Make Gnome 3 Look Like Mac OS X in Ubuntu 17.04, 16.10

Last updated: May 17, 2017

gnome shell

Along with a few Gnome Shell extensions, you can now easily make Gnome Desktop look like Mac OS X with ‘Gnome-OSX’, a gnome-specific GTK3 theme.

Gnome-OSX is initially based on the Arc-theme-files. The goal is to implement the feel of OSX on the gnome-applications.

The theme mainly features:

  • Nautilus with blurred sidebar.
  • Same theming across GTK2 and GTK3.
  • Shell theme with white dock and slighty dark top-bar
  • Shell theme with dark dock and dark top-bar

Gnome Shell in OS X style

To get this look and feel in Ubuntu 17.04, Ubuntu 16.10 Gnome Shell, do following steps:

1. Download the ‘Gnome-OSX’ theme from the link below:

Download Gnome-OSX

Under Files tab, grab the first package or the next 4 packages.

Extract the tarball and all you need is the following 4 folders:

  • Gnome-OSX-Dark-Shell
  • Gnome-OSX-Light-Shell
  • Gnome-OSX-II-2-6
  • Gnome-OSX-II-2-6-NT

2. Open file browser, press Ctrl+H (view hidden folders) and go to .themes folder (create the folder if not exist).

Then move the 4 extracted folders to .themes:

3. Apply the GTK theme and Shell theme via Gnome Tweak Tool:

See this tutorial if shell theme is disabled

4. For the icons, I’m using the macOS icons available for download at the link below:

Download macOS icons

Also, extract and move the result folder to .icons folder (create it if not exist) in user home folder. And apply the icon theme via Gnome Tweak Tool.

5. For the bottom dock, go to the link below and install ‘Simple Dock’ extension:

or manually install the extension by following the project description.

6. For the top-left corner Application menu, install this gnome shell extension.

7. To move window buttons to left, open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences button-layout "close,minimize,maximize:"


I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu in 2007 and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please comment to let me know if the tutorial is outdated! And, notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me via [email protected] Buy me a coffee:

5 responses to Make Gnome 3 Look Like Mac OS X in Ubuntu 17.04, 16.10

  1. Useful article, But unfortunately the bottom dock is no longer compatible with latest version of ubuntu.

  2. If you want a Mac just buy one of your own, instead of stealing Apple’s artwork. Thief.

    And no broken linux distro ever ‘feels’ like using a Mac (no matter what stolen ‘theme’ is bolted on), which you would know if you’d ever used a Mac for any length of time.

    • This is great work but why would anyone want a beautiful system like Linux look like a crappy, ugly, dull, complicated, grey Mac? Gnome whoops Mac’s butt everyday (and on Sunday). And to “sigh” Mac stole from Linux first, we’re just taking it back.

    • get with the program October 29, 2017 at 2:21 pm

      You don’t know your own glib , Apple stole the themes long ago. Enjoy your proprietary hardware which it entirely planned obsolescence. I could buy any Mac but I don’t want one.