Linux Environment For Mac

Are you looking for Linux distributions that give look like popular Apple’s macOS? Then here is the list to go through…

Although it is impossible to get exactly all features just like macOS in Linux because it is a proprietary one, however, we could install one in open source which at least gives feel like it.

The reason behind the infatuation of macOS is the graphic elements and transitions offered by it. And this is the reason why often people around the world trying to install skin or some third party Mac OS X Transformation packages to even make Windows looks alike mac.

Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) can now be installed to support running a Linux shell within Windows. This means that you can run bash, with whichever specific Linux distribution you choose, integrated right inside Windows. Using WSL will provide the kind of. Installing Linux on a Mac Yes, there is an option to run Linux temporarily on a Mac through the virtual box but if you’re looking for a permanent solution, you might want to completely replace the present operating system with a Linux distro. To install Linux on a Mac, you’ll need a formatted USB drive with storage up to 8GB.

  1. Transitioning between Mac and Windows. Check out our guide to transitioning between between a Mac and Windows (or Windows Subsystem for Linux) development environment. It can help you map the difference between: Keyboard shortcuts; Trackpad shortcuts; Terminal and shell tools; Apps and utilities.
  2. Java runtime environment mac free download - Java Runtime Environment (JRE), Java Runtime Environment (JRE) (64-Bit), Java Runtime Environment (JRE) for Linux, and many more programs.
  3. Linux (/ ˈ l i n ʊ k s / LEEN-uuks or / ˈ l ɪ n ʊ k s / LIN-uuks) is a family of open source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991, by Linus Torvalds. Linux is typically packaged in a Linux distribution. Distributions include the Linux kernel and supporting system software and libraries, many of which are.

Another is the reasons for all this is to experience the dock and since the Apple products are costly thus, everybody couldn’t afford them.

Indeed, the Hackintosh like methods are available online to install and use macOS but they are full of technical complications and incompatibility to our exiting PCs. Therefore, why not use the Linux with all its open source independence while having the MacBook like UI.

Moreover, with Linux customization scope is limitless, we can make our Debian or Ubuntu look like macOS with the help of Macubuntu transformation pack.

List of Linux distros resembles Apple’s macOS

List of Linux distros resembles Apple’s macOS

Before starting this list of open source operating systems look similar to macOS, one thing needs to know, this internal working and other features will be remain of Linux.

Deepin- Nice Linux alternative for macOS

Well, Deepin is Ubuntu base opensource operating system that is popular because of its desktop environment and apps which gives not only macOS even Windows users a quite familiar feeling. However, earlier being a Chinese company & developer of this Linux OS, few people quite sceptical in terms of data privacy, however, that has been cleared by its team that there is nothing unethical happing in Deepin.

Deepin Linux’s macOS look like desktop environment


The DDE (Deepoin desktop environment) offers both dock or Windows 7 like start menu along with notification panel. Even the icons are quite eye-catching.

Also, all the day to day needed apps come pre-installed in Deepin, moreover, its App store has lots of useful apps ready to download on just one click. Yes, the issue I face while using it on my laptop was the wifi signal issues. Otherwise, it was smooth and easy to handle.

Get Deepin Linux

Elementary OS with macOS like UI

If you are looking for a distribution that will take you as far as possible away from the image of a nerdy hacker type driving around a terminal interface, then Elementary OS is exactly what you need. It’s probably one of the most attractive distribution, with a style similar to macOS. The excellent desktop environment of this operating system is called Pantheon and is based on Gnome.

The latest version of Elementary OS also has its own application installation user interface called AppCenter. It’s a wonderfully easy way to install apps outside of the terminal, which is handy since not many are preinstalled.

However, it comes with the Epiphany browser, the Geary email client, and some basic “tool apps”. You may need to add more programs. However, this is with the integrated AppCenter, which contains chargeable programs that have been specially developed for the operating system, e.g. Quilter for aspiring authors or spice-up to create presentations, easily possible.


Install Linux On Mac

BackSlashLinux is another Linux distro like mac but not that much popular in comparison to above two, however, still, the developers of this Linux distro have done a splendid job to depict macOS.

It is developed by an India software developer team and based on Debian. Backslashlinux comes with icons and dock resemble macOS one. It is one of the Linux distros with closes MacOS look.

In the above screenshot, we can see the icons of Backslashlinux exactly similar to MAC.

Zorin os

Zorin OS is based on Ubuntu and was developed for Linux beginners, so it should be particularly easy to use. Special attention was therefore paid to a clear user interface. The user interface can be adapted with just a few clicks so that it is similar to that of Windows 10 and macOS. The Windows emulators Wine and PlayOnLinux are preinstalled so that many Windows applications can also be run on Zorin OS.

In the above screenshot, we can see Zorin OS Linux doesn’t offer exactly the same user interface like macOS but a touch of it. It offers a dock which can be adjusted to different positions as per the user requirement. Thus, at least give it a try if you are a beginner to Linux.

There are several variants of Zorin OS:
  • Zorin OS Core: the standard system; free of charge
  • Zorin OS Lite: software selection somewhat reduced; free of charge
  • Zorin OS Educational: software selection especially for educational institutions; free of charge
  • Zorin OS Educational Lite: software selection especially for educational institutions, but somewhat reduced compared to the educational variant; free of charge
  • Zorin OS Ultimate: pre-installed best Business and Media apps; macOS, Windows, Linux & Touch desktop layouts; Over 20 games included; chargeable ($39)

Other Linux distros:


The following tips and control equivalents should help you in your transition between a Mac and Windows (or WSL/Linux) development environment.

