Linuxfx | The Ultimate Windows 11 Clone

A little while ago on my YouTube channel I published a video about an interesting Linux distribution called Linuxfx. The main purpose of Linuxfx is to provide users with an experience as close to possible to a Windows installation. The first time I checked it out it was trying to imitate Windows 10 and used Cinnamon as its desktop environment. Since then they’ve had several revisions which brings us to today with Linuxfx 11. Still based on Ubuntu, this time it hopes to achieve visual parity with Windows 11. This version is now using KDE Plasma as the desktop environment to achieve its Windows 11 inspired look. I think the choice to use KDE for this version was the right move.

Installation was quick and easy due to it using the tried and tested Calamares installer. The first thing you’ll notice when booting up for the first time is just how close to a genuine Windows 11 instance it looks. Even all the way down to the icons and the application launcher. The launcher is supposed to mimic the look and feel of Window’s Start menu and at a first glance it would be hard to tell the difference. If their only goal was to present users with an operating system that looks and feels like Windows 11 then I’d say their mission was successful. However there is a lot more to a functional operating systems than the lick of pain it’s adorned with. Getting a little bit deeper beneath the surface level is when we start to run into some issues.

One of their flagship features of Linuxfx is their virtual assistant. It’s a voice activated system that is supposed to aid a user in doing simple tasks on their machines. For web searches it uses Google’s Assistant features of which you will have to sign in with a Google account to use. It was here where I encountered my first issue with Linuxfx. The voice assistant is just too unreliable. It would kick in every time it heard the trigger “Ok Google” but fail to follow up with any of the subsequent commands. I think this can be easily fixed with some adjustments to the launch options but in its current state it was unusable for me. Your mileage might vary.

Another of their flagship features is Android support. It packages this up in an application called Linuxfx Android. Essentially what this application does is downloads an ISO for PrimeOS. PrimeOS is a standalone operating system designed to bring Android to the desktop. Which in fairness to PrimeOS it does quite well. After the download is complete you are instructed on how to create a virtual disk in order for it to create a virtual environment to run PrimeOS. This isn’t inherently a bad idea but unfortunately for me the download script to fetch the ISO used a SourceForge mirror that was painfully slow. If it was left to its own devices it was going to take at a minimum 2 days! I decided to hunt down the ISO online myself and copy it over manually, which worked absolutely fine. Once its all setup you get a nice Android environment with full access to the Google Play Store. Thought i’d honestly just prefer they had Anbox installed out of the box I don’t actually mind the route they’ve taken.

The last issue I encountered while using Linuxfx was with their own system settings. Instead of relying on KDE’s system settings they have included their own which has been made to mimic the settings from Windows 11. They’ve done a brilliant job on nailing the loock and feel here. My only issue comes from some of its functions. Using their settings to try and switch between the dark and light feems just wouldn’t work for me no matter how many times I tried. After it kept failing to switch themes I opened up the standard KDE system settings and applied the dark theme without any issue whatsoever.

That for the most part is where my complaints end. All in all I still think there is a place in the Linux community for distributions like this. If a fancy Windows inspired theme and modifications bring over new users to the Linux community then I am all for it. Despite what I think they’ve done wrong they have also done many things right. Their implementation of WINE is preconfigured and reliable out of the box. Meaning a user coming over from Windows can just double click a .exe in their downloads folder and be fairly confident it will actually run. I was also shocked at how they’ve managed to keep memory usage so low. On a fresh boot HTOP was showing me that I was using under 800MB RAM. This is impressive for a couple of reasons. For a start there is a lot of modifications and fancy effects going on to achieve their extremely convincing Windows 11 look and feel. Then another consideration to take into account is just how many applications are installed out of the box and set to startup automatically. Even with AnyDesk, Microsoft Teams etc auto-starting the RAM usage still remained low.

As far as applications included by default, there is a lot. Microsoft Edge will be set as your default web browser and it uses OnlyOffice as its native office suite of choice. It also includes web apps for the whole Microsoft Office suite of applications. It also includes applications such as Steam, Microsoft Teams, GIMP, OBS and more.

A lot of the standout features and support for Linuxfx is attached to a Professional license which they were kind enough to send me for the video. If you’re someone that wants to try this distribution out and see what you think use the “Free” version. As it currently stands though I wouldn’t recommend opting to pay for the Professional license.

What do you think of Linuxfx? Let me know in the comments below!

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