Just when you thought the PC can’t go further than running PS4 and Xbox One in a computer, you can also run Linux on a Windows computer. It takes quite a while to get this working and it does require a bit of trial and error in order to properly run the distro in the Windows OS. But if you follow the steps accordingly in this article, everything should go A-okay.
If you’re tired of the same Windows UI, want to confuse your friends or show-off to your family how much of a computer whiz you are, then you’ll want to read this how-to guide on applying Linux on Windows.
Are There Any Specific PC Requirements to Do This?
Honestly, you can do this even with a potato computer. Just make sure you have Windows 10 and nothing less than that.
You don’t need a rad RTX 2060 to make this happen unless you’re planning on treating the Linux distro as a game runner. If you do want to make it as such – because, after all, Lord Gaben did say that Linux is going to be the “future of PC gaming” – you’d want to check out the best RTX 2070 today.
Even with a cheap laptop, this is safe.
But What is the Reason Behind Adding Linux to Windows?
Think of the Linux distro as a mod for your OS. It won’t completely take over everything Windows in your PC – just the layout and the overall feel of it. The best part of using a Linux distro in a Windows computer is that it makes your PC feel more personalized to your taste without any limits.
Do you want to create an anime-themed OS? It’s possible! Maybe turn the whole look and UI into a cyberpunk-themed vehicle dashboard? You can do so! How about everything and every pixel turned into Elon Musk’s face? Odd, but it’s doable as long as you know what to do with a Linux distro.
What’s a Linux Distro?
To better understand what’s going on, a Linux distro is a short term for Linux distribution. A Linux distribution serves as a kit that lets you use a Linux-based software that acts as the main interface for your OS.
According to HowtoGeek, a Linux distro will “do the hard work for you, taking all the code from the open-source projects and compiling it for you, combining it into a single operating system you can boot up and install. They also make choices for you, such as choosing the default desktop environment, browser, and other software. Most distributions add their own finishing touches, such as themes and custom software – the Unity desktop environment Ubuntu provides, for example.”
In other words, it’s an app that can run a Linux kernel onto your Windows PC.
Before You Install a Linux Distro
You will need to activate the Windows Subsystem in order to run a Linux distro properly. Follow these steps in order to prevent a 0x8007007e error:
- On the lower-left corner of the desktop screen, click the Windows button or press the Windows key on the keyboard.
- Open the Control Panel-represented by a Cog icon.
- Look for “Apps” to open up the Apps & Features page.
- On your right, you will find a label that says “Related Settings”. Under it, click on “Programs and Features”.
- A window will display every installed program you have but ignore that. Click on“Turn Windows features on or off”.
- You’ll get directed to a new window Here, it will gather all known data so just wait. When it’s complete, scroll down. You should find a field that says“Windows Subsystems for Linux”. Click the checkbox to activate it. Press OK.
- Restart your PC.
- When your PC finally goes to your desktop background, go to the Microsoft Page and you should find a Linux distro in the search bar.
Yes, you can do this with a command prompt too.
- Type “powershell” in the Windows search bar in the lower-left screen. Click the Windows Power Shell icon there. You shouldn’t miss it.
- Type the following: Enable-Windows Optional Feature -Online -Feature Name Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux
- Press Enter.
- Enter “Y” to activate.
- Automatically, this procedure will restart your PC.
Adding a Linux Distro/App to Your Windows PC (Windows 10)
Once you finally got the Windows Subsystem up and running, it’s time to install the Linux distro of your choice. So far, there are only 3 available apps but Linux promises to add more in the future. Just do the following steps:
Installing Linux through Microsoft Store
- Go to the Microsoft Store. You should find it in the Windows button at the bottom left corner of the screen. Take note that you can download more than one distro/app.
- Type in “Linux” or search for any of the following:
- Click to open your preferred Linux distro. Follow the set-up and you’re finished.
There will be more promised Linux distros available soon on the Microsoft Store however there is no telling when. Best of all, any of the Linux apps are free of charge. I hope this article helped you on your way to Linux-ing your Windows.