Non-Linux FOSS: Classic Shell

Even those of us on the Linux side of the fence have been watching Microsoft's Windows 8 roll-out—albeit for us, it has been with morbid fascination. Granted, we're not without our drastic changes (ahem, Unity), but the new interface Microsoft has chosen for version 8 is seemingly unusable for most people. The iconic Start menu has been taken away without a clear replacement.

If you're stuck on a Windows 8 machine and wish you had a Start menu, fear not; the Open Source community is here to help. With Classic Shell, not only can you get a Start menu back, but you also can choose what it looks like and configure every aspect of the menu system you can imagine. Prefer the Windows XP look? No problem. Is Windows 7 your idea of the perfect Windows experience? No problem there either.

Classic Shell is an open-source project originally developed back in the Windows Vista days. Thankfully, it's been updated for the Windows 8 platform, and thanks to Microsoft's design decisions, it's more useful than ever! Grab yourself a copy today at

Figure 1. The configuration options offer more features than Microsoft ever offered in its Start menu (screenshot from

Shawn is Associate Editor here at Linux Journal, and has been around Linux since the beginning. He has a passion for open source, and he loves to teach. He also drinks too much coffee, which often shows in his writing.

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