Why Robolinux Is the Best Linux for Windows Users

Bertel King Updated 12-12-2019

Most versions of Linux that cater to Window users do so by providing a familiar interface. You get an app menu in the bottom left, a taskbar across the bottom, a system tray in the bottom right, and buttons where you expect them.


Robolinux does this, too, but it goes further by aiming to be the best Linux distro to run Windows applications. Software helps you import your existing C: drive and reinstall Windows apps on your new Linux desktop. That might just make Robolinux the best version of Linux for Windows users.

A Linux Distro That Runs Windows Programs

Robolinux, a Debian-based operating system, places a heavy emphasis on Windows and Linux integration. The technology behind this is nothing new: Wine can already help you run Windows programs on Linux, for example.

Still, support varies greatly. As such, running Windows in a virtual machine (VM) offers the best compatibility. Because the virtual machine method runs programs natively on Windows, apps are more likely to work.

Within Stealth VM, the default virtual machine in Robolinux, there are options to install various versions of Windows. These one-click Windows installers make Robolinux a Linux distro that runs Windows programs and entire Windows desktops with little hassle.

How to Install RoboLinux

Robolinux Live menu


Robolinux is simple to install on a hard drive, bootable media such as a live CD, or even a virtual machine.

Head over to the Robolinux downloads page and select your preferred version. You’ll find Robolinux Raptor LTS iterations with different desktop environments including Cinnamon, MATE, Xfce, LXDE, and GNOME. Many of these different interfaces, such as Cinnamon Cinnamon Explained: A Look at One of Linux's Most Windows-Like Desktops When you see a screenshot, what you think is the "operating system" is more likely to be the "desktop environment" -- and Linux has a bunch of them, including this one called Cinnamon. Read More , have layouts that resemble Windows.

With your ISO downloaded, you’ll need to mount it to bootable media such as a flash drive or hard drive. Alternatively, you may install the ISO in a virtual machine. Use a program such as Etcher to burn your image file. In your burning program, select the Robolinux ISO file. Then, pick your desired medium such as flash drive or DVD. Mount the image file.

Once that’s complete, pop your live CD into your PC and power it on. Depending on your machine, you may need to change your BIOS boot order so that the live CD boots before the hard disk drive. When Robolinux loads, you may need to sign in using the username “live” while leaving the password blank.


You can now try out and evaluate Robolinux before installing on your HDD.

Download: Robolinux
Download: Etcher (Optional)

Hands-On With Robolinux

The Robolinux MATE desktop is one of the best Linux distros for Windows

Immediately, Robolinux provides a user-friendly environment which makes getting started with Linux simple.


There’s a start menu, task bar, and a smattering of default apps. Bundled in the Robolinux default installation, you’ll find the Stealth VM virtual machine, and C: Drive to VM program for simple migration of a Windows C: Drive to a virtual machine.

You’ll still need to install these programs by hand, but they’re loaded in just a few clicks. Plus, in the start menu under Installers you’ll find options to load programs such as BleachBit, Clam Antivirus, and Steam for Linux.

This isn’t a locked-down operating system. Rather, Robolinux boasts immense customization options. For instance, you can change desktop environments and set various sound effects which trigger when performing tasks like opening folders.

As for experienced Linux users, if you’ve used Debian or one of its derivatives (such as Ubuntu), you’ll know your way around Robolinux.


Linux for Windows Users

Robolinux app menu

The main appeal of Robolinux is its uncomplicated user experience. Additionally, included applications such as Stealth VM make installing Windows (or other operating systems) within Robolinux instinctive.

While there’s nothing in Robolinux that can’t be installed in other Linux distros, the big draw is the comprehensive feature set. When initially booting into Robolinux, there’s even a virtual machine ready, waiting for a fresh copy of Windows.

As noted above, some software such as C: Drive to VM does not come pre-installed. Instead, you download it using the installers section of the start menu.

How to Set Up a Windows VM in Robolinux

Robolinux virtualization lets you run Windows in Linux

Configuring a Windows virtual machine in Robolinux is pretty simple. In the start menu, the favorites bar shows options for Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows 10 VMs in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. These are also found under the Stealth VM entry of the start menu.

Click your desired virtual machine type, and you’re prompted to download Stealth VM. Download the tar.bz2. Don’t extract it. Instead, under the start menu select Robolinux Stealth VM installer.

Picking this installs Stealth VM. You’ll then be able to load any virtual machine option from the list. This of course requires an officially licensed version of Windows. If you need a copy of Windows XP, you can download this for free and legally from Microsoft How to Get a Windows XP Download Free From Microsoft, Legally Microsoft gives away Windows XP downloads for free, provided you use a virtual machine. Here's how to do it! Read More .

The process is pretty easy, and though Stealth VM needs a bit of set up after installing Robolinux, it’s actually quite smooth and far simpler than a command line installation. Which, of course, isn’t terribly difficult. But it’s refreshing to just push a few buttons and have a free, quality VM at your disposal.

Alternatively, you can always install Wine and a frontend such as PlayOnLinux or Vineyard if you’d rather eschew the virtual machine route.

Final Thoughts on Robolinux for Windows Users

Boasting stability, ease of use from installation to everyday use, and a bevy of bundled software options, Robolinux is a superb operating system. Notably, Robolinux places an emphasis on integrating Windows with Linux through its included Stealth VM virtual machine.

