Windows 10 includes an optional feature that lets you install Linux-based operating systems so that you can run Linux utilities alongside Windows applications without rebooting or switching computers.
Initially Ubuntu Linux was the only officially supported option. But earlier this year Microsoft promised that additional operating systems were on the way.
First, you’ll need to be a member of the Windows Insider Program running Windows 10 preview build 16190 or later. Second, you’ll need to enable the Windows Subsystem for Linux before you can install either operating system.
And third, the screenshots in the Windows Store are incredibly misleading: they show the full desktop versions of these operating systems, complete with a graphical user interface. But what you actually get after installing SUSE on a Windows 10 computer is the ability to run SUSE applications from a Bash terminal. In other words, you get a command-line interface for running command-line applications.
It may be possible to get an X window server up and running so that you can run programs that have a graphical user interface or install a desktop environment such as GNOME or KDE. People have been performing hacks to do that since shortly after the Windows Subsystem for Linux first launched. And Microsoft doesn’t go out of its way to block users from doing that… but it also doesn’t officially support it. So even if you do manage to get a GUI up and running, there’s no guarantee that it won’t break in a future software update.
That said, folks who find value in running a command line GNU/Linux terminal in Windows (Microsoft is targeting developers rather than casual users), now have a few more options.
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