Friday, December 16, 2005

Obsessed with Mac - on Linux

What can I say, I love the Mac GUI and some features like the drag on drop approach to installing software in the apps folder. Its not just me; there seems to be a growing Mac craze among some friends and office colleges.

Yet my heart is with GNU/Linux, and the last couple of days, I have been somewhat busy customizing it to a near Mac experience. Baghira is the main KDE theme engine for Mac wannabe's like myself. It provides few tools, among which one I simply use quite often called Baghira Starter. Its quite useful in that if you can remember the beginning of a command or even an application category, it will auto complete and enable you to launch it. Gone are the days, straining your eyes looking for an application among the many in the K menu (or Start button in the windoze lingo).

mac_linux

Unfortunately to get a better Macperience, you also need to install some additional software.

- A Mac like application launch bar. There are some, such as Kxdocker, Ksmoothbar or some found in Super Karamba. But none are perfect. I ended up using something called engage which is part of the awesome E17 desktop.

- Kompose is a Compose clone found on MacOSX that allows you to switch between applications. You can even configure this app to respond, when you move the mouse cursor to one corner, something I do on the Mac.

- Finally while experimental and quite slow, get the latest version of xcompmgr (X composite Manager) for a drop down shadow effect.

- Though I didn't install it, for a drag-n-drop approach to installing apps, similar to the Mac DMG way, have a look at Klik and Auto Package.

There is a great HowTo on how you can customize KDE. If you prefer GNome, not to worry. Just head on over to www.gnome-apps.org and search for gnomac.

That's it! A near Mac like experience.

5 comments:

drac said...

Another, slightly more lightweight method of achieving the same thing is to use XFCE and the Aqua-ish window decoration. XFCE has the same dock that Mac OS does by default.

Also, you don't need Karamba - the default KDE dock can be resized and tweaked so as to be almost identical to the Mac OSX dock.

The only thing you'd miss out with XFCE is the rubbery bouncing animation when something is clicked.

I share your Mac addiction to some extent and I've been running XFCE like this for quite a while. I setup KDE as I described for a friend and she was quite happy with the setup. It's not exactly Mac, but close enough.

Now, if _only_ someone would come up with a nice Expose clone for Linux... my last scrap of Mac envy would be over and done with.

Deep_Blue said...

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Bud said...

Something I forgot to mention is to install kompose that allows you to get Expose like application switching. Though its a bit buggy and slow, it works ok. I even turned on the Xcomposite extensions on Xorg and got it to preview a video while it was playing.

Next to get a Spotlight like desktop search, I installed Beagle. The new version is quite good with support for inotify interface provided by the newer kernels that enable an app to be notified when new files are added/removed instantly.

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