How to install Linux distros properly on Windows 10

Starting with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft is making some Linux distros, including Ubuntu, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12, and OpenSUSE Leap 42 available in the Windows Store. Additionally, it's no longer a prerequisite to enable Developer mode, which makes the installation of Linux distros a lot easier.

However, a number of users a seeing an error code 0x8007007e as they try to install any of the distros, but it's not a bug in the software. Instead, users are seeing this error because the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), the compatibility layer to run Linux binary executables on Windows 10 is missing.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to successfully install Ubuntu, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12, and openSUSE Leap 42 on your device.

How to install Windows Subsystem for Linux

Before you can install any version of Linux on Windows 10, you must install WSL using Control Panel.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Apps.
  3. Click on Apps & features.
  4. Under "Related settings," on the right side, click the Programs and Features link.

  1. Click the Turn Windows features on or off link.

  1. On "Windows Features," check the Windows Subsystem for Linux (Beta) option.

  1. Click OK.
  2. Click Restart now.

After completing the steps, you can open the Windows Store to get the Linux distro you want to use.

Installing Windows Subsystem for Linux using PowerShell

If you prefer using the command line method, it's also possible to install the Windows Subsystem for Linux using PowerShell.

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for PowerShell, right-click the result, and click Run as administrator.
  3. Type the following command to add the required module and press Enter:Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux
  4. Type Y to complete the installation and restart your computer.

How to install Linux distros on Windows 10

After adding the Windows System for Linux module to your computer, there are two ways to install Ubuntu or SUSE Linux distros on Windows 10: you can use Command Prompt or the Windows Store.

Installing Linux distros using Command Prompt

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the result, and click Run as administrator.
  3. Type one of the following commands to install Ubuntu, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12, or openSUSE Leap 42 and press Enter:
    • ubuntu
    • sles-12
    • opensuse-42

As you execute the command, the required files will download and install automatically on your device. Then simply follow the on-screen directions to complete the setup.

Installing Linux distros using Windows Store

Perhaps an easier way to install Linux distros on Windows 10 is to use the Windows Store using the following links:

Once the installation completes, launch the app, and complete the on-screen directions.

Remember that you're not limited to install just one version of Linux. If you want, you can also install all three, including Fedora Linux when it becomes available in the Store, and run them all simultaneously.

You can install Linux distros using the Store starting with the release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. However, if you have a device enrolled in the Windows Insider Program running the latest test build for PC, you can try any of them immediately. Also, note that devices running the Windows 10 Creators Update only supports Ubuntu, which can be installed using these steps.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

  • Mauro, you are the man
  • Honest question, if I already have windows, why would I want Linux? I used to use Ubuntu, and Mint several years just to mess ariund with, but haven't in a while.  
  • If you're just messing around with it, then I understand why you wouldn't want it.
  • This is not a separated OS. This is for developers.
  • Linux has advatages over windows. Some people need these advantages.
  • Not sure you get those advantages running it this way though.
  • Is this the "full" ubuntu with x windows and UI / the whole shooting match? Or just some command line environment? 
  • Those are full versions of Linux, without X11. 
  • Those are full versions of Linux, but without X11.
  • "just to mess ariund with" no wonder . :p
  • If you a software developer who works with other technologies other than the windows stack.
  • Well for most people it's not that useful except if you already know or have tools and scripts that would run only on Linux and would only be available by buying software on Windows. Otherwise it's mostly for devs. I'm a Web developer and I can install PHP, Apache and MySQL on Linux without ditching Windows or having to mess with dual booting. Of course I could install these tools directly on Windows but to reproduce a production environment, it's best to be as close to the system settings as possible. Some tools like Git and SASS are also easier to install and use on Linux. But yeah for regular users it's not a very useful feature. I think they're might be a bit of PR involved as well with the whole Microsoft Loves Linux. They might be trying to reach out to Linux PC users telling them "Hey we're not that bad". But that might be the cynical part of me talking :P
  • Guess there is one important Info missing in the article, the Windows subsystem for Linux seems to be avbl only in 64Bit Windows 10 or Pro? Using 32Bit Home on my Acer W4 and the Point is missing since it`s first introduction in the Insider Programm.