Transforming Ubuntu to Windows: Installing and Customizing Xfce

X Ubuntu User Interface | Official Website

X Ubuntu User Interface | Official Website

Installing the Windows 7 theme pack and doing some tweaks is not yet the end of transforming your Linux Ubuntu. The next thing you need to do is select a different environment for your operating system’s login screen.

Good thing there’s Xfce, which is one of the most popular desktops that still offers a lot of configurability. It’s easy to configure that you can install it using this command: sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop.

Log out of Ubuntu using the menu at the top-right corner of the screen after that. On the login screen, just click the icon next to your name, select “Xubuntu session,” and log in normally.

Xfce also uses a two-panel layout by default, which means that you might need to do some heavy customization to make it look like Windows 7. But don’t worry! It’s all graphical. So if you’re a Windows power user, you might’ve done this tweaking a few times before.

First thing you need to do is to get rid of the top panel. Just right-click it, select Panel, Panel Preferences, and then Remove. Use the drop-down box in the panel configuration window to select another panel. Uncheck the Automatically show and hide panel option, and then check the Automatically increase the length option. By this time, you should have a single taskbar across the bottom of your screen.

Next, you can use the buttons on the Items panel to remove, add or reorder the items as you see fit. For a Windows 7-like taskbar, you can place the items in the following order: Applications Menu, Separator, Launcher, Windows Buttons, Separator, Notification Area, Indication Plugin, Show Desktop.

After that, you can add as many launchers or shortcuts as you like to the launcher section, and then think of them as your new quick launcher bar. However, it would look a bit old-school, as the Xfce can’t group applications and open windows the same way as Windows 7’s taskbar.

In order to configure an item, just select it from a list and click the Gear button. You might also want to disable the Show button title option on the Applications Menu items settings.

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