In a relatively short, almost unnoticeable announcement made a couple of days ago (July 10), Microsoft employee Rich Turner have published that Ubuntu Linux has been made available for download and install through Windows Store.
The statement comes after months of hard work in which Microsoft team worked together with various Linux distro’s teams to make the above a reality.
The main idea is that Linux would work as a “subsystem” on Windows rather than replacing it entirely or coincide with it (a setup commonly referred to as dual/multi boot), allowing users to tap into the various strength points Linux carries.
According to Turner, the key benefits users gain from this move are:
- Faster and more reliable downloads.
- Ability to run different distros aligned more closely with users production environments and/or personal preferences.
- Ability to run more than one distro at a time – great for when you need to work on systems that span different environments.
Surely, many dual booters who run both Windows and Linux on the same computer would view this move as a positive step in the right direction. Also, if you’re a Linux user who wish to see Linux growing and flourishing, reaching a larger userbase then it currently has, then you probably feel the same.
But hold on with the joy parade just yet.
This Is Merely A Foundation, Not A Full Structure
What Turner’s announcement doesn’t tell you is that the package made available to install through Windows Store is only a basic system, rather than a full blown distro.
Meaning, there is no GUI – you won’t have Unity, GNOME, KDE, or any other desktop environment ready to install on that setup, in fact you won’t even have a display server – Xorg or Wayland ready to work under the resulted environment (it’s just a subsystem, remember?).
So obviously, the average user won’t find Linux on Windows much fruitful.
Nevertheless, developers and people who prefer to work through the command line under different environments should and probably would be happy to learn about the added feature.
And who knows, maybe in the not so distant future, one such developer would create a full blown build of a Linux distro possible to install on Windows (even as subsystem), and from there access a whole new world of possibilities.
Check out Ubuntu on Windows Store: