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Microsoft Is Bringing Linux Distros to Windows 10

Dave Parrack 12-05-2017

Microsoft is doubling down on its support for Linux by announcing that three of the most popular Linux distros are coming to the Windows Store. This means that Ubuntu, Fedora, and OpenSUSE will all soon be available on Windows 10. Which will make most developers very happy bunnies.


At Build 2016, to the surprise of almost everyone, Microsoft announced that it was adding support for the Bash shell A Quick Guide to Linux Bash Shell in Windows 10 You can now run Linux on Windows. Learn more about Bash on Windows, from how and why you should install it, to hidden features you probably didn't know about. Read More to Windows 10. That support duly arrived with the launch of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. And now, at Build 2017, Microsoft has gone one (or two) better.

Linux Distros in the Windows Store

Microsoft is now bringing Fedora and OpenSUSE to the Windows Store alongside Ubuntu. Developers will need to turn on “Developer mode” in Windows 10, and then turn on support for Linux. They can then head for the Windows Store to install any one, or all three, of the supported Linux distros. This saves having to sideload a virtual machine and run Linux on top of that.

Microsoft’s Terry Myerson explained on the Windows Blog, “We’ve simplified the install of Ubuntu by bringing it to the Windows Store. We also announced we are working with SUSE Linux and Fedora Linux running on the Windows Subsystem for Linux— to bring them to the Windows Store. Now, Windows is the only platform that can run both Windows apps and Linux apps side-by-side.”

Bringing Linux distros to the Windows Store means they’ll also work with the new Windows 10 S Microsoft Unveils a Streamlined Version of Windows 10 Microsoft has unveiled a new version of Windows 10 called Windows 10 S. This is Microsoft's answer to Chrome OS, and the new streamlined version of Windows 10 is being targeted mainly at students. Read More . Which is a simpler, streamlined version of Windows 10 aimed at students. And who generally appreciates open-source software more than most people? Why, students, of course.

Microsoft Finally Does Something Right

Is it just me or is it almost impossible to hate Microsoft these days? There was a time, not so long ago, when Microsoft was the big bad. And now? Well, the company’s still not perfect, but it’s doing a lot more things right than it once was. Including embracing open-source software 6 Myths About Open Source Software Debunked Open source software is awesome, but despite the growing popularity of FOSS alternatives, many people misunderstand the nature of the open source industry. Do you still believe these outdated and disproved open source myths? Read More .


What do you think of Microsoft’s increasing support for Linux? Are you likely to take advantage of Microsoft making Ubuntu, Fedora, and OpenSUSE available on Windows 10? Of the three Linux distros, which do you prefer? Please let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: Pascal Volk via Flickr

Related topics: Fedora, Linux Bash Shell, Linux Distro, openSUSE, Ubuntu, Windows 10.

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  1. Michael
    December 23, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    This is indeed good for some users. I run Win 10.1709 on most of my machines, but keep Mint 18.2 cinnamon on three machines (and keep a spare live USB in case of problems). I'm hoping Mint will eventually make it to the list. For those programs where Linux is better (mining comes to mind), I'll keep running Linux. My only concern is they may shut down open source and kill creativity. And I must note that I am a user, not a programmer.

    Yes, I ran dual boots on 98 and XP with various Linuxes since long ago... Both OS have improved, for which I am thankful to Redmond and the open source folks.

  2. Horst Kohleer
    June 6, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    This is obviously a honey pot. It reminds me of how the Nazis would promise Jews they were "relocating" a luxury apartment, charge them a small fortune for it, then upon arrival march them right into the showers.

    Gimme a break! Running Linux ON Windows defeats the very purpose of running Linux in the first place. You cannot trust MS to respect your privacy, read their EULA. They spell it all out for you in black and white.

    IF YOU WANT LINUX, DOWNLOAD IT AND INSTALL IT YOURSELF AND WIPE WINDOWS OFF YOUR DRIVE. Letting windows and Linux run at the same time is just another backdoor allowing snoops to track your activity. Grow up people!

