Best Windows Look Alike Linux Distributions For Beginners

Best Linux distributions that look like Windows

When a long time Windows user plans to switch to Linux, he/she generally wants a Linux like Windows 7 or a Linux like Windows XP.

This is understandable as switching to Linux from Windows could be overwhelming. If one gets a familiar interface, it becomes a bit easier to navigate. This is not just my opinion, people actually Google for Linux that looks like Windows.

Now the question arises, is there actually any Linux distro like Windows? And the answer is yes, there are Linux OS like Windows and we are going to see the best Windows look alike Linux distros.

Best Linux distributions that look like Windows

While many long time Linux users scorn at the idea of a Linux distribution imitating Windows’ looks.

But making the switch from Windows to Linux is not always easy for everyone. Partially because our computer experience is built on Windows and adapting to Linux sometimes needs a tad bit effort. And if looks could help, why not?

Anyway, Linux is all about sharing and caring. That’s why we at It’s FOSS, had a little team brainstorming session to bring the best and convenient distros for people coming from Windows. Let’s get right into it, shall we?

Chalet OS

If windows 10 made you switch to Linux and you’re a fan of the old Windows 7 looks and feel, Chalet OS is definitely for You.

Chalet OS home

See what I mean? Chalet OS offers the comfort and homely feel of Windows 7 coupled with the stability, customizability, security and other awesome features of Ubuntu 16.04.

Extensive care has been taken to make Chalet OS a native experience to Windows users. You can see the Window detailing has been customized to make it look exactly like Windows 7.

Windows like borders

Chalet OS developers understand it can be a scary experience switching to Linux from Windows after spending our entire life on Windows machines. That’s why they have put in some home grown applications that make this switch so easy.

Style changer

I know You might have made some heavy changes to the way your Windows PC looked and might want to have the same experience on Linux too.

That’s where the Chalet OS Style Changer comes in. With so many presets, you can set almost all the themes offered on Windows here too. That too with just a click. Want more customization? Hey, It’s Linux. You’re welcome.

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Then there’s the Chalet OS “Start Point”. I suggest you have a look at this simple yet useful piece of work even if you’re a seasoned Linux user. For beginners, this software will launch your Linux experience light years ahead (I know, I know it’s a measure of distance and not time. But It just sticks brah ;p).

Start Point

Want to know what Linux’s got in the gaming department. Check out Start Point. Or need some productivity stuff? Check out Start Point. Start Point is this guide to applications on Linux. It has got hand-picked titles which I can guaranty, will satisfy all your computing needs. It’s really a smart inclusion to Chalet OS.

Start Point

Chalet OS might be created with the intention of helping out Windows refugees adjust to Linux, But it’s not at all a bridge. It is a complete Home and Business computing solution in itself.

If you are thinking of running a Window like Linux on your PC, Chalet OS would be my first choice to burn you a DVD or a Live USB. Go with it already!

Zorin OS

The thing about changing operating systems is, a lot of habits and muscle memory thingies we formed on our old OS really become a nuisance and become huge hindrances in our adjusting with the new OS. For example, hitting the F5 button repeatedly, checking for virus everytime we plug in a pen drive and… Okay okay, I’ll stop chiding Windows.

But you do agree it’s an issue. Is in not?

Enter Zorin OS. Ask any seasoned Linux user which OS a Windows refugee must get and most of the time it will be Zorin OS. Why ? Let’s see some reasons.

Zorin OS

Zorin OS is a Linux distro like Windows in terms of the looks. The Start like application launcher, The bottom, icon indicator area, they’re all made to make the newcomers feel at home. There are lot other tools and applications that make Zorin OS a good choice.

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Another thing I want to talk about is applications. Well, when I first had installed Ubuntu, I had tried to install Chrome by running the windows installer for the same (Without Wine too).  Go ahead take a moment and have a laugh.

But I bet someone else can relate to me. The package managers can be a puzzle on Linux. That’s why Zorin comes with a very big list of day to day applications pre-installed. A good set of games, Rhythmbox music player, GIMP for image editing, OpenShot video editor, Firefox, LibreOffice and many more applications will allow you to do all the regular stuff without any further issue.

Office on Zorin

Zorin OS has Software Center and you can use it to get any software you want with just a few clicks. And if you want to install Windows software on Linux, Why the hell not? Zorin’s got Wine and PlayOnLinux up and running and they’ll handle windows software effortlessly.

Zorin OS has a tool called the “Zorin Look Changer” which is basically a theme changer and customizer on steroids. It lets You change basic looks, then chose presets like Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Ubuntu, Mac and more. See for yourself.

Zorin Mac looks

Zorin OS has a lot more such customizations and useful tools, like the Zorin Web Browser Manger which will help inexperienced Linux freshers install their favorite browser quickly and easily.

Zorin OS developers have done quite a brainy work here. Even my teammates here at It’s FOSS suggest Zorin to all the Windows users who want to check Linux out. It is great.


If you looked up the web or discussed about moving to Linux, you probably already came across Ubuntu. I do agree Ubuntu is a good place to start your Linux journey. But I’d suggest you try Kubuntu instead of the default Ubuntu that has Unity desktop environment.

