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4 Ways to Run Linux Commands and Software on Windows

Run Linux on Windows
Written by Divine Okoi

So, all the times we have written about platform applications for another platform, it was with regards to the availability of Windows software for the Linux platform.

What if you want to run Linux software on Windows? Afterall, there are certain features that are peculiar to Linux and sometimes, Unix-like platforms.

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There are several ways to work with Linux software (including software and commands) within a Windows environment and today we will go through the most reliable ways.

1. Virtual Machines


This is the quickest and most reliable way to run Linux software on Windows because you will be running the complete OS within your Windows installation with access to everything that you have to offer. Your only limitation will be your machine’s hardware.

There are a handful of efficient virtual machine software that you can try with the most common and free solution being VirtualBox.

2. coLinux

coLinux stands for Cooperative Linux and it is a program that enables you to natively run Linux on Windows and other Operating Systems.

It is a port of the Linux kernel and its code allows it to run alongside another OS without the need for emulation.

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3. Windows Subsystem for Linux and Bash

Microsoft collaborated with Canonical in 2016 to provide a reliable version of Bash for Windows. It is capable of running our favourite Linux commands and tools like nano, grep, and ssh.

What’s even cooler is that Bash on Windows can be activated easily.

4. Remote Access

You probably didn’t see this point coming because it isn’t exactly running Linux software on Windows, but imagine that you already have a Linux machine that you can plug into, perform your tasks, and move on. Remotely accessing desktops has been a tech skill for almost as long as cool networking options have existed.

The most common methods include Virtual Network Computing (VNC), Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), and of course, Secure Shell (SSH).

RDP ships with Windows 10 but you will need to install xrdp on the Linux machines you will be remotely accessing. VNC requires a number of dependencies and SSH is a command-line tool you can use with an app like PuTTY or KiTTY.

So, assuming there aren’t cross-platform software versions of Linux apps for you to use, you can always try any of the above methods.

The more you work with any if not all of the listed options, the more experience you gather and you will know which one works best for you and you’ll be able to share your experience with us.

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Are there any methods of running Linux software and tools on Windows that I have left out? Tell me about them in the comments section below.


About the author

Divine Okoi

Divine Okoi is a cybersecurity postgrad with a passion for the open-source community. With 700+ articles covering different topics in IT, you can always trust him to inform you about the coolest tech.