  3. Paul Girardin
    May 24, 2017 at 12:34 am

    This is a great way to run a Linux OS with all the disadvantages/vulnerabilities of Microsoft crapware.

  4. Len Firewood
    May 17, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    As far as I am concerned Windows (all versions) are massive pieces of malware. I am currently using Linux Mint 18.1 which is itself based on Ubuntu - in view of this I shall be watching very carefully what now happens with Ubuntu and look out for any "compromises" that may threaten the platform. I don't like to be pessimistic but I don't see any good in this for those of us very wary of Windows insecure platform. I may well now consider migrating to a distro more in keeping with the aims and objectives of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software). For the record I am a retired IT consultant\developer where 95%+ of my work was on Microsoft Windows platforms so my aversion is based on knowledge rather than prejudice.

  5. Mike Bch
    May 16, 2017 at 5:37 am

    For me it really does not matter.
    I use only Linux (Mint) at home. I have Windows that I use very seldom. Like to play some game.
    Really I think that Microsoft could concentrate and bring the Linux or Unix commands like grep to Windows command line.

  6. Arin Da Silva
    May 15, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    I have always preferred SuSE & OpenSuSE platforms. I don't know what it is, but I'm still feeling a bit uneasy about this whole availability thing right now. But we'll see...??

  7. Milton
    May 14, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Does that mean that the Linux Community will not be the overseers of Linux that Microsoft will be or will Linux still being open source

    • Jonah
      May 15, 2017 at 8:33 am

      Linux will always be open source, Microsoft is free to choose which version of Linux is installed but have no control over what happens in the operating system itself.

  8. k2t0f12d
    May 14, 2017 at 2:42 am

    No, no, no, no, no, they have *not* embraced "open-source", otherwise they would publish all their source code, set up a community, and start taking patches!!

    • RannXeroxx
      May 14, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      You do not have to be 100% and pure open source to embrace the community. MS has actually been supporting financially, via code, and incorporating open source for years. Adding bash to Windows is simply more attention grabbing.

    • Lukas
      March 9, 2019 at 4:27 am

      Bet they did.

      “Now, Windows is the only platform that can run both Windows apps and Linux apps side-by-side.” – They are already working on the extend step.

  9. SultanDerek
    May 13, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    Bone cancer is bone cancer. No thanks, Microsoft.

  10. ron votre
    May 13, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    "Embrace, extend, extinguish. "

    That has always been Microsoft's strategy. Take something, load it up with Microsoft proprietary software and technology so you gain de facto control over the developer community supporting it, than kill the host and substitute a Microsoft product in its place.

    Beware of geeks bearing gifts.

    • Mike Walsh
      May 14, 2017 at 10:29 am

      Couldn't agree more. MyCrudSoft never, EVER do 'something for nothing'. There's ALWAYS an 'angle'.

      Leopards don't change their spots.....

  11. Palladini
    May 13, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    It does not matter what Windows does, Now that I found I can run Windows and Linux Mint 18.1 Cinnamon along side Windows, and choose which OS to run on Start Up is wonderful. I have this running on this, my Video Editing Beast, and on a Windows 8 laptop in the front room. And truth be told, Linux Mint 18.1 is 1000s percent better than Windows 10, 8 or 7 Pro

  12. Jansen Simanullang
    May 13, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Before I deliver my opinion to the questions given above, I think I have to address my view upon the sentence that mentioned that "... who generally appreciates open-source software more than most people? Why, students, of course...." Well, ummm, I was a student 15 years ago when I came to know Linux the first time. SUSE was my first installation, Ubuntu was not yet even born at that time. We were students 15 years ago, but here we are now begin to be positioned as the mid-senior management and still appreciate the freedom to innovate using open-source software ecosystem. So, "... who generally appreciates open-source software more than people? Why, people who loves the freedom to innovate, of course, they were students but now begin to take position ...."