Confused about various types of Ubuntu? Kubuntu is a flavor (a variant featuring some changes in per-installed software list as well as the default desktop environment) of Ubuntu. It runs the KDE which is polished and elegant.


Ubuntu has very different desktop layout than that of Windows.  This combined with other differences can be a lot to take in. If you are running Kubuntu, at least the menu and indicators won’t be new and you’ll be more comfortable with the desktop.

Kubuntu menu

The application launcher is very accessible and finding applications by navigating the sub menus is absolutely handy. Once you know what applications you will be using, you can invoke the search by pressing alt+spacebar. Start to type in the application name and the matching cases will drop down. You can easily pick the application you want.

You know, although not my favorite, I think KDE is the best desktop environment for Linux.

Calendar on Kubuntu
Calendar on Kubuntu

You’ll find Kubuntu a superior quality environment and although a learning curve is involved, I still suggest Kubuntu to newcomers as the curve is not really steep and it won’t be long before you get a hang of things.

If I was to suggest a flavor of Ubuntu to a Windows user, it’ll be Kubuntu hands down. A Linux OS like Windows and an official flavor of Ubuntu, there is nothing more to ask for.

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Linux Mint

Linux Mint, as many of you might know, is one of the heavyweights of Desktop Linux world. You will find Linux Mint in almost all the top Linux Distros list.

You might be wondering what it’s doing in this article. Well, It’s here because of its simplicity. Its desktop environment, Cinnamon is similar to Windows 7 and is one of the most adored desktop environments. That style just rocks whether on Windows or on Linux.
Linux Mint Home

If you are terribly addicted to working on a Windows machine (nobody said that was a bad thing), your productivity will not hamper at all on Linux Mint.

Why, you ask? The Linux Mint menu is located in the same position as the Windows start so when you move the cursor to the bottom right just like you did on Windows, You won’t be disappointed. LM has “activate on hover” for Menu. So that’s a bonus. The applications are arranged under categories so finding applications in a new OS won’t be an issue.

The Software Manager is a minimalistic and simple tool for finding and downloading additional software on Linux Mint. Since Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, you’ll find a very large number of applications for all your computing needs. A simple browse and click will get you anything you need.

Software manager

Gaming on Linux is a major factor that prevents ‘the switch’. I agree gaming is not the same on Linux as it is on Windows. But we are definitely not in the stone age of gaming. Check out this list of Top 10 games for Linux.

Steam also supports Linux. It more than supports Linux. Steam recommends Linux. Steam brings the latest and the greatest of gaming titles to Linux. FYI Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will soon be available on Linux. Yay!

Steam Featured Games
Steam Featured Games

One thing about Linux Mint though. If you install it as a beginner, you can still continue to use it even after you feel you’ve gotten more acquainted with Linux. A lot of advanced Linux users use Linux Mint too. It’s the number One Linux distro on Distrowatch. It’s just that good.

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Well, there you have it, people. These Windows like Linux distros will help you make the switch from Windows to Linux easier, especially if you are a new to Linux world. If you liked this, I recommend reading about the best Linux distributions for beginners.

Tell us which was Your “transition distro” and also some tips beginners might find useful. Do share this article and help someone find love with Linux.


  1. I grew up on Windows OSs. Started in “late eighties – early nineties”. Windows, now that I am 75, is to cumbersome for a work from home author?
    Is there a light-weight Linux with a short learning curve; that has the capability to handle Word processing/speech-to-text/publishing and browsing the web.?
    I would really appreciate good solid advice: Thank you in advance>>>>>

  2. Hi, I haven’t looked into linux OS’s in a long time. Would it be a good idea to install this OS in a laptop that can barely handle windows 10? Would a basic, budget samsung laptop (celeron 2ghz dual-core I think, 4gb ram) run Foss smoothly?

    My girlfriend is from the generation that never really had a PC, always used her phone for everything. She didn’t even understand the difference between for example Windows and Chrome OS. Anyway, now for college she needed a laptop, mostly for basic office use, internet browsing, etc. I presented her with a budget laptop, but it struggles to handle windows 10, it’s very slow, probably because of 4gb of ram, she doesn’t even really install any softwares or wants to (she has OCD, cleaning everything is a multiple time a day ritual for her, not joking, and her cleaning and organizing OCD; For example, in real life everything must be extremely clean and organized, she even avoids using the sink too often so it won’t get wet, instead of using trash cans in our apartment even in cases of a single napkin she leaves the apartment and throws in the building trashcan; and yes that OCD is manifested digitally, she has almost no apps so it won’t look ugly, she has that she does 5 times a day of cleaning the cache of every app, and she only closes whatsapp at round numbers because she hates odd numbers.

    Long story short as long as it looks like what she perceives as a desktop experience (windows) I think she wouldn’t mind using linux with Libre Office, etc.
    Anyway, is FOSS much less demanding than Windows?

  3. In my native language “chalet” means “outhouse”. Amusingly fitting for a system that feels like Windows :D

    “LM has “activate on hover” for Menu. So that’s a bonus.” – That feeling when you’re too lazy to even CLICK.

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