I have just installed Elementary OS (5.0) in a laptop which is otherwise booting to W10 and Linux Mint.

I've never been a Mac user but I was intrigued when people said EO was "very like Mac". And after installing it I find that it isn't really very much like Mac visually, compared for example to another Linux distro which I had a look at many years ago.

What about the nice little coloured buttons "minimise, maxmimise, close", or the kind of metallic look of dialogs? What about the way the icons in the bottom bar (or whatever you call it) sort of jump up and down when loading? Even the icons (for the various default installed apps on the bottom bar) look rather flat and boring. Nothing like the lovely shiny "bling", as we say in the UK, you get with Mac.

Is this maybe something to do with copyright? Would someone get sued if it looked more like Mac? Or is it actually difficult to do? I'm puzzled.

Does anyone know of any enhancements (skins, themes, or whatever these might be called) which give a better Mac look, please point me in the right direction.

  • Just NO :p I mean this is linux, you can do anything, but then elementary will no logner be elementary. Also macOS is terrible OS, I have it at work now. – jena Nov 15 '19 at 16:01

I love elementary OS, and use it my self (and have) for a long time now. However, I would not recommend it for this endeavor. I'd go with something that is highly customizable (and meant to be customized) like Kubuntu, Xubuntu, etc.

Either way, there's a package called MacBuntu Which will give you a Mac OS X theme and icon theme.

And something called elementary tweaks Which will allow you to edit a lot of things regarding visual behaviour (including choosing the new theme and icon theme)

Id recommend trying using it as it is for a while though, it can take some getting used to, but it does have a really great design and incredible usability.


Out of the top of my head, I can recommend this short YouTube video. It contains a lot of information on apps and themes you'd need to install and configure in order to get a mac-like look and feel (window controls position and colors, dock animations, icon colors...).

To that, I would also add the mac-like gestures for the touchpad by using the instructions in this GitHub repository (three-finger navigation and pinch to zoom).

There are a plethora of other resources on the topic online, and numerous prebuilt packages that will deliver the macOS experience, but, in my experience, they do tend to break the functionality and consistency of the OS. My advice would be to setup a virtual elementary OS machine using Gnome Boxes, create a snapshot to be able to easily start from scratch, use that machine to experiment with different themes and apps, and when you're satisfied, replicate the setup on your laptop. If you get the time, feel free to publish here a list of the customizations you made, I believe there are some of us here looking for something like that.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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