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Windows 10: How to upgrade to run Ubuntu 16.04 on Windows

A key upgrade in the recent Creators Update adds support for a new version of the Linux-based OS Ubuntu.

Running Linux from inside Windows no longer requires a virtual machine or dedicated third-party software.

Windows 10 supports the Windows Subsystem for Linux, which allows users to run a range of Linux tools from the command line.

The recent Creators Update to Windows 10 adds support for many more core Linux tools, shells, languages, platforms, and services.

SEE: Windows 10: The smart person's guide

A key upgrade in the Creators Update is support for a newer version of the Linux-based OS Ubuntu. For a step-by-step walkthrough of how to install / update to Ubuntu 16.04, see the written guide below or watch the video above.

How to install Ubuntu 16.04

To access Ubuntu from within Windows 10 you'll first need to enable the Developer mode.

You can do this by going to the Start menu, going to Settings, then to Update and security. On this page, click the For developers option in the lefthand sidebar.

Now click the Developer mode radio button and then click Yes on the pop-up window titled Use developer features. Next reboot the machine.

Once the machine has rebooted, you'll need to enable the Windows Subsystem for Linux. Search for Windows Features in the Taskbar and select Turn Windows features on or off.

Scroll down to the bottom of the Windows Features window, and tick the checkbox labelled Windows Subsystem for Linux.

Next, you'll need to Install the Bash on Ubuntu on Windows app.

To do this, once again, click the search box on the Taskbar, type cmd and hit Enter.

In the command line, type bash and hit Enter. Windows will now begin installing Bash on Ubuntu on Windows. Accept the terms of service and the machine will download Ubuntu.

Once Ubuntu is installed, you'll be placed into Bash running on Ubuntu 16.04 on the Windows Subsystem for Linux.

How to upgrade from Ubuntu 14.04 to 16.04

If you're already running the Bash on Ubuntu on Windows app and want to upgrade the version from 14.04 to 16.04, then there are two ways to approach this.

The first approach will delete the existing Ubuntu distro, including any files that you've stored in the Linux filesystem, so you'll need back these up in advance.

To upgrade using this approach, open the Windows command line by typing 'cmd' into the Taskbar's search field and hitting Enter.

In the command line, now type 'lxrun /uninstall /full /y' and hit Enter. Next type 'lxrun /install'. Now wait and Ubuntu 16.04 will be installed on your machine.

The other approach is to perform an upgrade-in-place, although this can result in some complications.

Open Bash on Ubuntu on Windows and in the command prompt type 'do-release-upgrade'.

Whichever method you choose, once the installation is complete, you'll be able to access Ubuntu via the Bash on Ubuntu on Windows app

That's it for this tip, I hope you found you found it to be useful.

More about the Creators Update

About Nick Heath

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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