple way of transforming Linux desktop into a Windows 7 look-alike. However, further adjustments cannot be made. So it doesn’t completely look like Windows 7. There are other methods, using desktop environments that can closely resemble Windows 7 desktop. You will also be able to undo the changes that you have made in the desktop. This method doesn’t cause any harm to the Linux system. It’s recommended to use the latest version of Ubuntu Linux for tweaking the desktop.


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