Microsoft announced a list of changes it intends to make to its popular PC operating system Windows 10 last week at its Build 2019 developer conference. One of the changes mentioned was the inclusion of native support for Linux kernel. Just a week after the announcement, we see that Arch Linux, one of the many Linux distros out there, is now available for download on the Microsoft Store. Here’s how you can go about installing it.
Unlike other Linux distros available on the Microsoft Store, Arch Linux isn’t recommended for Linux beginners, notes Fossbytes, in its article on the subject. To begin installation of Arch Linux, you’ll first have to enable the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) feature. To do that, open Run, type, “optionalfeatures.exe” and then hit OK. In the Windows Features dialog box that appears next, check the box that says “Windows Subsystem for Linux”. In some PCs the feature’s name may be suffixed with “Beta” in parentheses.
You can then head to the Microsoft Store to download WSL Arch Linux. According to the app’s description, Arch Linux won’t work on PCs running Windows 10 in S Mode. You’ll have to exit S Mode to proceed with the installation, which is a one-time move. “When your system is ready simply start “archlinux” in cmd.exe or launch Arch Linux from the start menu,” reads the last line of instruction in the app’s description.
Originally released in early 2002, Arch Linux is a general purpose Linux distro designed to run on 32-bit and 64-bit PCs. Unlike many other Linux distros (like Ubuntu), which use a scheduled release model, Arch Linux uses a “rolling release” model. That means new packages are installed on a daily basis to keep the system and bundled applications updated. However, the distro gets monthly update ISO images too. You can read more about Arch Linux here.