How to make Cinnamon look like Windows XP

  2 weeks ago


This tutorial will teach you how to create a pixel-perfect imitation of the Windows XP desktop in Cinnamon. It was written with Cinnamon version 4.6.7 in mind and is mostly based on themes developed by the b00merang project (check them out!).


Window Borders, Controls & Desktop

Start by downloading the Windows XP theme from project b00merang: link here. Copy the Windows XP Luna folder into ~/.themes. You can also copy the other folders as well if you want some of the other default Windows XP themes. You can see what each one looks like on the theme's GitHub page.


Then download the Windows XP icon set: link here. Copy the Windows-XP-3.1 folder into ~/.icons.

Start Menu

The closest thing to the Windows XP Start Menu is CinnVIIStarkMenu. You can get it by going to Applets > Download > Search for its name. Also, download this JSON file containing the settings it needs. On line 167, replace username with your own username.


Install ttf-mscorefonts and Tahoma by following this guide.

"Bliss" wallpaper

I'll leave downloading that as an exercise to you ;).

Setting things up

Go to the Themes menu (or type cinnamon-settings themes into a terminal) and select the Windows XP themes for Window borders, Icons, Controls & Desktop.

Make sure you only have one panel, on the bottom of the screen. Set its height to 30px. We will now refer to it as the taskbar.

Right-click on the taskbar > Applets > Manage, then look for CinnVIIStarkMenu and add it to the taskbar. Move it to the leftmost edge of the taskbar (you need to be in "Panel edit mode" which you can enable from the right-click menu of the taskbar). If you had another menu before, remove it. Right-click on this new menu, then Configure > Click the 3 lines on the top right > Import from a file > Find the JSON file winxp_settings_for_menu.json.

At this point, we could also add the Quick-Launch menu using the Panel Launchers applet, but it the b00merang themes do not cover it properly yet.

Next, go to the settings for the "Grouped window list" applet.

Work in progress...

For reference, this website contains many screenshots of Windows XP.