HOWTO Make Ubuntu Look Like Windows Vista

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Download Vista font

Download Microsoft Segoe UI Font from here

Unzip the downloaded archive and place the two .ttf files in your .fonts directory.

You can find it in your user folder. /home/$USERNAME/.fonts/

For example: /home/ruchi/.fonts

If the directory .fonts does not exist, create it.

Download Aero-clone theme

Download the Aero-clone theme from or here

Install the Beryl and GTK theme as usual


Download the nuoveXT-aero iconset

Download the nuoveXT-aero iconset from here


Change the gnome-panel size to 32px height.For this you need to Right-click on the gnome panel (the taskbar at the top of the screen) select properties

Change the size to 32 and click on close

Vista start-button screenlet

Download and install "Desktop Screenlets" and you can download from here

Install the "orb" screenlet (The orb screenlet is included in the .tar.gz from or from here .Place the orb screenlet above the main-menu button and lock the position.

Vista Wallpapers

If you want to make the experience complete download some Vista wallpapers for your desktop.

Download vista wallpapers from here or here or here

Install cursor to aero-drop

Download aero-drop (Aero Mouse Cursor with Drop Shadow) from here

Extract the archive and move the folder to ~/.icons/ .

Go to System---> Preferences---> Appearance---> Theme---> Customize---> Pointer---> aero-drop---> Close---> Close.

Then, go to ccsm (if you don't have it install it with "sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager").

General Options---> Cursor theme---> aero-drop

Close ccsm.
That's it you are ready for vista look for your ubuntu desktop

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38 Responses

  1. Renato says:

    I found one person who prefer the Vista appearance… Free tip: or You can change every little thing in Ubuntu, enjoy it! Hugs

  2. glag says:

    thank u for this tutorial but I can’t see why I should make my lovely Ubuntu like a garbage (windows vista).

  3. xyz says:

    who to hell would like to change the look of linux to that shitty “mawworm”

  4. admin says:

    this will show how flexible ubuntu can be and this is entirely users choice

  5. Red Oscar says:

    How about a tutorial to make Windows Vista look like Ubuntu. Then all my friends won’t think I’m so lame.

  6. Karl says:

    i dont get peoples who wants make linux look like something else… windows or macos… why u need this! linux is beautiful!

  7. nobody says:

    What everyone seems to forget is the poor slob (like me!) who is working in a “Windows only” work environment, but needs or wants to use Linux. Being able to camouflage your operating system so that it looks like a Microsoft product when it is in fact Linux is tremendously useful in such a case! I know that it’s a compromise, but better that compromise than living in the hell that is Windows!

  8. Chris Chester says:

    Thanks this is what my wife was looking for. She loves the look of Vista but has come to love her new Ubuntu OS. Thank you for this. Also any printable instructions that include the address for the sites you link to so I can print it for later? Thanks again.

  9. Wazzup says:

    No screenshots of the result ?

  10. prasad says:

    Hey If I change ubuntu to look like vista would it give me same problem as vista. kidding………

  11. Denzien says:

    It would be nice if language like,”Install in the usual way” was abolished for people who might not know what “the usual way” is.

  12. pompeyrodney says:

    Can you please amplify what you mean by “Install the Beryl and GTK theme as usual”, don’t assume your readers have the necessary knowledge please, I in particular need all teh help I can get !!

  13. admin says:


    For the Beryl theme

    You don’t need Beryl. Install Emerald (The Beryl themes are Emerald themes )

    sudo apt-get install emerald

    Open Emerald by typing in a terminal “emerald-theme-manager”, click on Import and find the theme.

    2) For the GTK theme

    Go to “System > Preferences > Appearance > Install” and install the theme.

    To apply the Emerald theme, after you imported it, you must type in a terminal

    emerald --replace

    Sometimes emerald might crash and you don’t have frames on your windows, press Alt + F2 and type “emerald --replace” again.

  14. Nissan says:

    Can i change Ubuntu Back to what it looked like originally?

  15. Jacob says:

    @ Nissan:
    For Gnome, go to system->preferences->appearance
    Then click on the human theme, select the Heron for the desktop and whatever else you would want to change back.

  16. Frank says:

    Reading articles like makes me wanna customize my desktop again.
    Customizing Ubuntu is really addictive.
    I spend days customizing/tweaking/fine-tweaking my desktop/splash screen/gdm.
    Don’t go to, It is highly addictive!!!

  17. Rothguard says:

    could someone PLEASE post an updated version of these instructions with working links
    im currently reading 4 copies of this page on other sites trying to peice it all together

  18. admin says:


    Updated with the working links

  19. Ar4miS says:

    done this for my mother. I installed ubuntu on her laptop but keep looking like vista cause she used to the vista graphics…

  20. Greg says:

    I can’t figure out how to install the Orb theme. I’ve installed screenlets (the orb theme is not included by default)… nothing i’ve tried has worked. Can someone point me in the right direction?

  21. Sam says:

    hi greg,
    first of all, try re-installing the screenlet try
    once you have it on your desktop, simply drag it to where you need it to be and right click then click Lock position
    I’m not sure myself how to actually get it on the desktop in the 1st place though. Hope this helps

  22. Reuel says:

    newbie to ubuntu here, did the install system>preference>appearance but did not apply it immediately, now i cannot find the aero theme. emerald one worked fine.

  23. JT says:

    I use this theme because I use both Windows and Ubuntu. I like things to be… what’s the word? Consistent. I like switching from XP to Ubuntu via VirtualBox to be smooth.

  24. Reuel says:

    What GTK theme engine does this run on I have installed all the ones I could find in the synaptic package manager and it still say I do not have the required engine. Help.

  25. Todd says:

    I couldn’t get Orb working either, so I used GnoMenu instead.

  26. itics says:

    O_o hurm… guyz…

    can i use this method with my xubuntu???
    im using gutsy 7.10

  27. Jane says:

    Honestley why would you want it to look like vista….Go “Buy” The disk if you want it so bad. Im getting Ubuntu in Dec. Plus It’s Still gonna act like Ubuntu…Becuase it IS! So instead don’t act like you realy need it…… Plus go on E-bay and buy Vista PC …My brother has done it…Great Remarks By the way people.

  28. Paul says:

    Works well… thanks for the how to 🙂

  29. Matt says:

    For the fonts…
    will the .fontconfig folder work?
    I’m using 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope.

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