Give Your Ubuntu a Mac Makeover with Zukimac Theme

Aside from being powerful, Linux is hugely customizable; you can customize it to the core. For those of you who love the Mac OS X look and feel, and love to have it in your Linux, there exists a theme called Zukimac that gives Linux a Mac-like makeover. In this article, we will discuss a few details of the theme along with how to download and install it.

Zukimac is a GTK 3 theme, which means that it supports Linux distros that use Gnome or Gnome-based desktop environments. Unlike many other themes that claim to transform your Linux desktop into Mac OS, this theme does the work almost perfectly, and doesn’t look like a half-hearted attempt, giving an impression that the author has poured in a lot of thought and hard work in it.

Note: This tutorial is done on Ubuntu 14.04.

Here are the steps you need to follow in order to properly download and install the Zukimac theme:

1. Download the theme from the website.

2. The downloaded file should be in the form of a compressed .zip file; uncompress it.

3. Now copy the extracted contents to the “.themes” directory, which can be found in the home directory of a specific user. As “.themes” is a hidden directory, you can hit “Ctrl + H” to display all the hidden files/directories in your home directory.

4. In case the “.themes” directory doesn’t exist in the home directory, just create a directory by that name and copy the extracted contents into the newly created directory.

5. If you want to enable the theme globally (i.e., make it active for all the users), copy the extracted contents to “/usr/share/themes” directory. In addition, hit “Alt + F2” and run:

gksudo nautilus /usr/share/themes

This will open up a file manager with root permission. Copy the extracted contents here too.

6. Now, you’ll need an extra tool that lets you tweak some advanced Gnome-related settings. One such tool is “gnome-tweak-tool”, which you can download using the command:

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

7. You’ll also need some GTK engines for the theme to function properly. You can download these engines using the following command:

sudo apt-get install gtk2-engines-murrine gtk2-engines-pixbuf

8. For a complete Mac OS look, you would also want to set up a Mac-like dock. For this, you can try installing Docky (Ubuntu users can download it from the Software Centre).

9. Lastly, if you are using Unity, head to “System Settings -> Appearances -> Behaviour -> Enable” to auto-hide the left sidebar or launcher.

10. Now, launch the gnome tweak tool (downloaded earlier), using theĀ “gnome-tweak-tool” command and then switch the value of GTK+ to Zukimac. This should activate the theme, although if it doesn’t, just do a quick reboot and you should be good.

Here is how the theme looked on my Ubuntu 14.04:


  • Since the theme is Gnome-specific, KDE users are out of luck
  • The theme doesn’t include an icon theme to complete the Mac OS look

Aside from the couple of limitations mentioned above, Zukimac is an excellent Mac-styled theme for Linux. If you are a Mac user who’s looking forward to learning or working on Linux, I’d strongly recommend this theme, as it’ll definitely make you feel at home.