Yes. You just need to make sure that the JAR with custom L&F classes is in the classpath and specify the --laf option when starting NB.

To add the JAR with L&F classes to the classpath, use the --cp:p option.

Alternatively, to force NB to use the Java cross-platform L&F (Metal/Ocean), specify javax.swing.plaf.metal.MetalLookAndFeel as the L&F class.

Note: NB is not being regularly tested with alternate look and feel implementations.Various implementations may or may not work well.


Running with the JGoodies' Plastic XP look and feel:

  netbeans --cp:p C:\looks-1.2.2.jar 
     --laf com.jgoodies.plaf.plastic.PlasticXPLookAndFeel

Running with the winlaf look and feel:

 netbeans --cp:p C:\winlaf-0.5.1.jar 

Running NB on MacOS X, but using the Metal L&F:



so that the line beginning netbeans_default_options includes the option:

--laf javax.swing.plaf.metal.MetalLookAndFeel

Source: NetBeans User FAQ