A listing of random software, tips, tweaks, hacks, and tutorials I made for Ubuntu

Make XFCE4 look a bit like Unity

I love the Unity interface, but my graphics card recently started breaking down, so I had to use Xubuntu. It was a simple job to make the panels look like unity, but the appmenu and the overlay scrollbars were a headache. So I decided to cut those features out.


To make your panel look like the panel in the screenshot above:

  1. Type in a Terminal window:
    xfce4-panel -q
    killall -KILL xfconfd
    killall -KILL xfsettingsd
    cd ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml
    mv xfce4-panel.xml xfce4-panel.xml.bak
  2. Log out and log back in (killall -KILL xfce4-session)

If you had any problems with this post, feel free to leave a comment!


8 responses to “Make XFCE4 look a bit like Unity

  1. phreetoz September 5, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    I liked your previous background better :)

    • phreetoz September 5, 2011 at 10:58 pm

      btw, thanks for the update, i like the unity style you made.

      • Anonymous Meerkat September 5, 2011 at 11:01 pm

        Thanks. I’m still trying to see how to change the scrollbars and the menubars.

        I have a lot of TRON: Legacy backgrounds, so I just change them when I feel like it :-)

  2. Andrey September 6, 2011 at 4:33 am

    And what about global menu?

    • Anonymous Meerkat September 6, 2011 at 1:14 pm

      I have no idea how to do that in XFCE4 :-(

  3. David Sugar September 8, 2011 at 8:31 am

    I have made use of the xfce4 vertical panel also. It is a very lovely capability. But I have also come to think unity, with it’s reliance on a global menu, is fundamentally broken since it has to break application behaviors and patch every toolkit and some apps to support it. It is possible to do something that I think would be far better than unity in xfce4.

    Since all the window controls are already being moved to the left in Ubuntu, imagine a right side vertical dock, and a “wing panel” in the upper right corner with the date/time, some controls, and notify area that is always the “top” window and ignored for placement. When an application is maximized, the wing panel then simply overlays the already unused part of the application’s title bar! You get all the real benefits of maximizing vertical space when maximizing apps, and none of the global menu issues or broken application behaviors that unity introduces. To get an even more unity-like dock behavior on the right, you could use a xfce4 wing panel and a vertical cairodock (or maybe awn).

    • Anonymous Meerkat April 17, 2013 at 11:56 pm

      Sorry for my late reply! Interesting idea… So the upper-right wing panel would be moved to the left if the titlebar controls are on the right? Or am I not getting you?

  4. Pingback: Fazer o XFCE ficar mais parecido com o Unity « :.

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