The year of Linux on the desktop is finally here! Windows 10 is getting a Linux kernel, and all new Chromebooks will run Linux applications. Most desktops purchased in the future will include a Linux kernel and run Linux software.
Windows Is Getting a Built-in Linux Kernel
Traditional Linux distributions may not be taking over the world, but Linux is becoming even more pervasive than ever.
Windows 10 will soon include a built-in Linux kernel updated through Windows Update. Windows itself will still be based on the Windows kernel, of course. The Linux kernel will power the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2) and let you run even more Linux applications on Windows 10.
WSL version 1 was powerful, but it relied on emulation to run Linux software. That prevented more complex Linux applications—like Docker—from running on Windows. WSL 2 will be more powerful and will run Linux software using an actual Linux kernel.
There are ways to run graphical Linux applications on Windows 10, too. Microsoft doesn’t enable it out of the box, but all you have to do is install a third-party X server. More graphical applications should work better under WSL 2.
For command-line software, Microsoft is adding a beautiful new Windows Terminal app with tabs.
All Future Chromebooks Will Run Linux Apps
Chrome OS has always used a Linux kernel. In fact, Chrome OS was based on Gentoo Linux. But you had to jump through hoops to run Linux applications using solutions like Crouton. Google’s been fixing that by adding Linux application support to some Chromebooks.