I read on CNET that I can now go into developer mode and install a Bash shell and much of Ubuntu Linux within Windows 10? Excellent. How?
CNET‘s right, Microsoft has indeed released a weird sort of hybrid Bash & Ubuntu Linux distribution that you can install “inside” of your Windows 10 system. The wrinkle is that you need to not just be running Microsoft Windows 10, but Windows 10 Anniversary Update , have a x64-compatible processor and a member of the Windows Insider Program. And then the complications start in terms of installing things..
Still, let’s go through the steps because is is doable. In fact, I managed to get it all working within Win10 running on a VMware Fusion virtual machine on my Mac system. More layers, right? But it works, so there’s that.
You’ll want to start by joining the Windows Insider Program, it’s free: http://insider.windows.com/
Then you’ll likely have to update your Windows release, but the Insider program makes it easy to download the Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant, so use that to update to the release required. Click as needed, download stuff, update, restart. You know the drill.
Once you’ve enrolled in the Windows Insider Program and have the right version of Windows 10 installed, you’ll need to make some changes to get into developer mode. To start, search for “Developer Mode” and enable it:
When you click “Developer mode” it’ll download and install some additional software onto your computer. Takes about five minutes or so total, but eventually, you’ll be ready to proceed.
Next, you’ll have to go into the crufty old Windows configuration area to enable something called the Windows Subsystem for Linux. (seriously, props to Microsoft for even having a subsystem for Linux!). Get there by searching for “Turn Windows Features On” and you’ll get to a window with a long list of services and features, all with check boxes. Scroll down to find “Windows Subsystem for Linux (beta)”:
Notice that you only need to select “Windows Subsystem for Linux (beta)” here. I’d be cautious about making any other changes if you don’t know exactly what it’ll do. Linux enabled? Click “OK”.
Your Windows system will prompt you to restart to fully enable the Linux subsystem and the new developer tools. Do so.
Now you’re ready to install bash and now it’s from a command line! Old school, for sure. In the find box, search for “command prompt” and open up a command window. Then simply type in “bash” and you’ll be prompted to install the Bash software (and much of Ubuntu Linux) on your PC:
There’s a lot to download, compile and install, so this step in the process will also take a while.
When it’s done, however, you’ve live with a full Bash shell and a whole lotta Ubuntu Linux within your Windows 10 system! Check it out:
At this point it seems more of a curiosity than anything that’s going to be tremendously useful for Windows 10 users, but it’s good to know about and if you are curious about learning more about Bash shell script programming and all you have is a Windows 10 system, go for it. If you’re more serious about Linux, however, dual booting your PC with a Linux distribution or even running a full Linux distro within a virtual machine (try VMware for a great virtualization solution) is going to serve you better.
But still, props to Microsoft for adding Bash to Windows 10. Very cool.