I have been developing under GNU/Linux systems for the last 10 years. Unfortunately my company is going to move developers to macOS systems soon.

Although for most of the part I should be ok (after all, people use programs, not Operative Systems), there are a couple of problems that I need to solve, most of them around having a desktop similar to the one in Linux Mint (Cinnamom), but actually anything looking like gnome2 would do.

Is it possible to install a Linux-like desktop in macOS (or maybe configure macOS to look like a Linux desktop). Essentially I am looking for a simple bottom bar with a couple of links to main applications and a list of opened windows (see image).

enter image description here

Is this possible?

I have searched for this, and what I tend to find is the opposite process, how to make Linux desktops look like macOS desktops...

  • 1
    It does not have to look exactly like linux mint, but is it a least possible to have a theme with a normal app bar instead of the osx one? Aug 2, 2017 at 0:28

2 Answers 2


Just an alternative viewpoint to consider:

Trying to make MacOS appear and behave like Linux (or like Windows, or vice versa) is doomed to failure, because at some point the illusion will break down. There are things that are completely, inherently, and essentially different, which cannot be changed.

The more you pretend that they are the same, the bigger the shock or obstacle when those differences emerge.

I know we all have muscle memory for shortcuts and positions of things, but it doesn't take long to train yourself. The human brain is more programmable than any computer, after all.

  • Also well written apps use Operating Systems APIs to integrate, this keeps all good apps behaving similar to each other eg Xcode, Visual Stuio Code, Pages, Numbers all have a similar menu and keyboard structure. Linux and other Unixes are the odd ones out as they usually don't provide guidelines for writing apps and so they all behave differently.
    – mmmmmm
    Jul 6, 2021 at 10:11

Have a look at ubar. It gives you similar style task-bar.

But if you really want to get benefit from macOS, check out these great tools: Launchbar, iStatmenus

For discovering other useful utilities, checkout Macupdate

  • Alfred 3 is a nice Launchbar alternative and, in my view, easier to use and more comprehensive. That said, Launchbar remains free and Alfred, while free for basic functions, requires a purchase for the "good" stuff!
    – A.fm.
    Aug 2, 2017 at 1:35
  • What are main differences in LaunchBar and Dropzone?
    – Natsfan
    Aug 2, 2017 at 3:09
  • What productivity benefits does iStatMenus provide?
    – benwiggy
    Jul 6, 2021 at 8:56

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