Run Linux from within windows. Wait what?

Yes, you read the title right.

With Microsoft‘s latest build of Windows 10 (2004/20H1) you can really run a distro of Ubuntu from right within Windows using WSL2 sub-system, using the system applet feature.

Once you have the WSL2 sub-system feature installed,you can then move onto installing a real Linux distribution inside it. Available versions are as follows — Kali, Debian, OpenSUSE, Alpine, and two (LTS) versions of Ubuntu. You can find – Ubuntu LTS by searching the Store for Ubuntu; the store then brings it up, with a one click install and your done (with a hefty few hundred MB download that is).

So, what is so exciting about this anyway? Well, it appears now gone are the days where you would have to install a dual-boot operating system and actively shutdown 1 operating system in order to get to the other. One of the major advantages of this new feature, is that you can just open your start menu and click straight onto the Linux icon and BOOM, your into your Linux desktop.

Other major advantages include things like being able to test the way different software or scripts function on different O/S’s without the hassle of having to reboot every-time you make a change to a script or file. Also all of your content from your typical C: drive (aswell as any otherdrives that have a windows drive letter assigned to them) are already mounted read-write, under /mnt/c. Forget having to setup network cross O/S shares anymore, easily and seamlessly read and write files across operating systems without having to get technical.

What about Steam?

Yes you guessed it, Steam and a vast (maybe 90%) of the games on steam will run native on Ubuntu.

What about Microsoft Office?

Sadly one of the downsides. As there is no current dedicated platform for Microsoft Office or Office 365 that allows you to install the software, there are other options. If you have a Microsoft Office 365 Subscription, you do have the option to access the online versions of the apps. Alternatively  for software that can open office documents there is:

WPS Office:

WPS is probably the closest you will get to the real thing. WPS Office is mostly free (with the inclusion of some ads here and there) or there is also a paid version.

Apache OpenOffice:

Apache OpenOffice is also a pretty good alternative, lacking in a couple of features but it gets the job done.

So what are you waiting for?

Go to windows updates and download the latest feature update for Windows 10, version 2004. Once you have done that just follow the guide below:

Open PowerShell as an administrator and run this command:

dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:VirtualMachinePlatform /all /norestart
Restart your Windows 10 PC.

  1. Use the Start menu to launch the Microsoft Store application or click here.
  2. Search for Ubuntu and select the first result, ‘Ubuntu’, published by Canonical Group Limited.
  3. Click on the Install button.

From there Ubuntu will download and install. The progress bar inside the Microsoft Store app will move to the right as it completes.

Ubuntu can now be launched in the same way as any other Windows 10 application, such as searching for and selecting Ubuntu in the Start menu.

First launch

When launched for the first time, Ubuntu will inform you that it’s ‘Installing’ and you’ll need to wait a few moments.

When complete, you’ll be asked for a username and password specific to your Ubuntu installation. These don’t need to be the same as your Windows 10 credentials. With this step complete, you’ll find yourself at the Ubuntu bash command line.

screenshot

Congratulations! You have successfully installed and activated the Ubuntu terminal on Windows 10. You now have all the power of the command line at your fingertips.

To install a GUI Desktop and use it like a PC interface follow further instructions here: GUI INTERFACE INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS

That’s it! Now go forth and Ubuntu my fair penguins.