How To Install Linux as a Windows 10 App

The full integration of Linux in Windows 10 is here. With the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update you can install full Linux distros as one more program in Windows 10. It is even possible to execute several distros at the same time on the screen. We teach you how to do it.

Microsoft, Linux Fan

Satya Nadella is revolutionizing Microsoft. Discreetly, but with efficiency and extraordinary success, Nadella is modernizing a business culture that has not been altered in 40 years.

Today at Microsoft, incredible things happened just 4 or 5 years ago. Support open source, organize hacker marathons, market SQL servers managed with Linux, offer Windows 10 for free, support online gaming with PlayStation players, or take out exclusive Xbox One games for PC. Even in competitor stores like Steam.

But at the developer level, the most radical change has to do with Linux. It is already possible to install Linux distros in Windows 10 without any limitations.

Microsoft is a Platinum Partner of the Linux Foundation. He is already on his board of directors, with the ability to vote and veto proposals related to free software. In the words of Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, ” Microsoft is today one of the most active Linux developers .”

The last big step has been with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, which launches the full integration of Linux in Windows 10. From now on the distros (distributions or versions) of Linux work as Windows applications that can be downloaded for free in the Microsoft Store and use them like any other program. You can even run several distros at the same time on the Windows desktop.

In this tutorial, we show you how to activate Linux in Windows 10 to install Linux distros from Microsoft Store.

1. Activate WSL in Windows 10

Microsoft has been working for months on the WSL or Windows Subsystem for Linux. That is the software that allows running Linux within Windows 10. Until now it was only in the developer version, but with Windows Fall Creators Update it is now available for everyone, although you have to activate it.

To activate the WSL in Windows 10, make sure you have all Windows updates installed.

  • Click on the Start button, on the Windows desktop, and them in Settings.
  • Tap Apps and then Apps and Features.
  • In the right column, you will see an option called Related Settings.
  • Tap Programs and Features: A new window will open.
  • In the left column, click on Turn Windows features On or Off
  • We will see a long list of options. 
  • We look  for Windows Subsystem for Linux, and we mark it:

Press OK. We will have to restart Windows to activate Linux in Windows 10.

3. Linux Distros Downloads from Microsoft Store

Now we can use Linux distros as a Windows program. We can even download them from the Windows Store, now called Microsoft Store.

In the Windows search, in the lower bar of the Desktop, we put Microsoft Store. Now in the Windows store we type in the search engine: Linux or Ubuntu:

At the moment we can find three Linux distros: Ubuntu, openSUSE Leap 42 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Soon more will arrive.

They are the complete versions. For example, Ubuntu allows to use the Ubuntu Terminal and use command lines with bash, ssh, git, etc.

Click on the Get button, and they will be downloaded and installed as a Windows program.

4. Start the Linux distros

Once downloaded, just click on its icon to start them up. You will find them in the list of installed applications of the Start Button, in the left column:

The first time you use them, it will take a few minutes to install. Then you will access the command console of the Linux distro. You will have to enter a username and password, and we can use commands or install Linux programs.

We can even execute several distros at a time, in a window. Awesome!:

Keep in mind that these are versions without GUI, designed for developers or people who want full control over Linux, using the command line. In this way, it is possible to develop or install Linux applications from Windows 10.

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