Firefox is arguably the best web browser ever. And it’s made out of “organic”, open-source programming code, just like most of Ubuntu is. But while Ubuntu itself is becoming more “Mac-like,” with a streamlined, less visually-cluttered interface, Firefox kinda stands out as an island of visual noise. Especially in Ubuntu’s new Unity interface, where its menu bar doesn’t even work right.
This can be a good thing if you’re okay with it! You can change Firefox’s look around with Firefox Personas, just like you change your desktop wallpaper in Ubuntu. But if you want your Ubuntu desktop to look and feel like a Mac — visually streamlined and unified — then you have some tweaking to do.
Here’s what I did, and what I used!
The Hide Menubar plugin for Firefox
I use the Global Menu Applet, also known as the “Mac menu bar.” It puts the File, Edit, etc. menus up at the top of the screen like they are on a Mac. Ubuntu’s new Unity netbook interface has something like this by default, but you can add it to your Ubuntu desktop by using the instructions in this article I wrote.
Firefox, unfortunately, doesn’t work with the Mac menu bar, for weird technical reasons that I hope they’re going to fix. In the meantime, you can install the Hide Menubar plugin for Firefox, by going to this link and clicking on “Add to Firefox”. This does like it says in its name, and gets rid of the unsightly Windows-style menu bar. You can get it back by pressing Alt, though, when needed.
The eFirefox plugin
eFirefox is the latest version of the Elementary Firefox style, based on DanRabbit’s Elementary-OS theme for Ubuntu. It streamlines your Firefox and puts many of the things from the menu bar into “Page” and “Tools” buttons, which blend in very well. (If one or the other doesn’t show up, right-click on a blank spot just outside Firefox’s search box and location bar and click “Customize”. You can add them to it that way.)
You can download eFirefox by going to this link and clicking on “Add to Firefox”.
The Stylish plugin for Firefox
If you’re using Elementary-OS, or the default Ambiance or Radiance themes for Ubuntu, you’ve probably got the close / minimize / maximize window buttons on the left instead of on the right. This is how they do it on a Mac, although I admit I’m not sure why.
“Mac-like” styling is all about visual unity and simplicity, though, so it’s kind of annoying to find that the “X” that closes a Firefox tab is still on the right-hand side. To get around this, first install the Stylish plugin for Firefox. The next step is kind of complicated, though, and may require some trial and error. This forum thread shows some things that might work, although I suggest you read through it before trying any of their suggestions.
That last step is only there if you’re really concerned about it. I don’t completely remember what I did to get Stylish to work, just that it was complicated. And since gedit and some of my other apps have the close tab button on the right anyway, it may not make sense to go to that length just for Firefox. I mention it, though, in case somebody’s interested.
Do you have any questions or tips to share? Scroll down and leave a comment; and whether your Firefox (or Ubuntu) is “Mac-like” or not, I hope you have fun with it!