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For a talk about Linux I will be using Ubuntu to show off how flexible Open Source is, but one of the things I want to do is show Ubuntu with a Windows 7 Theme, which I will then change when a friend just happens to ask "But you are using Windows 7 to talk about Open Source", at that moment I will change the whole theme back to the default Ubuntu theme (Unity) which should have a impact on users that have not yet moved to Ubuntu.

Since I will be doing this on 13.04 (Examples for 11.04 up to 12.10 do not work in 13.04) I need a solution for this version. I have tried the following links and between not working and making the whole system unstable (Had to install from scratch) they did not solve my question:

Is there an Ubuntu theme available to make it look like Windows 7?

How to Make Ubuntu look like Windows Vista?

So how can I change Ubuntu to a Windows 7 theme in 13.04?

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please post the video of your talk :-) –  user85164 May 8 '13 at 17:20
@Frank Will be in Spanish. Maybe Google Chrome will have a sound translator by then ^^. –  Luis Alvarado May 8 '13 at 17:20
I used my best friend google for this... linuxg.net/… Next time maybe you can try searching for your question :D –  daltonator9690 May 8 '13 at 17:26
That is recommending using xfce which I will not be doing. It must be Ubuntu, not Xubuntu or any other. I made bold the part about "Default Ubuntu theme" so you can read it better ;) –  Luis Alvarado May 8 '13 at 17:55
I don't wish to proselytise (too much), but I think that is it strange that you want to show how "flexible Open Source is" by using Unity! If you really want a flexible DE, then something like KDE would be ideal, since it allows a ridiculous amount of customisation. I certainly agree that FOSS/FLOSS is flexible, but I think that Unity is a poor example of that! Nevertheless, I presume you probably have other reasons for using Unity, so you are probably bound to it… –  Sparhawk May 19 '13 at 12:18
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3 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Windows 7 Theme with XFCE

Follow the steps below, and this is the result you will get


It’s not easy to configure the default Unity desktop’s left Launcher, so I used the xfce desktop.

  1. Install Xfce Desktop Environment:

Hit Ctrl+Alt+T to open a terminal window, copy and paste following command and hit run to install Xfce:

sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

Once installed, log out and select “Xubuntu session” to log in again.


  1. Customize Xubuntu session

The Xubuntu session has a top-panel and dock like panel at bottom.

  1. First get rid of the top-panel by right-click on it -> Panel -> Panel Preferences.

enter image description here

Then click the Red minus button to remove it:.

enter image description here

  1. In previous window, use the drop-down box in the panel configuration window to select the other panel. Uncheck the ‘Automatically show and hide the panel’ option and check the ‘Automatically increase the length’ option.

Now you should have a single panel across that bottom of your screen. Under Items tab, remove items you don’t want and add items you do want, and reorder them as you see fit. For a Windows 7-style taskbar, try using these items in the following order:

Applications Menu, Separator, Launcher, Window Buttons, Separator (check “Expand” in its Properties), Notification Area, Indicator Plugin, Show Desktop.

enter image description here

  1. Hit Ctrl+Alt+T to open terminal, copy and paste following 4 commands and run to download and install Windows 7 theme:

    wget https://launchpad.net/~upubuntu-com/+archive/gtk3/+files/win2-7_0.1_all.deb  
    sudo dpkg -i win2-7_0.1_all.deb  
    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences theme 'Win2-7-theme'
  2. Apply the theme by going to Applications -> Settings Manager -> Appearance -> Select “Win2-7-theme” in both Style and Icons tab.

enter image description here

  1. You can also change the applications menu’s icon and make it use a Windows 7-style start orb. First, find a Windows 7 start orb image on Google Images, but make sure you get a transparent PNG image. Once you’ve found a good image, right-click the Applications menu button, select Properties, and use the Icon button to select your start orb.

  2. To make your panel look more like Windows 7’s panel, right-click it, point to Panel, and select Panel Preferences. On the Appearance tab, select Background image and browse to the \usr\share\themes\Win2-7-theme\gtk-2.0\Panel\ directory on your computer. Select a background image like Panel_Win2-7Basic800.png. The theme pack we installed includes a variety of panel backgrounds, so feel free to experiment.

All credits goes to ubuntuguide.net

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Very good stuff. However, switching back to Unity is a bit trickier here as you have to log out and log in again, which has a less big impact then just selecting a theme out of a menu I think. –  Jop May 15 '13 at 16:28
Sorry for the delay, just did about 2 weeks trying to change a lot of stuff in Unity to be able to do this. Finally thought "ok let's see that idea about xfce". Took me 3 minutes to get xfce to look like Windows 7. So, with little time on my hand before the event and needing this, I went with your answer. Thanks for ubuntuguide. –  Luis Alvarado Jun 3 '13 at 1:41
@LuisAlvarado, Glad to be of help :) –  blade19899 Jun 3 '13 at 15:38
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Windows 7 Theme with Cinnamon

Yes its possible, not with unity but with cinnamon.

Unity works too, but you have to know, that only all window elements are win 7 like, and the top panel will have only win7 like gradients. If you look at this screenshot ( fro 12.10 but 13.04 looks similar) you would understand what i mean: enter image description here

I recommend you to install the ambiancew7 theme (available on sourceforge net) I'm not able to write an installer script, so you have to install it on your own.

Download the newest theme from sourceforge net : http://sourceforge.net/projects/blue7themeforub/files/

then please install these applets ( see the name and then search it with cinnamon applet install programm or whatever).



I've also created an custom live CD. Works stable, without segfaults or any other things. Even most of the gtk3 css warnings are fixed/ you won't see any error.

PLEASE DO NOT INSTALL ANY WIN2-7 GTK3 THEMES , THEY MAY BE UNSTABLE ON UBUNTU 12.10 OR 13.04. An other link t get the theme :http://bluedxca93.deviantart.com/art/Ambiancew7-or-Win7-theme-for-ubuntu-12-10-364243686

Screenshot with free icon-theme and downlaod link ( works on ubuntu 13.04 well too)

Some other screens (of 13.04) ( in german):

enter image description here enter image description here

If you google for blueseven os you can find an ubuntu 13.04 with the cinnamon and unity with the themes already applied.


work UBUNTU 13.10 already in progress. There are still some bugs, but the code is mostly rewriteen now as you can see in the following screenshot ( gnome-flashback and unity support as well): 13.10 beta screenshot

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Your ubuntuusers.de wiki page seems deleted, so I checked the sourceforge.net download page. The GTK+ theme (modified Win2-7 theme) is hosted as "Win2-7-12-10upload.tar.gz" and window border is "Win2-7Basic metacity.tar.gz". –  NullNoname Oct 20 '13 at 11:52
Null Noname i`m writing on a ubuntu 13.10 version, which will be faster. The pack schould be posted in few days. 13.04 is named as Ambiancew7. –  user43787 Oct 20 '13 at 14:08
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You will probably have to create your very own Unity theme.

Then, apart from the resources you found (those that do not break your system), you could search around deviantart.com for some additional resources to do something like this in 13.04:

windows7 lookalike theme pack by jadenxtrinityx@deviantart.com

Then show us the result! And post a video somewhere (some of us speak Spanish).

NOTE: The example shown is from 2009, so definitely it is not something you can use out-of-the-box.

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