Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I booted a Ubuntu 11.04 live CD on a Mac and I fell in love with the interface. So I decided to install it on my PC. Imagine my dismay when the interface was just the blah standard Windows style Ubuntu I've always been used to. I just really like the Mac-like interface I saw on the Mac.

Is there a way to see/install Ubuntu on a PC and have it use the Mac interface?

I don't want it to emulate Mac. I want it to look and behave like Ubuntu Live as it defaults on a Mac machine.

share|improve this question
Can you add screenshot of the two interfaces? – Pisu Jan 3 '12 at 21:48

It sounds like your PC did not have the proper hardware (or hardware drivers) to run the full 3D Unity experience. There are two things you could try to fix this:

  1. Upgrade to 11.10. In 11.10 there is a 2D fallback version of Unity that looks and behaves like the 3D version, but does not require hardware acceleration.
  2. Try seeing if there is a proprietary driver available for your system by running the "Additional drivers" tool while connected to the internet.

Of course, both upgrading to 11.10 and checking for a proprietary driver will give you the best results.

According the to Nvidia Linux Display Drivers page, you need the 304-experimental driver for a GeForce 460. This driver should be listed when you check for a proprietary driver.

share|improve this answer
It is an Intel Core 2 Quad with 12 GB Ram, with a Nvidia GeForce 460 video card. It's hard to believe that this computer is deficient in any respect. This is a hard core machine. :-) I mean, I don't think it's a 3D issue (I don't think so anyway), it's just that on the Mac the interface is very Mac-like. It has a dock on the left side, the bar at the top changes depending on what app is running, and a whole lot of differences from the PC interface. Is that what you mean when you talk about the "full 3d unity experience"? – Tony Pirog Jan 2 '12 at 0:14
@Tony Though your hardware is capable usually you need to install the nvidia drivers after the installation to get the desktop you're describing. – Jorge Castro Jan 2 '12 at 0:26
@TonyPirog FYI, the "Mac-like interface" you describe is called Unity, and the "standard Windows style" sounds like Gnome 2. – John Jan 2 '12 at 5:55

I believe that the default with Unity is also to have the bar on the left hidden. If you move the mouse to the left edge it will appear. Even if your PC is a hard charger you need to install the Nvidia drivers since they are proprietary and don't come preinstalled. It is easy to do. Just enter "drivers" into the Unity search bar and you will get Hardware Drivers. It will guide you through the install easily.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.