As many will have heard of, Microsoft will distribute a stock Ubuntu installation to be run on Windows 10. Source.

Someone has made the point that being this the result of a partnership with Canonical, questions about it should be supported.

Per the Help Center:

Questions that you may ask:

  • Using and administering official Ubuntu flavors including: Edubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Kubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin, Lubuntu, Mythbuntu, Ubuntu Studio, Xubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Touch, and Ubuntu "Snappy" Core.

  • Running third-party applications on Ubuntu.

  • Development on Ubuntu.
  • Services provided by Ubuntu and Canonical.
  • Any question not mentioned below or here are great!

"Ubuntu on Windows 10" technically doesn't fit anywhere on the list.

However it's hard to deny that "Ubuntu on Windows 10" may be considered a "Ubuntu flavour" to some extent, and it's also hard to deny that it's also "official".

On the other hand, this is going to run on Windows. So as the same person suggested, this should be limited to questions / issues not concerning the Windows Subsystem for Linux.

I don't have a stance on this yet. But for sure this needs to be clarified before being buried under questions about "Ubuntu on Windows 10".

So the question is: do we consider "Ubuntu on Windows 10" the same as an official Ubuntu flavour? Do we support it? To what extent?

  • 7
    it is a service provided by ubuntu and canonical, offical too
    – Mateo
    Commented Apr 2, 2016 at 15:20
  • @Mateo So you see it as "the possibility of running a Ubuntu-based instance on Windows", and hence as a service. I may agree with that. So you would be favorable to support it?
    – kos
    Commented Apr 2, 2016 at 15:31
  • 1
    not just ubuntu based, it sounds like the entire ubuntu image binarys minus the linux kernel, as i understand so far. although they have mentioned support sites here:
    – Mateo
    Commented Apr 2, 2016 at 15:50
  • t.co/drqLoR7l2k
    – Mateo
    Commented Apr 2, 2016 at 15:50
  • 5
    Given that it is Canonical supplied code, for MS Windows 10 .. I see the main issue being ongoing discussion and support for this products limitations. This implementation will be limited (affected) by its underlying host OS and may be adversely affected by: GDI/graphics layer (run as root), housekeeping tasks (those lost 200ms, every few minutes), and other 'features' of Windows OS's that Linux- kernel based OS have not had to tolerate since genesis.
    – david6
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 23:21

7 Answers 7


Canonical does, so I'd suppose it's fair game.

This isn't full Ubuntu, though. It's just the command line, and that I think should retain the same behaviour except where it uses Linux-specific APIs (cgroups, anyone?).

It's meant for development. General programming and debugging, IMO, remains as off-topic as ever.

In any case, I think we should mark all such questions as off-topic until MS actually releases it to the general public. There's no reason we should be dealing with pre-released buggy crap running on top of buggy crap.

  • 1
    The stance looks clear in my opinion, and I agree with setting all questions about it as off-topic until Microsoft releases it, unless (much like Ubuntu+1) they're about definitive features.
    – kos
    Commented Apr 9, 2016 at 2:01
  • 12
    +1 for using "buggy crap" twice. Too bad I can't add a bounty to reward existing answers on meta... :-)
    – Fabby
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 10:50
  • 2
    No, it's really not just command-line. Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 20:28
  • 2
    @VirtualDXS it is, as far as Microsoft and Canonical are concerned. If some hacker manages to get X working, they can support it themselves. Don't come here.
    – muru
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 6:16
  • 1
    @VirtualDXS And it seems you have to run Xming or Cygwin's X thingy for graphical apps to work - X from Ubuntu won't work. So there you have it.
    – muru
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 6:32
  • Ah, I didn't realize that Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 17:42
  • Yep, I agree with that, especially about running GUI applications where neither Microsoft nor Canonical currently have any intention to support it for this product. @kos Sorry for not replying earlier.
    – LiveWireBT
    Commented Apr 17, 2016 at 18:44
  • I'm seeing links to this discussion saying that WSL is on-topic here. This accepted answer does not seem to reflect that.
    – Pro Q
    Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 7:10
  • 1
    @Pro the Ubuntu parts are on-topic. Problems involving the Windows side, other distros running on WSL, bug reports, etc. aren't.
    – muru
    Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 7:29
  • WSL2 is actually full ubuntu in VM. Commented Aug 25, 2019 at 12:25

I see it like this, it's an Ubuntu usermode, running on Windows or not, doesn't matter. I explicitly asked is it just bash? The answer was it's not bash, it's an Ubuntu usermode, meaning it's a Ubuntu piece of software, officially supported by Ubuntu.

