First, we're going to install a Windows 7 theme pack. Copy and paste the following commands into the terminal window in order, pressing Enter after each command to run it. The first command adds a personal package archive (PPA) to your system that Ubuntu can install packages from. The second command downloads information about the newly available packages, and the third command installs the Windows 7 theme--no installation wizard required. Typing sudo before each command allows it to run with root permissions, similar to running a program as administrator in Windows.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:upubuntu-com/gtk3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install win2-7
The Win2-7 theme is now installed. To enable the icon, window border, and widget theme, copy and paste the following commands into the terminal. As you run each command, you'll see your desktop gradually transform and become more Windows-like.
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-theme 'Win2-7-theme'
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences theme 'Win2-7-theme'
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface icon-theme 'Win2-7-icons'
The taskbar-like launcher at the left side of your screen will still be a different color. Never fear--like Windows 7's taskbar, the launcher derives its colors from your desktop wallpaper. For this article, we'll use Windows 7's default wallpaper, which you can find all over the Internet. (I snagged my copy from an old ZDNet post.) If you're using Firefox on Ubuntu, right-click the full-size wallpaper image in your browser and select Set as Desktop Background.
You'll also want to move the window management buttons--close, minimize, and maximize-- located at the top-left corner of each window by default. Use this command to put them in a Windows-style order:
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences button-layout 'menu:minimize,maximize,close'
To remove the Mac-style global menu bar and put the menu bar (containing File/Edit/View) back into each individual application window, run this command:
sudo apt-get autoremove appmenu-gtk appmenu-gtk3 appmenu-qt indicator-appmenu
You'll have to log out and log back in for this change to take effect. Use the button at the top-right corner of your screen to log out.
Do you like what you see? This is as close to Windows 7 as we're going to get with Ubuntu's default Unity desktop environment. If it doesn't quite scratch your itch, keep reading to learn how to create a more traditional Windows 7-style look using the Xfce desktop environment.
Installing and customizing Xfce