Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering
CITS4407 Open Source Tools and Scripting
Running Linux on a Windows-10 computer
There are a number of possible ways to run a faithful set of Linux commands on a
Windows computer but,
for students with little Linux or systems-administration experience,
the procedures can be daunting.
Options include using:
a virtual machine,
which can be noticeably slower than running
a native Linux distribution (such as in the CSSE labs), or
modifying your system to become a
where you install
Linux on a newly-created disk partition and then select, at boot time,
which operating system you wish to run (such as in the CSSE labs).
A simpler approach to the options, above,
is to enable and run Microsoft's
Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).
Your computer must be running an up-to-date version of Windows-10.
WSL will not run on Windows-7.
Complete all Steps 1-7 of the section
"How to install Windows Subsystem for Linux using Settings",
complete all Steps 1-8 of the section
"Installing Linux distros using Microsoft Store".
Most students choose the Ubuntu distribution
(often because that's what their friends choose).
WSL is intended for running Linux command-line programs.
However, it's also possible to run graphical Linux desktop programs
(such as web-broswer)
using an application termed
an X-windows server.
We'll install the open-source X-windows server named VcXsrv.
You might receive a prompt to allow X-windows traffic through your firewall.
Cancel/deny this request else other computers on your network
may be able to access your X-server.
Finally, click on the Finish button.
A new X-windows icon should appear in your system tray
(near your laptop's battery indicator).
Configuring Linux within WSL
The default installations of Linux that run within WSL are quite minimal,
possibly not up-to-date,
and do not provide a number of helpful Linux utilities.
The following steps,
all executed by a Linux shell (window) while running WSL,
will download and install a suitable environment.
Just cut-and-paste the following commands using your mouse.
The first time you run sudo,
it will ask for your Linux password.
Firstly, ensure that your Linux distribution (within WSL) is up-to-date: