Cutefish is a new(ish) desktop environment for GNU/Linux distributions that includes Apple-inspired design elements including a dock, icons, and color theme. While the developers seem to have plans to release an operating system called CutefishOS that’s based on Arch Linux soon, the easiest way to take the software for a spin at the moment is with the new Manjaro Cutefish Edition.

This community spin of Manjaro Linux comes with the Cutefish application dock, file manager, calculator, status bar, full-screen application launcher, and other packages pre-installed. And it’s a pretty nice take on the desktop environment… although it’s also a bit familiar looking.

My first thought wasn’t just that Cutefish resembles macOS, but also that it resembles JingOS, a touchscreen-friendly Linux distribution designed for tablets like the upcoming JingPad A1. So I wasn’t surprised to find that there’s a link to the JingOS website in the “Friends” section at the bottom of the CutefishOS website. In fact, JingOS seems to be the team’s only friend.

Other folks noticed something else about JingOS – many of the elements seem to be ports of software developed for CyberOS, another Arch-based operating system which, in turn, is designed to resembled the Deepin desktop environment.

The Settings application, in particular, looks virtually identical across all three operating systems.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it’s an attractive, easy to navigate Settings utility that makes it easy to adjust display, network, and appearance settings, among other things.

In the Appearance section, for example, there’s support for light and dark modes and you can customize by changing the font or accent colors.

And you can quickly toggle between light and dark modes from the drop-down menu that shows up when you click the time, power, or volume icons in the status bar at the top of the screen. You can also toggle WiFi and Bluetooth, adjust audio volume, or shut down, sign out, or put your computer to sleep from this menu.

Overall Cutefish seems to be a fairly simple but attractive skin for Manjaro or other Linux-based operating systems. The Manjaro edition was first released just a few weeks ago, and the CutefishOS project doesn’t seem to be much older than that, so it should be interesting to see where the software goes from here… and whether it diverges more from Deepin and CyberOS in the future.


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5 replies on “Manjaro Cutefish Edition is a community spin with a macOS-like design for this Linux distro”

  1. Yeah this is pure junk and only at a very rough glance resemblances OSX.

    Elementary OS is what comes closest to OSX.

  2. It is junk. It is pretty, but that is about it. The features are less than half-baked. Maybe in 2 years it will be ready for minimal use.

    1. “Maybe in 2 years it will be ready for minimal use.”

      That’s what they’ve been saying about linux since I’ve been using it (2008).
      Every year will be the “year of the linux desktop”, and it never happens. :/

      Linux is junk, as a workstation, anyway.

      1. Clearly posted by someone who has never even tried running Linux, at least in the past three years. I have been running Linux Mint for the past two years: my laptop is faster than it was on Windows 10, I can run all the applications I was used to under Windows.
        Those that cannot run under Linux have great – if not better – alternatives. I know that I will never be going back to Windows.
        You just have to take the time to get to know it and throw all of your preconceptions out of the window:

        You do not need to use the command line,
        Linux does not look ugly, but has many pretty and modern-looking desktop environments (e.g. Linuxfx is a Linux distribution that looks exactly like Windows 11 and is still free to boot!),
        There is an enormous amount of users and experts out there that are willing and do help in case of problems or when you have questions (same as for Windows or macOS and if you want, you can even pay for help ;-),
        There are many modern tools and equivalents for Windows or macOS software tools available for Linux (many of which are free to use); it literally is the best of both worlds,
        You do not need to use antivirus software in Linux.

        1. Ocor61, I cannot find a definite answer on whether or not I can run Autocad LT 2022 on Linux using Wine. Have you heard anything about it? I am about done with Windows and want to switch to Linux but the Autocad thing is holding me back. Also, which Distro in your opinion will run well on a Surface Pro 4? Windows 11 will not run on it so it will be getting a Linux makeover. I have been researching and have found a few but not all features I am used to using in Windows will work in Linux. Any info is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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