Seven Different Linux Distributions That Look Like Mac OS X (Any Version)

From the top to the bottom, in order are the best to least best but still good Linux distributions as there will never be one version of Linux, as there is only one distribution for Windows or Mac OS X.

1. Elementary OS “Luna”


This is the next-generation of Linux distro’s right here. It’s got a unique name and all, but I actually pretty much like it. It has all new apps, is lightweight and beautiful. It has all new apps, and a very refined look. Just name your price or download it for free, like with most Linux distributions. But this one, is unique within itself.


2. MacOs-Linuxmacos-linux

Thanks to a commenter, I found this new distribution of Linux that looks like Mac OS X in the most comparable kind of way. I also like the darker dock at the bottom middle, that’s pretty “sick”. According to their website after being translated from French to English, MacOS is a Linux-based operating system that us based on Unbuntu. The first version of this Linux distro was called MacOS-11, which was released on March 14th, 2014. It was based on Ubuntu 11.04 32 distro with gnome2 session. The buttons of the MacOS-Linux distribution is to help provide a look and ease of use for Ubuntu that is similar to the look of Mac OS X. I hope they are able to keep the name they made for this distro, but other than that, it looks the best. Thanks Mekki for mentioning it in the comments.

3. PearLinux

Pear Linux 5 to me is probably the closest looking Linux distribution that looks anywhere close to every aspect and feel of Mac OS X. As it was released in July of 2012, it is the fifth iteration of the Pear Linux OS that is now available for download. This OS was previously known as Pear OS and also Comice OS, and always has been included with thousands of different free applications and is designed to do everything you want it to do. I have not run in on my machine before, but I think that it’s typical for most linux distros to work on almost any desktop PC. Also, this OS is built upon the GNOME 3 interface, and is powered by Pear Linux Shell which is a mod of GNOME Shell and is set up to look like the Mac OS desktop. Last but not least, I’ll mention that it has it’s own App Store.

4. Ubuntu with Macbuntu theme

Apparently this is a Mac OS X Transformation Pack called Macbuntu. Obviously open source, it is designed to transform the appearance of Linux (or I should say Ubuntu) to look like the layout of the Mac OS X environment. Macbuntu’s team has dedicated their work to an Ubuntu Linux OS, which can be used in other OS’s based on Debian/GTK. The project began in August 14th, 2010. You can find the project download here.

3. Dream Linux

Full of multimedia tools and being a distribution of Linux made in Brazil, this is made for people who like to create. The Rocket Dock allows it to be a very nice looking desktop environment and also last but not lest the XFCE Desktop, with both it makes a nice Mac-like environment. Installing this distro is very easy and you only need to use one wizard. Another upside to Dream Linux is that it’s Debian based, which is more lightweight than Ubuntu.

4. gOS

The users of this OS was boosted when it was installed on linux PC’s sold at Walmart in the U.S. (maybe other countries additionally), being named the “gPC”. Though it didn’t come with a “smart blue” look the developers felt it needed a greenish look in it. gOS is a pretty slick feeling distro (aswell as the boot time). It’s not known if they use Rocket Dock or AWN, but with the LXDE installed, gOS feels like a good option for netbooks. Google Apps is what this distro heavily relies on apparently.

5. Elive

This debian-linux based distro is what’s made by Enlightenment. Despite it being an OS to show off the latest and greatest of the E17 Desktop Environmental modes, this Mac-like distro has many routine users (as said by Distrowatch). You can check out more Enlightenment DR17 screens and features here, which includes the iBar Dock.

6. MacPup

As most distro’s have weird names, sometimes named after food or aliens, Puppy Linux is a very good distribution of Linux that is good for older computers. An individual from the community thought the regular desktop was not click enough so he created this OS X modification for it. This modified version of Puppy provides speed, a simple user interface, a taste of Apple, and some very cool Puppy applications.

If you wish to change a more popular distro like Ubuntu or Fedora to a Mac OS X-like look, you can check out some of these Linux docks.



  1. Choperro says

    The explanations don’t help much; neither do the images.
    They don’t seem to be close to a Mac feeling.

    Why not PearLinux or Ubuntu with macubuntu theme?

    • says

      I guess I can say that the docks at the bottom middle of all of these OSX-mockups/linux distros is what makes it “feel” like OS X, but I don’t think they are anything close to a Mac either if you look at every other feature of each linux distro mentioned here. But that is the closest. I updated the post to reflect what you mentioned, thanks!.

  2. says

    Hello, here I have made ​​the creation of a new distribution based on ubuntu 11.04 32 bit gnome session, the look is highly somblable mac os x you enjoy.
    A new distribution based on Ubuntu 14.04 is to come prepared.
    Contact me if possible for more information.
    m.houbad @

  3. Joaquín Maldonado says

    You could also mention elementary os Lina I mean luna, by the way this is a good typography you use what is it called?

  4. Dean Nandana says

    As a Mac developer, I wouldn’t give any of these distros the time of day unless they had at least OS X 10.3 API-parity. Cocoa, Core Audio, the works. A Mac-like Linux needs a Mac-like development environment. Rewrite my Objective-C in prettified GTK+ or KDE? ALSA? X11? Puh-lease. It doesn’t matter if the users like the shiny UI, developers have to like the shiny plumbing, otherwise you end up with badly-skinned Linux crapware.

    • Owen says

      Hi there Dean, I appreciate your comment. Though I think the point of this post is for the enjoyment of Linux in a Mac-looking environment. Most people using these distros just want the same look and the experience of Linux. But if someone could make an alternative Unix-distro that is like Mac OS X, I would mention that in this article too as a great alternative to Mac OS X itself. All can say is that everyone has a different opinion on this post, and there is no straight answer or straight solution to everyones needs. I thank you again for your opinion!.

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