For app development, the nearest equivalent to Xcode would be Visual Studio. There is also a version of Visual Studio for Mac, if you ever feel the need to go back. For cross-platform source code editing (and a huge number of plug-ins) Visual Studio Code is the most popular choice.

Keyboard shortcuts

Lock computerCommand+Control+QWindowsKey+L
Show desktopCommand+F3WindowsKey+D
Open file browserCommand+NWindowsKey+E
Minimize windowsCommand+MWindowsKey+M
Close active windowCommand+WControl+W
Switch current taskCommand+TabAlt+Tab
Maximize a window to full screenControl+Command+FWindowsKey+Up
Save screen (Screenshot)Command+Shift+3WindowsKey+Shift+S
Save windowCommand+Shift+4WindowsKey+Shift+S
View item information or propertiesCommand+IAlt+Enter
Select all itemsCommand+ACtrl+A
Select more than one item in a list (noncontiguous)Command, then click each itemControl, then click each item
Type special charactersOption+ character keyAlt+ character key

Trackpad shortcuts

Note: Some of these shortcuts require a “Precision Trackpad”, such as the trackpad on Surface devices and some other third party laptops.

ScrollTwo finger vertical swipeTwo finger vertical swipe
ZoomTwo finger pinch in and outTwo finger pinch in and out
Swipe back and forward between viewsTwo finger sideways swipeTwo finger sideways swipe
Switch virtual workspacesFour fingers sideways swipeFour fingers sideways swipe
Display currently open appsFour fingers upward swipeThree fingers upward swipe
Switch between appsN/ASlow three finger sideways swipe
Go to desktopSpread out four fingersThree finger swipe downwards
Open Cortana / Action centerTwo finger slide from rightThree finger tap
Open extra informationThree finger tapN/A
Show launchpad / start an appPinch with four fingersTap with four fingers

Note: Trackpad options are configurable on both platforms.

Command-line shells and terminals

Windows supports several command-line shells and terminals which sometimes work a little differently to the Mac's BASH shell and terminal emulator apps like Terminal and iTerm.

Windows shells

Windows has two primary command-line shells:

  1. PowerShell - PowerShell is a cross-platform task automation and configuration management framework, consisting of a command-line shell and scripting language built on .NET. Using PowerShell, administrators, developers, and power-users can rapidly control and automate tasks that manage complex processes and various aspects of the environment and operating system upon which it is run. PowerShell is fully open-source, and because it is cross-platform, also available for Mac and Linux.

    Mac and Linux BASH shell users: PowerShell also supports many command-aliases that you are already familiar with. For example:

    • List the contents of the current directory, using: ls
    • Move files with: mv
    • Move to a new directory with: cd <path>

    Some commands and arguments are different in PowerShell vs. BASH. Learn more by entering: get-help in PowerShell or checkout the compatibility aliases in the docs.

    To run PowerShell as an Administrator, enter 'PowerShell' in your Windows start menu, then select 'Run as Administrator.'

  2. Windows Command Line (Cmd): Windows still ships the traditional Command Prompt (and Console – see below), providing compatibility with current and legacy MS-DOS-compatible commands and batch files. Cmd is useful when running existing/older batch files or command-line operations, but in general, users are recommended to learn and use PowerShell since Cmd is now in maintenance, and will not be receiving any improvements or new features in the future.

Linux shells

Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) can now be installed to support running a Linux shell within Windows. This means that you can run bash, with whichever specific Linux distribution you choose, integrated right inside Windows. Using WSL will provide the kind of environment most familiar to Mac users. For example, you will ls to list the files in a current directory, not dir as you would with the traditional Windows Cmd Shell. To learn about installing and using WSL, see the Windows Subsystem for Linux Installation Guide for Windows 10. Linux distributions that can be installed on Windows with WSL include:

Just to name a few. Find more in the WSL install docs and install them directly from the Microsoft Store.

Windows Terminals


Linux Environment Online

In addition to many 3rd party offerings, Microsoft provides two “terminals” – GUI applications that provide access to command-line shells and applications.

  1. Windows Terminal: Windows Terminal is a new, modern, highly configurable command-line terminal application that provides very high performance, low-latency command-line user experience, multiple tabs, split window panes, custom themes and styles, multiple “profiles” for different shells or command-line apps, and considerable opportunities for you to configure and personalize many aspects of your command-line user experience.

    You can use Windows Terminal to open tabs connected to PowerShell, WSL shells (like Ubuntu or Debian), the traditional Windows Command Prompt, or any other command-line app (e.g. SSH, Azure CLI, Git Bash).

  2. Console: On Mac and Linux, users usually start their preferred terminal application which then creates and connects to the user’s default shell (e.g. BASH).

    However, due to a quirk of history, Windows users traditionally start their shell, and Windows automatically starts and connects a GUI Console app.

    While one can still launch shells directly and use the legacy Windows Console, it’s highly recommended that users instead install and use Windows Terminal to experience the best, fastest, most productive command-line experience.


Apps and utilities

Linux Environment For Mac High Sierra

Settings and PreferencesSystem PreferencesSettings
Task managerActivity MonitorTask Manager
Disk formattingDisk UtilityDisk Management
Text editingTextEditNotepad
Event viewingConsoleEvent Viewer
Find files/appsCommand+SpaceWindows key