Install Macbuntu in Ubuntu 11.04

After installing Natty, I want Macbuntu theme as well. Unfortunately the installation package is only available for Ubuntu 10.10. The package cannot not be installed on Natty. I read that many fans asking for 11.04 version on the Macbuntu site. While waiting for the official release of Macbuntu 11.04 let’s use the available version. It works with a bit tweaks.

I have completed the installation successfully without any problem. Here is how to do it.

Step 1 Download Macbuntu 10.10

Always remember you have to disable Unity to run Macbuntu. Unity will screw up Macbuntu installation. Select Ubuntu Classic on login screen.

Download the available version of Macbuntu 10.10 here. Then extract the package to Documents folder.

Step 2 Modify Installation Script

Go to Documents folder. Change the extracted folder name to Macbuntu-11.04. It will be useful later if you need to uninstall or reinstall in the future. Edit, locate UBUVER variable, change the value to 11.04. This step is very important to allow you install Macbuntu on Natty. Open terminal then type the following commands.

cd Macbuntu-11.04
sudo gedit ./

Find the UBUVER variable, change the version to 11.04. It should be like as follows:

Save the file. Do the same for the file.

Step 3 Install the Package

Run as normal installation. I select all default option when asked.

Back to terminal and type:

Follow all steps until installation done. Reboot your PC.

Step 4 Refine Installation

You will notice that the applet on the top bar was not setup properly. By default Natty installs Indicator Applet Complete at the panel bar.

We need to change it. Remove and replace it with the correct one. Put the arrow pointer to the location near date/time at the panel. Right click on the panel, click Add to Panel. Select Indicator Applet. This one is without shutdown icon as in OSX.

Firefox 4 works perfectly for Macbuntu but the install script offers only for previous version of Firefox. You have to install Mac OSX theme manually. Select from the menu Tools, select add-ons. From the search box type Mac OSX. Select MacOSX Theme (Firefox 4) 1.6.0.

Uninstall (optional)

Make sure you have edited the script in step 1. To uninstall it is very easy. Open terminal, just run from Macbuntu-11.04 folder.

cd ~/Documents/Macbuntu-11.04

Unless I still missed something, that’s all you need to do. Let me know if you have input or additional setup I didn’t mention. Good luck.

PS: If you like to install Macbuntu in safer way please read in this post.  It adds the OSX Lion like launcher to Macbuntu make your desktop looks beautiful.



33 Responses to Install Macbuntu in Ubuntu 11.04

  1. Tobias Mann says:

    I don’t understand why people want to make there computer look like a main stream OS. Could you clarifly this for me. I have asked others about this, but I really doesn’t make any sense.

    Is it the look and feel of the Mac UI and the security and convience of Ubuntu?


  2. Admin says:

    I think your question is valid. First, yes, its about the look and feel of the Mac UI. OSX is a great OS. We all like its simple design and easy to use.

    Second, unfortunately, Apple products are close (vs open) source and expensive. That’s why many people love it and use it (the theme) in any other ways.

    Third, because of Ubuntu is opensource. Ubuntu is great OS. I believe open source speed up invention and development of something.

    I also hope one day there will be better themes than OSX with affordable price (or free) and open. We all see what’s happening to Android.

    I really appreciate to the developers who develop OSX. I also appreciate to developers of Macbuntu theme. This is their first step and its their learning phase to develop a great interface for an OS. That’s exactly what Apple team did to Xerox or MS team to Apple. Now the opensource team to the giants. They told us how to do it.

  3. chet says:

    Hello, I installed Macbuntu on 11.04. What keeps happening is everytime I reboot the bottom bar goes away. Hoe can I make it so that doesn’t happen. Also how do I edit the shortcuts on it?

  4. Admin says:

    Hi Chet,

    I also had same problem at my first try. I realized that I run the install script with unity on or you probably you change compiz settings which not compatible with Macbuntu. If that is the case, first, you have to uninstall Macbuntu. Make sure you logon with “Ubuntu classic desktop” option, then run again.

    You can set Ubuntu classic option as default, follow how to do it here:

    I like the classic desktop. I also found that Ubuntu boots and shutdowns faster with classic desktop.

    Hope it works for you.

  5. Mike Austin says:

    Thanks for this. I run Ubuntu 11.04 as the sole OS on my Macbook Pro in preference to MAC OSX. It can cause a few head scratches if a Mac user looks over my shoulder. I have tried and abandoned Unity but also tested Gnme3 on Fedora 15 – very nice.

  6. Admin says:

    Hi Mike,

    Did you really install Macbuntu on your mac? That’s cool! What you’ve done answers Tobias’ question posted earlier. Thanks for sharing.

