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I am attempting to help out an unfunded community that would like educate young kids to use computers and since they are most familiar with Windows however do not have the money to buy licenses, is there a version of Linux that is like for like for Windows e.g. rather than display a root directory it displays C:\, etc?

Please note that the community is not a non-profit. It is a simply a large group of people who don't have the money and the computers they are using are donated.

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Is ReactOS stable enough for you? – new123456 Jul 24 '11 at 21:35
@new123456 - To be honest, I have not had a look at ReactOS but having had a quick glimpse at it, it does seem interesting. Will certainly look into it. – PeanutsMonkey Jul 24 '11 at 22:46
Which version of Windows do you want to look like? That is, Windows doesn't look like Windows. – mpez0 Jul 25 '11 at 0:56
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes, there are a few. The best one, now in its third release, has tried very hard to make looks and function the same as Windows. They have done a pretty good job. Give YLMF a try.

But you need to realize that it is still a Linux-based operating system. Just about anything learned, aside from the handling of the desktop window, will not apply to Windows and will teach nothing about Windows. It will be misleading, to say the least, and the learning will not be transferable when they return to real Windows.

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Fantastic. The intention is to introduce them slowly to Linux. This helps to transition them from using Windows to Linux whilst at the same time educating them on the benefits of open source. – PeanutsMonkey Jul 24 '11 at 22:31
Only concern I have is that it is a distribution from China not that I have anything against them but how can I ensure that it adheres to the standards adopted by the likes of Red Hat, Suse, Debian, etc? – PeanutsMonkey Jul 24 '11 at 22:35
@Peanuts it is ubuntu based, so there are some standards backing it i think. – Simon Sheehan Jul 24 '11 at 23:25
@Simon Sheehan - How is it in terms of security i.e. backdoors, trojans, etc? – PeanutsMonkey Jul 24 '11 at 23:29
@Peanuts the majority of viruses that effect windows can't touch linux. – Simon Sheehan Jul 24 '11 at 23:32

No there isn't, and there never will be for a strict definition for like for like. There are some technical differences between Windows and Linux which always will shine through.

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Also, there would be copyright problems. – KCotreau Jul 24 '11 at 21:11
@Jürgen Strobel - I don't think some differences would be a major issue however was wondering if there was a distribution that is relatively close – PeanutsMonkey Jul 24 '11 at 21:13
@KCotreau - Why would there be copyright problems? – PeanutsMonkey Jul 24 '11 at 21:14
I answered as harshly because the question was given with a narrow scope. Remapping drive names alone would be a major task to achieve for Linux distributions since drive handling is very different in the unix world. Maybe you should just ask for the most windows-like distribution instead. – Jürgen Strobel Jul 24 '11 at 21:26
@PeanutsMonkey There would be none for you, but for the maker there could be. Appearance of things is usually copyrighted. If I created an interface that looked EXACTLY like Windows 7, how long do you think it would be before I got sued? You would have no issues as a user, but that was just a comment on why there is none. – KCotreau Jul 24 '11 at 21:27

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