Entries Tagged as 'gnome'

Macbuntu

Macbuntu isn’t a sanctioned distribution of Ubuntu like Kubuntu, Xubuntu, etc; rather it’s a set of scripts that turns an Ubuntu desktop into something that resembles a Mac running OS-X… but it’s till very much Ubuntu running gdm (GNOME).

I don’t recommend install Macbuntu on a production machine, or even a real machine until you’ve taken it for a spin around the block.  For the most part it’s eye candy; but that said, it does make a Mac user feel a little more comfortable at an Ubuntu workstation, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with the desktop paradigm (remember, the way GNOME, KDE, XFCE, Enlightenment, Windows, OS-X, etc work is largely arbitrary — it’s just a development effort intended to make routine user operations intuitive and simply; but no two people are the same, and not everyone finds a the “solution” to a particular use case optimal).

What I recommend you do is create a virtual machine with your favorite virtualization software; if you don’t have virtualization software, consider VirtualBox — it’s still free (until Larry Ellison decides to pull the plug on it), and it’s very straight forward for even novices to use.

Install Ubuntu 10.10 Desktop (32-bit is fine for the test) in it, and just take all the defaults — it’s easy, and no reason to fine tune a virtual machine that’s really just a proof-of-concept.

After that, install the virtual guest additions and do a complete update…

Once you’re done with all that, just open a command prompt and type each of the following (without elevated privileges).

  • wget https://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/macbuntu/macbuntu-10.10/v2.3/Macbuntu-10.10.tar.gz -O /tmp/Macbuntu-10.10.tar.gz
  • tar xzvf /tmp/Macbuntu-10.10.tar.gz -C /tmp
  • cd /tmp/Macbuntu-10.10/
  • ./install.sh

Once you’ve followed the on-screen instructions and answered everything to install all the themes, icons, wallpapers, widgets, and tools (you’ll have to modify Firefox and Thunderbird a little more manually — browser windows are opened for you, but you have to install the plug-ins yourself), you reboot and you’re presented with what looks very much like OS-X (you actually get to see some of the eye candy as it’s installed).

Log in… and you see even more Mac-isms… play play play and you begin to get a feel of how Apple created the slick, unified OS-X experience on top of BSD.

Now if you’re a purist you’re going to push your lower lip out and say this isn’t anything like OS-X… well, maybe it doesn’t carry Steve Job’s DNA fingerprint, but for many users I think you’ll hear them exclaim that this is a significant step forward for making Linux more Mac-ish.

There are a couple different efforts to create a Mac like experience under Linux; Macbuntu is centric on making Ubuntu more like OS-X, and as far as I can see it’s probably one of the cleanest and simplest ways to play with an OS-X theme on top of Linux…

If you find you like it, then go ahead and install on a real machine (the eye candy will be much more pleasing with a manly video card and gpu accelerated effects), and you can uninstall it if you like — but with something this invasive I’d strongly encourage you to follow my advice and try before you buy (so to speak — it’s free, but time and effort count for a great deal).

I’ll make a post on installing Macbuntu for tomorrow so that it’s a better reference.

Macbuntu on SourceForge.net

Macbuntu

Originally posted 2010-11-14 02:00:36.

Macbuntu – Installing

Sometimes form adds significantly to function… and I’d say that Macbuntu is a good example of that.

Macbuntu strives to make (Ubuntu) Linux look and feel much more like a Mac; and while it doesn’t let you run Mac software (you’d probably want to look into Darwin — based Apple Open Source releases that formed the base of OS-X) it does make the user interface much more “human” friendly.

Install Macbuntu makes some substantial changes to your Ubuntu installation, and you probably want to try it out in a virtual machine or on a machine that isn’t critical first — you might not like it, and there’s a slight chance things might go horribly wrong.

Here’s a cook-book approach.

Install Ubuntu Desktop 10.10 (if you install a different version you’ll need to adjust the version of Macbuntu you install)… and if this is just a test, the 32-bit version is fine.

Use the package manager to add Firefox, Thunderbird, and Chromium to your installation.

Go ahead an update everything

Launch each of the above once (you don’t have to configure an account in Thunderbird — but it’s not a bad idea to go ahead and enter one).

Then download, unpack, and install Macbuntu.  You can use the below commands in a terminal window (without elevated privilege — the install script will ask when needed) to do that (or you can download and install in any way you’re most comfortable).

wget https://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/macbuntu/macbuntu-10.10/v2.3/Macbuntu-10.10.tar.gz -O ~/Downloads/Macbuntu-10.10.tar.gz
tar xzvf
~/Downloads/Macbuntu-10.10.tar.gz -C /tmp
cd /tmp/Macbuntu-10.10/
./install.sh

You can select all the defaults as you go through the installation; and you certainly can enable more of the “eye candy” (I wouldn’t do that if you’re running on a really low end machine).

When Docky is installed it will auto-configure “known” applications that are installed on your machine (that’s why you wanted to install Firefox, Thunderbird, and Chromium before starting this).

Also, at the end of the installation you’ll be given the opportunity to download and install plug-ins for Firefox and Thunderbird that will make them more Mac-like; and you’ll be given the opportunity to download and install a theme for Chromium that does the same (in Chromium, you’ll need to enable GTK+ theme and system title bar and borders as well if you want the “full” effect).

You’ll probably want to decide what you want on your doc — you may want to eliminate one of the web browsers and one of the email clients — but it’s up to you.  Personalize and play… I’ve been running Macbuntu on my netbook for awhile now and I’m quite happy with it.

NOTE:
There are other packages that allow you to give a Mac-like look to Linux, Macbuntu is specfically intended for Ubuntu, if you don’t run Ubuntu you should consider Mac4Lin instead.

This post repeats a great deal of material found in yesterday’s post on Macbuntu — it’s targeted mainly at installation.  And yes, the fact that I’ve done two posts in two days indicates that I really think this is something that has potential.

Originally posted 2010-11-15 02:00:26.