Windows 10 includes support for an Ubuntu Linux subsystem, allowing you to run some Linux-based software natively in Windows without using a virtual machine or a dual-boot setup. But what if you’d prefer to use a Linux distribution other than Ubuntu?
SUSE product manager Hannes Kühnemund has posted instructions for replacing the Ubuntu filesystem with either openSUSE or SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. But there are also tools for using other Linux distributions including Fedora, Debian, and CentOS.
In a nutshell, the idea is to enable support for Bash on Ubuntu on Windows the way Microsoft recommends, in order to set up support for a Linux filesystem and the ability to run command-line software using Bash prompt.
Once that’s done, you can rename the Ubuntu filesystem to save it as a backup, download an alternate file system and unpack it as your root file system to set it as the default.
While there are some things that most GNU/Linux distributions have in common, if you’re used to the way SUSE works, for instance, you don’t have to familiarize yourself with Ubuntu commands.
Microsoft is positioning Bash on Windows as a feature aimed at developers rather than the general public. The idea is to let coders who are used to using Linux tools have access to that software while working on a Windows machine. But some users have found ways to enable a graphical user interface that lets you run desktop apps or even complete desktop environments within Windows.