Windows has recently released the Windows Subsystem for Linux, giving users the ability to run Ubuntu binaries from a bash shell. There are some key limitations to point out, primarily that there is no Linux kernel here. It is, however, the real deal since there is no virtualization either. The project provides you with access to many of the core GNU utilities you would find on a Linux system. Unfortunately, these run mutually exclusive to Windows’ own software and utilities. There are no servers, either.

Can you SSH to another host? Yes. Can you run an SSH server? No, but close enough for now.

You’ll need to make sure your version of Windows 10 is up to date. This will likely have been taken care of behind the scenes.

First things first, you’ll need to turn on Developer mode. Navigate there via Settings > Update & Security > For Developers. This will give the system access to development software packages that are of little interest to regular users. You will need to restart for the packages to be available.

Now go to the Control Panel and navigate to Programs > Programs and Features > Turn Windows Features on or off. You will see a checkbox labeled Windows Subsystem for Linux (Beta). Check this box and it will prompt you for one last reboot.

Once the system has rebooted, use Cortana to search for bash and run the option under Command to begin the installation of Ubuntu on Windows.