  7. hacker.s6t says:

    I am having problems with docky. One cannot actually say a problem, because, I have not even been able to open it!
    How do I open the config dialogue box using terminal?

    And on a different note, Macbuntu is the best tool to emulate the Mac look. I’ve tried a few others too, but this is the best!


    • Admin says:

      To run Docky from terminal, just type docky on terminal. Or you can run docky in debug mode to find what is the problem with your installation: docky -d.

      You have to open the terminal via Alt-F2 instead of open a terminal window. If you run from terminal window, docky will be closed when you close the terminal.

  8. Pingback: Running MacBuntu – A Poor Mans OSX « The Persistent Weblog

  9. Vamsi Sajja says:

    Hey everything ran fine except the pointer… I get my default ubuntu mouse pointer for normal select… for all other pointer states I can see mac pointer!

  10. Jonas says:

    This tutorial is very easy. Thanks for it.

  11. Anand Roongta says:

    I’v been using the Macbuntu for some time now. I actually wanted to switch back to the ubuntu look. I tried running the uninstall script in the terminal. It gives me the Errot ” The script Couldn’t determine what version is currently installed. Exiting… ” ..

    The “Checking Ubuntu Version ,, is Passed”. I tried both the 10.10 and 11.04 uninstall scripts.

    I even used ./ force.. But to no avail..

    Please provide a solution.

    • Admin says:

      Hi, did you follow instruction above? What ubuntu version do you use?

      Make sure the version is in quotes in UBUVER variable. Can you post version section, the first two lines in your file?

      • Anand Roongta says:

        I did follow the instructions. I am using Natty . I made the changes in the script i.e changing 10.10 to 11.04.. in the install as well as uninstall script.


        UBUNTU=”Ubuntu $UBUVER”


      • Admin says:

        It looks okay to me, but what are the last two lines for? Try remove it, although I think those don’t mean anything. Macbuntu only use the first two variables UBUVER and UBUNTU to understand what version of Ubuntu you use.

        Let me know if it works.

      • Anand Roongta says:

        It did not work. I tried removing the MACBUNTU variable. Still the same error.

      • Admin says:

        Please ignore my previous comment. Leave the macbuntu version var in the script.

        If you have not reinstall ubuntu. There are tricks that might solve your problem to bring back the ubuntu desktop. You can try to run the, this will store the macbuntu files then run the again. Another option is to reinstall your ubuntu desktop. Type from terminal or if you can’t see anything on your desktop press Alt-F2.

        sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

        If you want to bring back the gnome classic desktop, type this command:

        sudo apt-get install gnome-panel

        Hope it helps bring your ubuntu back.

  12. hi, i have install macbuntu then there is error (its not macbuntu causes) then i reinstall linux without format then all of the setting is normal but there is many program was gone 😦

  13. Abbas Ali says:

    hi! thanks for the tutorial!
    i dint get black mouse pointer..:(

    • Admin says:

      Hi Abbas, sorry, I think I missed your question. I hope you already googled and found the solution. If not, here is how to solve it.

      Mouse pointer problem already there since Ubuntu 10.04. Even you cannot change it to standard available DMZ-Black. They already solved it, but appear again in Ubuntu 11.04.

      1. Edit as root the index.theme file located in usr/share/icons/default
      2. Change the line Inherits=Macbuntu-Cursors to the name of your new icon theme

      I hope that helps.

  14. Pingback: Better way to setup Macbuntu in Natty Narwhal « LangiT

  15. i have installed macbuntu but could not find the pannel setting infact if i rightclick on the pannel nthing appears
    need help

    • Admin says:

      Most probably you run Macbuntu in Ubuntu Desktop. Macbuntu only runs on Classic Desktop environment.

      Logout, at login screen you will see desktop options, choose Ubuntu Classic. Then continue to modify your panel.

  16. Hi,

    Does this theme include the Apple boot screen and allow to use same affects with compiz (wobbly windows etc) as the 10.10 version did?

  17. aditya says:

    when i run ./ i get this error bash: ./ Permission denied

    i use ubuntu 11.10..plz help!

  18. Chinmay says:

    i am gettin the same error as “Anand Roongta”
    plz help me out!!!!

  19. Prometheus says:

    Hey there, are you the author of the mac os X Lion Theme for Ubuntu? If so: First of all Thank you so much … A lot of ppl are hoping for an ubuntu 12.04 version…

  20. JJ Usher says:

    Hi! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if you knew where
    I could find a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m
    having trouble finding one? Thanks a lot!

  21. Heya! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several weeks of hard work due to no backup.

    Do you have any methods to protect against hackers?

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