So it's like asking, should we support Ubuntu running in virtual machine on Windows? Yes. Wubi? Yes, so it's the same, in my opinion, and I don't think my question should be closed.

Plus, Superuser is meant for Windows users, you cannot ask a Windows user questions about bash, bash is something new, alien to him, and if he knows powershell, he may never use Ubuntu usermode.

  • 21
    Super User is for everyone. You can post Linux questions there, and questions on bash. Whether you'll get answers as good as you'd get on Unix & Linux or here is a different story/
    – muru
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 0:42
  • @muru I know and I have asked and answered many linux questions there, but the site is oriented towards windows users, the majority of the users there are windows users, even if linux questions are allowed.
    – Lynob
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 8:54
  • 4
    @muru terdon and Gilles were first SU users... that migrated away.
    – Braiam
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 2:58
  • 1
    Regardless of whether your question should be closed because of its topicality, it asks at least seven distinct questions all at once, and is far too broad.
    – JdeBP
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 16:41
  • @JdeBP the service is new, sure i'd ask many questions, to get to know it, most are yes or no, what's too broad about it?
    – Lynob
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 16:45
  • 2
    @Lynob It is too broad because it asks so may questions, you should ask one at a time, so one good answer can be given. If you have multiple questions, ask multiple questions.
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 22:15
  • 3
    You know, it's not necessarily a bad thing if Windows users keep getting questions and answers about Ubuntu. Commented Apr 10, 2016 at 17:42
  • 1
    I know Powershell (somewhat), and I'm stoked as all get-out to have a bash shell running on Windows. Powershell is way too wordy for my taste.
    – Eric Lloyd
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 5:38

I see it as equivalent to Ubuntu Docker images. A question is valid up to the point where it's no longer within our control and/or we cannot appeal to Canonical to have an issue fixed.

That means that Ubuntu commands themselves and their behaviours are valid, but if it's established to be an issue with the supporting host (the host kernel in Docker, for example), then it's no longer in our control so we can only say that the issue is not within the Ubuntu space.


Until I see it on the list of supported Ubuntu flavours, I won't be supporting it here (although I could be incentivised to do so). I would consider it a candidate for Super User, not Ask Ubuntu.

We already support Ubuntu running on Virtual machines, some of which are running on various versions of Windows. However, I personally won't be running Windows 10 in order to determine whether a users problem is due to a poor choice of host operating system. However, if the question is related to the same ELF binaries that we run under Ubuntu, that would seem reasonable to support those.

  • 4
    You'll never see it there, because it's not a "flavour".
    – Seth
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 15:33
  • 2
    @Seth I didn't expect that I would.
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 18:29
  • So what you are trying to say is you will never support it, period?
    – Seth
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 16:52
  • @Seth what I'm saying is I don't intend to support it here for free. I never say never. Heck, I even support Windoze for money...
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 19:16

The question should be is "Ubuntu on Windows 10" strong enough to be considered a flavor all its own, or is it more closely related to WINE?

Official Ubuntu flavor - no, its just a command line.

Do we support it - yes, why not progress is great.

To what extent - let time decide


  • It's not just a command line. It's Ubuntu. For instance, people claim to have been able to get Firefox installed and running, although it quickly crashes. Commented Apr 10, 2016 at 17:46

I believe there should be support.

Although it's not equivalent, the release information on Bash on Ubuntu on Windows compared Windows Subsystem for Linux as Wine on some level. Wine has a couple of tags associated with it and gets support on askubuntu. Whether it is the ingest of Windows applications on Ubuntu, or Ubuntu applications on windows, this product falls in a similar category.

That being said, there are also specific caveats associated with Wine and Ubuntu on Windows that can cause unique issues with applications. Given the branding and full range of applications available, there may be a significant number of questions that may not be as trivial to solve as they are on vanilla Ubuntu. This would lead to a lot of confusion and frustration, regardless of official support, that could otherwise be mitigated by a tag.

I may have the wrong mentality about what could go wrong, but I don't see the harm in adding a tag.

  • 1
    I'm not sure what the relevance of a tag is, here. Sure, we will have a tag if it seems useful. But having a tag for something doesn't mean it is on-topic (see reads for Mint, Debian, and other distros).
    – muru
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 18:06

I think we should accept that it is backed by Canonical officialy. So then, why not?

This site is "Ask Ubuntu", whatever Ubuntu you have. Even Windows 10's Ubuntu.

anyway, if someone is discussing this kind of ubuntu, keep the problem about the ubuntu, and the way to solve it. But if the problem is directly on the windows itself ... I don't think it will fit here.

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