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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/

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.

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.

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