Going Linux

   for computer users who just want to use Linux to get things done

Make the Ubuntu 7.10 Desktop look more like Windows

Updated: 04-Dec-2007

In Episode 20 of the podcast, listener Ryan asked how to make the Ubuntu Gnome interface look more like Windows, so that his mother would feel more comfortable using Linux. One of our suggestions for Ryan was to tell her that he would "fix" it in two weeks. When she tried Windows again, two weeks later, she would realize how much nicer Linux is. ;-)

This article describes our alternate suggestion--to give the Gnome interface a Windows-like makeover. In Ubuntu, you have two panels. One at the top of the screen, and one at the bottom.

Default Ubuntu 7.10 Desktop

If you remove the lower panel and move the upper one to the bottom, now you have the equivalent of the Windows task bar. Here's how:

Gnome 2.20 Makeover

  1. Right-click on the lower panel and selecting Delete This Panel.
    Delete the bottom panel
  2. Next, right-click the upper panel and select Properties.
    Panel Properties menu
  3. Change the Orientation to "Bottom."
    Move the panel to the bottom
  4. Next, you need to add the "Window List" item to the panel.
  5. Right-click the one panel you have left and select Add to Panel.
    Add to panel
  6. Choose "Window List" then click Add, and Close.
     Add window list to panel
  7. You can also move the Window List item to the left, and then lock it to the panel so that it doesn't get moved accidentally. Right-click on the panel and select Lock To Panel.
    Lock to panel
  8. Finally, you can choose a blue color theme and some different wallpaper to complete the Windows-like makeover. Ubuntu's Glider, Glossy and Clearlooks themes are good candidates.
    Select a theme

    The completed Gnome makeover

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