Kumandar Linux: Lightweight Debian & Xfce Spin with Windows 7 Look

3 min

A new Linux distribution Kumandar Linux is under development (Alpha stage), and it makes switching to Linux easier with a default Windows 7 look.

Kumandar Linux Desktop
Kumandar Linux Desktop

Kumandar Linux is a new Linux distribution in the making coming from the Philippines. It is developed by Roy Hoejgaard and is currently in the Alpha stage.

The name is a little unique, and as per the website:

“The name Kumander simply means Commander in English. It’s actually a homage to Commodore (my 1st computer – a VIC20 no less), but I didn’t think “Komodoro” sounded quite right. So Kumander it is.”

Let’s take a look.

Kumandar Linux: A Quick First Look

At first glance, it reminds you of the Windows 7 look, which is the default window manager GTK theme used here. Per the team, the drive to make this distro is to provide Linux users with a friendly user interface (which peaked in Windows 7 from Microsoft and went downhill after that). In addition to the look, it also promises a lightweight distro experience with Debian stable and Xfce desktop environment at the core.


Kumandar Linux uses Debian’s native installer with the branding changes only. It installs fine, and no surprises there. However, you can only launch the installation from the boot menu. There is no installation option from the LIVE medium.

Boot screen
Boot screen
uses Debian installer
uses Debian installer

Login screen, Xfce desktop and components

The login screen would remind you of the Windows 7 login screen. And when you log in, you should see a clean Xfce desktop in Kumandar Linux.

It uses a natively developed Kumandar window manager theme, icon theme and the GTK2 theme. This includes the Xfce style as well. All of these blends nicely with the Xfce desktop to give you the following look.

Login screen
Login screen
Desktop look -2
Desktop look -2

The Xfce Panel is well configured to give you a perfect width, and the tray menu looks awesome. Usability-wise it is perfect with the default shortcuts and Xfce application menu.

Default Sans font gives the final touch to make it look like Windows 7. The GTK2 theme really well built because of the animation on buttons during mouseover and desktop controls – they all look pleasant with the overall Windows 7 look.


All the necessary apps are pre-loaded in Kumandar Linux. That includes all the native Xfce apps. Furthermore, the developer also renamed some of the apps to make them feel like Windows apps. However, they are actually native Xfce apps.

For example, the default lightweight notepad of Xfce desktop “mousepad” is changed to “Notepad” in the menu entry!

Some of the key applications which are pre-loaded are the followings. These are in addition to the default Xfce apps.

  • Geany
  • VSCodium
  • Firefox
  • GIMP
  • Blender
  • Inkscape
  • LibreOffice
  • Filezilla
  • Putty
  • Thunderbird email client
  • Transmission torrent client
  • Audacious and Ardour for audio work
  • Parole music player
Kumandar Linux Running LibreOffice
Kumandar Linux Running LibreOffice

Furthermore, the Synaptic package manager is there to install and uninstall apps. The list of pre-loaded applications, I believe, is almost complete for general use. And thanks to Debian stable, they should work fine.


With all the customization and this theme, its performance is exceptionally well. I kept it running for almost 3 hours in Virtualbox. It consumes around 590 MB of memory which is really good. The CPU is in the 2% to 4% range.

On top of that, if you run more apps, it may go up accordingly. But the baseline metric is impressive, and it might be one of the contenders on the lightweight distro list once it becomes a stable release.

It uses only 6GB of disk space for the default installation.


Wrapping Up

The Kumandar Linux Alpha version looks promising, and I hope to see a stable release soon. For elders who want a familiar-looking distro to make a move to Linux for themselves, this might be a good “off the shelf” distro to start with. Because you probably do not need to configure anything or install any app. All the necessary configs and apps are done.

And thanks to Debian-stable and Xfce desktop – the overall stability of the distro and desktop would be solid. Also, I believe this distro needs a 32-bit ISO, definitely.

That being said, if you want to give it a try, download the ISO file from the official website. And let me know your opinion in the comment box.


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