View Full Version : [all variants] Ubuntu to look like Windows 98

April 19th, 2010, 08:30 AM
Hi there,

After using Ubuntu for a couple of years now, since 8.04, I've managed to convince my father to swap over as he's running Win98 and many of the websites he visits aren't working on Internet Explorer 6 any more!

The problem is, he really doesn't understand computers, and he just uses it, and it has to work.

A new GUI would also throw him. What is the best desktop environment to mimick the GUI of Win98? Also would that load on top of Gnome of KDE (I guess that'll determine whether I install Ubuntu of Kubuntu for him from the off to save hastle downloading the extra one!


April 19th, 2010, 08:50 AM
have you triend on gnome-look o kde-look or something like those?

Artificial Intelligence
April 19th, 2010, 08:55 AM
Can you use if it's winxp?

If so, here's a guide how to make ubuntu look like xp: http://ubuntu.online02.com/node/14

April 19th, 2010, 09:02 AM
I believe you shouldn't make it look like Win*, this will only make him compare and be disappointed..
He should understand Linux isn't Windows.

April 19th, 2010, 10:19 AM
While most of the desktop environment's /window managers can be configured to look like Win98, the ones that as default are closest would be IvceWM and XPDE (although XDE is, as the name suggests, more like WinXP).

But you should note that such theming will only give a cosmetic similarity to Win98, everything will still behave differently. Having familiar looks but everything else being different cold actually be more confusing than if the looks were different as well.

I would recommend instead just setting up a simplified Gnome desktop, perhaps with only one panel, no virtual desktops, Main Menu instead of the Menu Bar applet and all the important applications easily available as panel launchers. Then you could lock down the panels until your father gets a bit more familiar with the new setup, just to avoid the possible confusion from messing the desktop layout. And don't bother with Windows-lookalike themes, like I said that would most likely only make things more confusing.

robert shearer
April 19th, 2010, 10:49 AM
Never underestimate the adaptability, and desire for new and stimulating experiences, of ones parents.

Just because they appear 'square' and set in their ways, to us, does not mean they are. It might just be our perception. :)

My father has been an A-certified mechanic all his life and had only ever owned manual transmission vehicles.
Automatic transmissions were 'hopeless' simply because they were beyond his experience in operation and repair.

When he retired and no longer had to repair vehicles he surprised us all by taking an automatic for a test drive, fell in love with its ease of operation and now,6 years later, wonders why he didn't get one sooner.

Can you set up a dual boot for your father so he can 'test-drive' Ubuntu for himself ?.
He may just find a whole lot of uses and apps and settings that you've never known of.......

April 19th, 2010, 11:29 AM

April 19th, 2010, 11:41 AM
Hi all,

Thanks for your comments. I hope he will adjust, but fear he will struggle. For example, I've tried to explain to him many times about web browsers - that you view a page on the internet through a browser, so if you look at the google, or any other site, its the same program running on your computer (the browser), just looking at a different site. He doesn't get it. He's got all his favourite websites as bookmarks, and thinks each is a different application on his computer. He likes using the net, but doesn't understand how it works - see what I'm up against! lol.

Similarly, if you tell him to open, for example Word, by clicking start - programs - Word, he'll do it. Then you tell him to open Excel the same way. He can't do it. ie he seems unable to link that the two things are the same, just click the different program at the end. Consequently all his programs are desktop icon launches - which I'd also set up for im on Linux.

Anyway, thanks for the advice. Think I'll just do a live-CD and see if he can handle the GUI....

April 26th, 2010, 01:27 AM
Go here its ubuntu skined to look like xp closest to win 98 I can think of http://www.ylmf.org/en/