In 2017 Microsoft made it possible to run different Linux distribution on Windows 10, using a feature called the “Windows Subsystem for Linux“. With the latest official Semi-Annual Channel Windows Server release called Windows Server, version 1709 Microsoft also allowed to run the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) on Windows Server. With the next release of Windows Server called Windows Server, version 1803, Microsoft will also add some improvements to the Windows Subsystem on Linux, which also apply to Windows 10 as well as Windows Server. This blog post shows you how you can do this.
First you have a Windows Server, version 1709 running. After that enable the Microsoft Windows Subsystem for Linux feature, running the following command (This will need a reboot)
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux
You can download the appx packages for you favorite Linux distribution, this can be today:
- Suse Linux Enterprise Server
If you are running on Windows Server Core (which is highly likely), you can use the following command to download the Linux distributions.
# For Ubuntu 16.04
Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://aka.ms/wsl-ubuntu-1604 -OutFile ~/Ubuntu.zip -UseBasicParsing
# For Ubuntu 18.04
Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://aka.ms/wsl-ubuntu-1804 -OutFile ~/Ubuntu1804.zip -UseBasicParsing
# For OpenSUSE 42
Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://aka.ms/wsl-opensuse-42 -OutFile ~/OpenSUSE.zip -UseBasicParsing
# For SLES 12
Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://aka.ms/wsl-sles-12 -OutFile ~/SLES.zip -UseBasicParsing
You can then unpack the file:
Expand-Archive ~/Ubuntu.zip C:\Distros\Ubuntu
Now you can open that folder and run the installer for example ubuntu.exe. The first time this will do the setup where you also define the UNIX username and password as well as the root password.
After that you can run updates for your distro and you can start using Linux.
If you want to know more about the WSL, check out the Microsoft Documentation: Windows Subsystem for Linux Documentation and have a look at my WSL post in for Windows 10: Crazy times – You can now run Linux on Windows 10 from the Windows Store
You can also find the other Linux distro packages here: WSL distro packages.