    *What do you think of Microsoft’s increasing support for Linux? *

    Well, I can only guess what they had in mind by looking back to the ancient history of David and Goliath and the Roman Empire. The question raised 15 years ago was whether the open-source community would survive against the mighty Goliath of Microsoft Windows Operating System. The answer then that it did survive to this day. The insurgents, rebels, mavericks, barbarians to the Roman Empire of Closed Source then no longer the underdogs, they are the rising power beginning to drain the wealth of the empire. David is now the new Goliath. Alliance with the freedom-fighters become the new business model.

    Microsoft began its support to Open Source software in its cloud business: Microsoft Azure, where you can find support for MongoDB, Redis, MySQL, NoSQL. Now, they are descending its support even closer to more audiences by taking it to its own Windows Marketplace. By making friends with OpenSUSE, Ubuntu, Fedora, Microsoft seems to apply the adage "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." Microsoft seeks to win the rivalry to its competitors. Oracle's Virtualbox no longer needed to run Linux distros under Windows. Oracle's Linux is overlooked by Windows' Linux distros. Windows' bash support will definitely attract sympathies of the Linux users where the convenience of a bash script over a batch file has been a long time pain for Linux users to migrate to Windows.

    *Are you likely to take advantage of Microsoft making Ubuntu, Fedora, and OpenSUSE available on Windows 10? *
    Most likely. Not only me, of course all the people who want to have the best of both worlds, or many worlds.

    *Ubuntu, Fedora, and OpenSUSE. Of the three Linux distros, which do you prefer?*
    The one with no hassle to run out-of the-box, with large crowds of users and a nice look and feel.

  13. Chris
    May 13, 2017 at 7:14 am

    When Windows stops grabbing the mbr and properly supports dual boot I'll believe in their sincerity to Linux.

    This is a nice step however.

    • RannXeroxx
      May 14, 2017 at 4:30 pm

      It's not really MS but the OEM and chip vender. Frankly it's understandable since allowing modification is exactly the same thing virus writers want to do. Linux desktop is such a small install base that you can see why OEMs are not going out of their way to try and make it easier for them. For them it's all about market share. Many would love to have a serious alternative to Windows , hence their embrace of ChromeBooks. But they follow market trends. Linux desktop still to this day is not trending to profits for them.

  14. Naeem Khan
    May 13, 2017 at 5:21 am

    I would like to prefer Ubuntu

  15. Naeem Khan
    May 13, 2017 at 5:20 am

    I would like to prefer ubutu

  16. Pierre
    May 13, 2017 at 5:18 am

    the point is, that most users move to a Linux System, simply because they either mistrust or they simply don't like any version of the Windows System, and as such, they are unlikely to view this approach from Microsoft very favorably.

  17. Bob Pegram
    May 12, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    I'd rather that they made Windows run on the Linux kernel subsystem. Wine, a Windows emulator on Linux can run certain Windows programs faster than they do on Windows. Why? Linux memory allocation is faster, especially in freeing used memory. If I've got something wrong above, just tell me, save the flames. On top of performance reasons, I'd rather have a machine that is less vunerable to Windows low level Malware. If it doesn't yet exist, believe me, it will. Thus, I'll still run Windows in a virtual machine on a Linux Distro and hope for better and quicker emulation.

    • Mike Walsh
      May 14, 2017 at 10:36 am

      Got to agree with you there, Bob. I've run 'Puppy' Linux for the last three years, but still run a number of Windows graphics apps under WINE.....including an old, much-loved copy of Adobe's Photoshop CS2. And you know what?

      That's right; it runs faster in Linux, under WINE, than it ever did in its native environment of Windows XP, as it was when CS2 was released.....

    • Doc
      May 15, 2017 at 6:12 pm

      Wine Is Not an Emulator.

  18. steve
    May 12, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    I am really suspicious of Microsoft approach to Linux
    of late spent the 90,s trying to kill it off
    I think Microsoft speaks with forked Tongue
    can not be trusted Linux beware

    • popeye
      May 16, 2017 at 10:13 pm

      I'm just hoping this means I will be able to install Linux on my W10 machine when I get tired of MS (no end of support anymore ,,or is there ?). Like I did on my XP and Vista.