This tutorial explains how any Ubuntu user can give their Ubuntu desktop a Windows Vista or Windows 7 Aero theme. This theme is sure to make your desktop much better in the way of appearance as well as give it the Aero theme that all of you ex-Windows users are sure to be missing. Read below to find out how you can employ the Aero theme on your Ubuntu computer in a few easy steps.

The first step you must take in order to bring back your beloved Aero effect is to open the “Run” window. To open the “Run menu you must minimize or close all of your currently open windows. Once you have reached your desktop you must use the key combination below to open the “Run” window.

Alt + F2    (Hold down the “Alt” key and then press the “F2” key once, now release the “Alt” key)


Once you have entered the key combination above correctly, you will be presented with a small, rectangular window at the top of the screen. In this small window there will be a text box. In this text box you must enter exactly the text below:



Once you have entered the above text you must click “Run” or hit the “Enter” key on your keyboard. When you hit “Enter” or click “Run” the text editor will open. In this text editor you must click the “Open” button in order to open a file. Once you have clicked “Open” you will be presented with a small window, which you must use to navigate to a file named “metacity_theme_active_opacity”. To find the file you must navigate through the folder as shown below:

apps –> gwd –> metacity_theme_active_opacity

Note: The exact location of your “apps” folder may vary depending on your computer setup, thus I have not included exact “root to directory” instructions. You must modify the instructions to apply to your particular computer system.


Once you have navigated to and then opened the “metacity_theme_active_opacity” file you must change the value from the default “1” to “0.75” or lower, depending on the level of transparency you desire. For example:

Value 1 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1
Opacity 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10%


As you can see in the table above, the value that you change “1” to will ultimately change the transparency overall. Once you have chosen the value you would like and then replaced “1” with the value you have chosen, you must save the file by using the picture of the Floppy Disc in the top of the text editor’s window.


Now that you have edited the value and the document is saved you must click the “start” button in the taskbar then click “System” then click “Preferences” then click “CompizConfig Settings Manager” as shown below:

click “start” button in taskbar –> System –> Preferences –> CompizConfig Settings Manager


Once you have opened the “CompizConfig Settings Manager” as shown above, you will be presented with a window. In this window you must avert your eyes to the left panel and click “Effects”. Once you have clicked “Effects” a new screen will appear in the window and you must then click the box next to the text “Blur Windows” in order to place a check in the box.


Once you have checked the box beside the text “Blur Windows” you can then click the “Close” button on the window", which should be a large “X” on a button in the top left of the window. Once you have clicked close the transparency effect should apply to most windows, if none of the windows you open have the transparency effect enabled you must restart your computer and then log in to Ubuntu again.

Congratulations, you have just enabled Aero transparency style effects on your Ubuntu computer system. Enjoy your newfound Ubuntu customization knowledge.