The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) was introduced as a beta feature in Windows 10 Anniversary Edition and then officially rolled out in the Creators Update earlier this year. The WSL lets Windows 10 users easily run Linux apps from within Windows 10 64-bit, a unique capability that otherwise requires a dual-boot configuration. So far, Windows 10 supports Ubuntu Linux via the WSL, and Microsoft announced at its Build 2017 conference in March 2017 that other Linux distributions would make their way to the WSL with the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
Most important, they will be even easier to install via the Windows Store, and Ubuntu is now available in the Windows Store app for Windows Insiders.
If you’re running Windows Insider preview build 16215 or later, including the just-released build 16237, you can now head over to the Windows Store and download Ubuntu for the WSL. This will allow you to access the Ubuntu Terminal and to kick off Ubuntu command line utilities such as bash, ssh, git, apt, and more — information that’s provided in the Windows Store listing.
You’ll need to first open up the Control Panel, then click on “Turn Windows features on or off” to access the Windows Features dialog box. Once there, select “Windows Subsystem for Linux,” then click “OK” and reboot your system when prompted. Once you’ve rebooted, then you can go to the Windows Store and install Ubuntu and start working.
Microsoft is implementing the Windows Store installation method for the Linux distributions for a few reasons. First, it provides for faster and more reliable downloads. Second, it allows users to install more than one distro side-by-side. And third, it allows multiple distros to be run simultaneously.
SUSE and Fedora will also be making their way to the Windows Store over the next couple of weeks. As a reminder, if you want to install Ubuntu from the Windows Store, then you’ll need to be running as a Windows Insider in the Fast Ring and be updated to at least build 16215. Once Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is released later in the year, then anyone will be able to gain faster and easier access to different distros via the WSL.
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