Microsoft Windows 10 version 1803 and above allows you to install Linux bash shell inside Windows itself. Once installed, you can run bash shell and all the usual bash supported Linux command line tools in Windows. This is much better than running Linux using Virtual Box inside Windows because in this method, there is no overhead of the virtualization resulting in everything running faster and smoother. Using Linux bash shell in Windows could be useful for developers, enthusiasts and students.
Here is how you can quickly install Linux Bash shell in Windows 10:
- Press Win+R to open Run dialog, type OptionalFeatures.exe and press Enter.
- In the Windows Features window, select Windows SubSystem for Linux and click OK.
- It will install Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and then you have to restart Windows.
- Click on https://aka.ms/wslstore. This will launch Linux Distribution section in Microsoft Store.
- Select one of the Linux distributions and click on Get to install it. You can pick from Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, openSuse, Kali Linux, Alpine WSL etc.
- After the installation is finished. You can launch bash shell simply by running bash.exe (press Win+R, type bash and press Enter). You can run all the bash commands as usual.
If you do not want to install a Linux distribution through Microsoft Store or the installation through Microsoft Store is not working, then you can download the APPX files directly from Microsoft server, extract them to a folder using 7-Zip, and then run the EXE file inside it to begin the installation. Some of APPX packages may have another APPX package inside it that must be extracted using 7-Zip before you will find the EXE file. You can find the Linux distro download links from https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wsl/install-manual.
Even though you get to install a Linux distribution from many of the popular Linux distros like Ubuntu and Kali Linux, this does not install complete Ubuntu. So in other words, it won’t be similar to using Ubuntu through dual-boot installation or through Virtual Box.