Microsoft Provides Detailed Instructions on Installing Linux for Windows Users

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In recent years, Microsoft has altered its approach to open-source Linux-based operating systems. A trimmed-down version of Linux has made its way into the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), allowing the execution of Linux binaries. Now, Microsoft is taking this a step further by providing detailed instructions on its official support page for installing a full-fledged Linux distribution on a Windows computer.

In Microsoft’s installation guide, Linux is described as an open-source, highly customizable operating system that is somewhat akin to Windows. According to the instructions, Linux can be installed in four straightforward steps:

  1. Choose Installation Method: Users can pick between using the aforementioned Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), creating a virtual machine, performing a local installation on the PC, or installing Linux in the cloud.
  2. Select the Right Linux Distribution: Microsoft outlines principles for selecting an appropriate Linux distribution. These include considering the user’s prior experience, computer performance, the breadth of a distribution’s ecosystem, and the availability of detailed documentation.
  3. Create an Installation Flash Drive: The guide provides software tools for creating an installation flash drive with a minimum capacity of 16 GB. It also explains the installation process.
  4. Package Management and Linux Software: Microsoft offers recommendations on working with package managers and Linux software.

The decision by Microsoft to publish comprehensive instructions on installing Linux could be significant. Users of Windows 7 or Windows 8 were previously able to upgrade to Windows 10 or Windows 11 at no cost using their existing licenses.

However, the use of Windows 7 or Windows 8 keys for activation of current OS versions is no longer permitted. As a result, users of older Windows versions will either need to purchase a new license or consider a free alternative in the form of a Linux OS. By providing Linux installation instructions, Microsoft may aim to reduce instances of users turning to pirated copies of its OS.

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Martin Harris
I'm Martin Harris, a tech writer with extensive experience, contributing to global publications. Trained in Computer Science, I merged my technical know-how with writing, becoming a technology journalist. I've covered diverse topics like AI and consumer electronics, contributing to top tech platforms. I participate in tech events for knowledge updating. Besides writing, I enjoy reading, photography, and aim to clarify technology's complexities to readers.

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