Power flow analysis is one of the tools that is required in most of the distribution system studies. An important characteristic of distribution systems is the load unbalance in the phases and a three-phase power flow analysis is needed. In this paper, a three-phase linear power flow (3LPF) formulation is derived based on the fact that in a typical distribution system, voltage angles and magnitudes vary within relatively narrow boundaries. The accuracy of the proposed 3LPF is verified using several test cases. Potential applications of the proposed method are in distribution systems state estimation and volt-VAR optimization.