Running Ubuntu on top of Windows 10 is a thing thanks to Bash

John White By: John White
2 minute read

Windows 10 in its current form is pretty decent, but we know some folks would love to give Ubuntu Linux a test drive without having to install it on a new partitioned section of the hard drive.

This is possible due to the deal Microsoft worked out with Canonical to allow Bash to run on Windows 10. We wouldn’t recommend going this route for the non-techie crowd, but for those who understand what they are doing, this option is not too bad.

The idea to get Ubuntu up and running with the Unity desktop environment on Windows 10 came from GitHub developer Guerra24.

Before managing to get Ubuntu running on top of Windows 10, the developer played around with the CompizConfig Settings Manager (CSSM) GUI for a while. He also used tools such as VcXsrv and XLaunch to help set up a Windows X server, something that is needed to perform the difficult task at hand.

Here’s what Guerra24 had to say:

“I finally managed to run Unity inside WSL, this shows that is fully capable of running an entire Desktop Environment, there are some issues with dbus and sometimes VcXsrv crashes, also you can’t logout and the only way of exiting is closing compiz,” says Guerra24.

Bear in mind that if you follow his instructions, do not expect Ubuntu to run perfectly. Some apps will not open and we’re not sure if it will run fast enough, but this shouldn’t matter to folks who just want to tinker around with the operating system just to get a rundown of what it is like.

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Ubuntu is not the only thing capable of running through Bash on Windows 10. It is possible to run the Ubuntu version of Firefox, but don’t expect smooth sailing there either.

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