While much of what Robolinux promises is achievable using almost any Linux distro and a virtual machine, Robolinux features a VM in its default software. Thus, the process of installing a VM, migrating a C drive, and other tasks involved in migrating from Windows are streamlined.

It’s not that Robolinux accomplishes what other Linux distros can’t—rather it simplifies the work of it. Although Robolinux opts for Debian stable over bleeding edge, this fosters a more reliable system environment. For more Linux distros, check out our exploration of the best Linux operating systems for every kind of user The Newest Linux Operating Systems for Every Niche Linux operating systems are constantly updated, with some are more substantial than others. Not sure whether to upgrade? Check out these new Linux operating systems and to see if you should try them. Read More .

Related topics: Linux, Virtual Machine, Windows, Wine.

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  1. bob ross
    February 19, 2020 at 12:57 am

    The cantankerous robolinux is NOT a practical alternative for windows 7. the creator's website has offered free downloads for "tips" and "donations" in the past and has called non-givers "THIEVES" . his attempt to monetize linux failed several years ago. even tho' i paid for my robolinux version i was ignored and blacklisted by their support when i challenged the notion that windows could be 100% virus free.

    • Ken Lodge
      February 22, 2020 at 11:02 pm

      You can add me to that list too. Dont even ask him anything as he will take it the wrong way. I was blacklisted for asking even though I paid for the version too.

  2. dragonmouth
    December 12, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    If one is so attached to Windows that one must run Windows apps in Linux, maybe one should stick with native Windows and not run the risk of being confused by having to learn another O/S.

    • Jim
      December 15, 2019 at 10:59 am

      Agree completely. Why would anyone want Linux, just to run Windows, when they could just run Windows?

  3. Glen LeBarr
    February 3, 2019 at 2:46 am

    I'm, a long time Mint user that switched to MX Linux about 7 months ago and I'm impressed; I've tried many and MX is by far the best for me, but I will give RoboLinux a look.

  4. Erik
    August 31, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    Yes because the selling point for Windows is running it in a VM under Linux. Grab yourself Manjaro or even Ubuntu, next install Qemu/KVM + LibVirt and just follow the thousand plus guides out there on the subject. You should have a fully working gaming rig inside any distro of choice without the bloody mess called VM.

  5. michael
    May 16, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    There was no mention of Deepin 15.5. I have done a lot of distro-hopping in the last couple of years since making the switch to Linux. There are so many great distros and Deepin 15.5 is one of the best. If Microsoft & Apple merged I could well imagine Deepin 15.5 being the resulting OS. It is every bit as beautiful as Elementary and very easy to install and use. The developers have added a slew of new features and it has evolved into a pretty advanced system. If you have not checked it out lately it is well worth revisiting. Deepin 15.5 really has it all.

  6. Jim
    April 24, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Actually there are a lot of best OS's for those coming to Linux. Off hand I can think of Zorin, Mint, Elementary and Ubuntu Mate. The best one for you might be the one that you have a friend that is familiar with the OS and can help you if you need it. Probably beat the official forum.

  7. NixDev
    April 23, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Sorry, but if you have to have a Windows-esque GUI, then use Zorin. You can use the looks changer to make it look like WIndows 7/10, MacOS, Gnome, Unity. Since it is Ubuntu based, it will work with the vast majority of things out there.

  8. Kevin McElroy
    April 23, 2018 at 1:47 am

    NOTE: Your Email subscription widget does NOT seem to be working anywhere on this site, I just get a 404 page! Please subscribe me to email notifications! Thank you very much!!

  9. Steven
    April 22, 2018 at 10:22 am

    In the spirit of Ubuntu, not the OS but the Bantu principle, thank you for the option of Robolinux. Those previous comments are negative and are not in the spirit of open source. I'll give it a bash and see if i can help the cause of open source and Ubuntu principle. Regards from south Africa, the source of Ubuntu.

  10. Michael Tunnell
    April 20, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    Why Robolinux is NOT the best Linux distro for Windows users:

    They make impossible claims such as "Robolinux . . . makes Windows XP, 7 & 10 100% immune to viruses". It is impossible to make any operating system 100% immune to viruses, especially Windows. There are Linux Distros that go far beyond what Robolinux does and even they don't make such claims.

    Who is paying for the Windows licenses? It's not free to run Windows inside of a VM so who is paying for this feature?

    Robolinux also claims " Robolinux . . . focus on privacy was built with a flawless crash free balance of the best current but highly stable Debian and Ubuntu source code". This is absurd because "flawless" and "crash-free" are not possible in any kind of programming.

    There are many more reasons why this distro isn't the best option but that should suffice.

    The last thing I'll mention is, you claimed Robolinux is based on the "hugely reliable Debian stable" but it's not. It's based on Ubuntu which is technically based on Debian yes but your statement implies direct Debian derivative, it isn't one.

    • Eric
      April 21, 2018 at 3:23 am

      And then there's the graphic design.

      That website, and that video. Wow.

      It's like they went back to 1992 and asked a prepubescent teenager for the "raddest" branding they could have, complete with 3D logos and JET FIGHTERS!

      It looks like it's made ironically, but my spidey senses tell me it's not.

    • Eric
      April 21, 2018 at 3:23 am

      And then there's the graphic design.

      That website, and that video. Wow.

      It's like they went back to 1992 and asked a prepubescent teenager for the "raddest" branding they could have, complete with 3D logos and JET FIGHTERS!

      It looks like it's made ironically, but my spidey senses tell me it's not.