Windows 10 S is not capable of running Linux distros

By Cal Jeffrey · 16 replies
May 19, 2017
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  1. Apparently, there has been some confusion about whether or not Linux distros will run on Windows 10 S computers. Originally, Microsoft had said that 10 S would run anything from the Windows Store. Now that it has announced that Ubuntu, Fedora, and SUSE will be offered in the Store, Redmond felt that some clarification on its previous statement was necessary.

    According to a post on the Microsoft Developer Blog, Linux distros will not run on Win 10 S.

    “Just because an 'app' comes from the Windows Store does NOT automatically mean that it’s safe & suitable for running in Windows 10 S,” writes Rich Turner of Microsoft. “There are some apps that are not allowed to run on Windows 10 S, including all command-line apps, shells, and Consoles.”

    Windows 10 S is tailored for “non-technical” users who do not need the command line or access other “low-level” workings of the operating system such as the registry. These users would rather have a computer that is easy to use, secure, and responsive. This reasoning is what is behind the disabling of programs not downloaded from the Windows Store.

    "Linux distros will not run on Windows 10 S."

    While Linux will be available in the Store, it will not be capable of running on Win 10 S because it requires Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), which it does not have. This feature is intentionally left out of Windows 10 S because Microsoft considers Linux distros to be “command-line tools” that run outside of the Universal Windows Platform (UWP).

    “[Distros] run outside the UWP sandbox & secure runtime infrastructure. They run with the capabilities granted to the local user – in the same way as Cmd and PowerShell do.”

    For the sake of transparency, the restrictions in Windows 10 S are not limited to Linux distros. While it may be reasonable to argue that limiting external applications on the system will ensure security, it is unreasonable to think that all non-UWP programs are malicious and useless.

    It is also unreasonable to think that you can find alternatives for everything you use in the Windows Store. According to the Guardian, some examples of programs that you may use every day that will not run on Windows 10 S include iTunes, the Chrome browser, and anything from the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Acrobat, Fireworks, etc.), although the somewhat lacking Photoshop Elements is available.

    Redmond’s answer to this issue: “upgrade to full Windows 10.”

    While the professional running Acrobat Creative Suite should probably be running Windows 10 Home or Pro anyway, regular users should not have to upgrade just to run certified programs like Chrome and iTunes. Fortunately, for now, there are plenty of computers sold with Home or Pro. However, these usually cost more.

    Be aware of what you need to use and whether you can get it in the Windows Store before buying a Windows 10 S installed computer.

    Permalink to story.

  2. treeski

    treeski TS Evangelist Posts: 990   +233

    Just to be clear, iTunes is coming to the Windows Store, along with Spotify and WhatsApp. Slack is already in the store. Not that anyone should be using iTunes anyway... ;)
    Teko03 and Cal Jeffrey like this.
  3. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +902

    I think this will have an impact more to the software companies rather than the users. If this becomes a thing (Which I doubt but anywho...) the development companies will have to put their applications into the windows store, just as they do with Android and iOS apps.

    I do have to give Microsoft some points here, as people are by now used to going into a store to install things in their phones, by slowly pushing the windows store has also helped the less savy users with getting into computers. I know... this is a tech news forum, this won't have any appeal to anyone posting in here but it doesn't mean that I won't appeal to users because you like your cmd. Most people have no idea what's a command line.
    Teko03 and erickmendes like this.
  4. Cal Jeffrey

    Cal Jeffrey TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 634   +178

    Thanks for pointing that out.
    treeski likes this.
  5. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,335   +843

    I really dislike the idea of Windows 10 S existing even though I will never use it. It's litterally prison: the OS. The thought behind this OS is if you can't do anything on it you can't break it...which is a terrible way of "increasing security". Other than that I can't see another pro of this OS.
    psycros and Cal Jeffrey like this.
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    It's just another form of a VM sandbox for apps, not whole Operating Systems like RedHat.

    would be interesting to see if the Apache webserver for Windows would run - - seriously!
  7. erickmendes

    erickmendes TS Maniac Posts: 308   +107

    We got W10 Pro, Home, it's Nice to have W10S as another option. Anyone who tried to unclog a WXP old grandma pc know that and 'harder tô break' OS could really be useful. As someone pointed out, people got used to the app store model on cellphones, bringing It to a user friendly PC OS just help getting more users on PC, which is good for PC industry and brings even more price competition. Win-win.
  8. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,870   +1,291

    Windows S may not run Linux but I guarantee the hardware it comes on will :)
    Cal Jeffrey likes this.
  9. amghwk

    amghwk TS Addict Posts: 208   +82

    Yeah, just do a clean install from any Linux live CD image on a USB stick.
  10. bexwhitt

    bexwhitt TS Guru Posts: 355   +72

    Is Itunes ****? sure, if you have an Iphone or Ipad and want to backup your stuff for most people there is no other choice.
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    That's correct. You can install Iinux as a dual boot OR, try the cd from Knoppix to see how you like Linux :grin:
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,996   +2,528

    Listen up you people, you can fabricate positive plausible explanations, and justifications for this Windows "S" garbage to your hearts content. The operative truth here is, there aren't any, period.

    M$ is going to RAM this sorry excuse for an operating system down people's throats until Windows is a closed system, as bad as, or worse than, Apple's ecosystem.

    The tragedy to be is, newcomers will eventually accept this is as the norm. As time goes on, new users will accept this semi-functional trash as the real "Windows experience", and in all likelihood at some time in the future, be forced to pay for it by the month.
  13. ypsylon

    ypsylon TS Booster Posts: 114   +21

    Sure there is choice. Like SynciOS for example. Using iTunes only to purchase songs. Anything else SiOS.
  14. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,999   +1,318

    I love how windows 10S is inadvertently admitting that windows 10 is a buggy and mediocre experience, with possibly massive security holes.

    Fortunately as long as Steam stays off the windows store, people use web browsers other than Edge, etc etc, normal windows versions will remain quite popular.

    I really need to figure out how to get windows 7 installed for dual boot on this thing. just a bunch of PITA stuff involving MBR vs GPT, etc.
  15. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,870   +1,291

    Until DX12 becomes a thing there is literally no reason whatsoever to run Windows 10. In fact there's every reason NOT to.
    erickmendes likes this.
  16. erickmendes

    erickmendes TS Maniac Posts: 308   +107

    My dream... MS "legalize" DX12 subscription (even that way...) for Linux, so I can run every Windows game I want on a Linux distro with full performance. That I would pay for (monthly).
  17. TheBigT42

    TheBigT42 TS Addict Posts: 155   +82

    FYI Operating Systems don't run other Operating Systems.

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