Yesterday at Microsoft Build 2016, Microsoft announced that Ubuntu was coming to Windows 10. This announcement is huge and people have been crying tears of joy ever since. A lot of people are eager to get started with the build that supports Ubuntu but for end users who know nothing more about Ubuntu other than its name and Linux origins, this might be a cause for alarm or general confusion. Ubuntu is a perfectly functional operating system in its own regard and it might make little sense to add one operating system to another. The thing is, that’s not what Microsoft is doing. It isn’t literally importing another OS into Windows 10. It is instead adding support for certain libraries and tools that developers need to use often. Here’s a quick breakdown of what this means.
Ubuntu coming to Windows means the linux command line i.e. bash has been added to Windows. It will allow users, developers specifically, to run bash commands and libraries on their Windows machines. For an end user, Ubuntu coming to Windows is of no significance. It’s a feature that is tied to the Developer Mode and it’s the developer community that is over the moon about it.
How It Works
In order to bring Ubuntu to Windows, Microsoft has added new infrastructure called the Windows Subsystem for Linux. Developers will turn on the developer tools in Windows 10 in order to get the tools. They will then be able to use a Bash command to get an image of Ubuntu. The image is downloaded via the command line but comes from the Windows Store. Once it’s, developers will be able to run Bash natively.
Why Do Developers Need This?
Developers routinely use Bash and many other Linux tools that have been made available to them with this update. Not only is Bash very popular with developers, it’s also incredibly powerful. Before, if a developer wanted to use bash libraries, they would have to run Ubuntu in a virtual machine or use the Cygwin environment. This quite simply makes it easier for them to use Bash on a Windows system.
Does It Effect End Users?
Not one bit. Even if you decide to turn on developer tools in Windows 10, there is no way you will accidentally end up using bash because of it. It’s a tool that is useful only to someone who knows how to use it and if that isn’t you, there is nothing to worry about.