I want to run Ubuntu Linux on my PC, but I would like to do it as an application within Windows 10, not as a separate boot. Is that possible?
Until recently, running Ubuntu or any other flavor of Linux on your Windows computer would have involved installing virtual machines and a fairly complicated Linux install sequence. Microsoft has been interested in Linux for quite a while, though, and they’ve offered various developer and early release options for adding it to your Win10 system.
The latest version, only available if you’re running the Windows Insider Program preview edition of Windows 10, is quite literally just an app you download from the Microsoft App Store. It installs itself and you have a simple Ubuntu Linux command window ready to pop open and explore at the click of a button. Super easy. At least, if you’re in the Insider program. Still, it’s the easiest solution to your problem so let’s have a look.
To start, go into the App Store and search for “ubuntu” (for some inexplicable reason, you can’t find it with a search for “linux”). You’ll find this app:
As you can see above, if you’re not a member of the Windows Insider program, you’re going to get a “Join Now” option, not the ability to actually get the app itself. Go ahead and join, you can specify that you only want the most stable of beta releases and my experience is that it’s pretty darn stable.
You can read more about it by going to Settings > Update & Security and clicking on “Windows Insider Program“, as shown:
Click “Get started” and you’ll end up downloading a new improved version of Windows 10! Once you’ve done that and have it running (it’s pretty darn easy) then go back to the Microsoft Store and search for “ubuntu” again. This time the buttons will change:
That’s better! Click on “Get” to begin the download and install process.
It’s a bit more complicated than the usual game or other program, so it goes through the download process more than once. Eventually it’s done and the buttons change yet again:
Click “Launch” and it’s going to go through more installation:
Eventually that completes and you’ll be prompted to set up an account and password pair for the Linux that’s now inside your Windows system. Choose an easy to remember pair and after a second or two you’re done and it’s ready to use!
That’s all there is to it. As you can see, I’ve already tried two comments, “pwd” and “ls -a”.
Have fun with Linux and don’t forget to check out Linux Journal too!