Although my laptop is more than capable of running Windows 11, this will never happen. While Windows 11 is undoubtedly a great operating system with stunning graphics and very impressive improvements under the hood, I stopped dual booting many years ago. That was after finding that I was only booting Windows to install updates.
But this weekend I did something Windows related. A friend of mine who is a gamer challenged me. I always tell people about the malleability of Linux and how you can make it look like anything including Windows 11. He wanted me to do my desktop, yeah with Ubuntu, if you haven’t guessed it, like Windows 11. So. I went to work and the results surprised both of us. You can actually make Ubuntu look like Windows 11.
I’m a terrible designer and most of my work is based on the guidelines provided by the people at Linux Scoop. Research shows that you can actually flip the popular GNOME desktop that comes by default in Ubuntu and make it look like Windows 11, but it’s too much of a hassle and frankly with no hand holding I don’t know how to do it. Windows 11 has a glassy feel that is similar to the KDE desktop, so this guide is counting on your using that.
The first thing you need to do is get Ubuntu with a KDE desktop, and there are three ways you can do it:
- Download a regular version of Ubuntu and install the KDE desktop. All you have to do is open up a terminal and run the command: sudo apt install tasksel && sudo taskel install kubuntu-full
- You can download and install Kubuntu
- You can also download and install KDE Neon. This is just like Kubuntu, except it’s the opposite. Kubuntu is created by Canonical, who take the KDE desktop and put it on Ubuntu with optimizations. KDE Neon is developed by the guys at KDE who take Ubuntu and put KDE on top of it.
I would highly recommend method 3. Though it’s known as KDE Neon. This is actually Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, and it comes with no tweaks you might stumble upon if you try to follow the guide in the video above.
To complete the process, you need to follow the steps outlined in the video provided. To get started, you’ll need to install Firefox and open it if it isn’t already installed. Right click on the above video, copy its url and open it in a new Firefox window. Press the Windows key and the right or left arrows to align the window to a corner. This way you can easily follow the instructions.
If you do this carefully, you should be rewarded with a desktop that looks eerily similar to the actual Windows 11 desktop. It was so scary that even I was surprised when I compared them side by side to the reality on my friend’s laptop. Installing the Edge browser will complete the experience, but keep in mind that the resemblance is nothing more than a hair-line.
Linux and Windows are based on very different philosophies. For example, you can’t expect to install Windows software on Ubuntu just because they look the same now. However, most things happen in the cloud these days. If you’re a company that does a lot of browsing, you can have this Windows 11-like setup for your employees without spending any money on Windows, and no one would be the wiser until they started poking around.
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