2019 Is the Year of Linux on the Desktop

Emperor penguin in the snowRobert McGillivray / Shutterstock

The year of Linux on the desktop has finally arrived! Windows 10 receives a Linux kernel and all new Chromebooks will run Linux applications. Most desktop computers purchased in the future will include a Linux kernel and will run Linux software.

Windows becomes an integrated Linux kernel

The Tux mascot of Linux on a Windows 10 screen backgroundLarry Ewing

Traditional Linux distributions may not be in control of the world, but Linux is becoming more ubiquitous than ever before.

Windows 10 will soon include an integrated Linux kernel updated via 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 allow you to run even more Linux applications on Windows 10.

WSL version 1 was powerful, but it relied on emulation to run the Linux software. This prevented more complex Linux applications, such as Docker, from running on Windows. WSL 2 will be more powerful and will run the Linux software using a real Linux kernel.

There is way to run Linux graphical applications on Windows 10, as well. Microsoft does not activate it directly, but you only have to install a third-party X server. More graphical applications should work better under WSL 2.

For command line software, Microsoft adds a nice new Windows Terminal application with tabs.

RELATED: Windows 10 becomes an integrated Linux kernel

All future Chromebooks will run Linux applications

The Linux version of Firefox running on Chrome OS

Chrome OS has always used a Linux kernel. In fact, Chrome OS was based on Gentoo Linux. But you had to overcome obstacles to run Linux applications with the help of solutions such as Crouton. Google solved this problem by adding Support for Linux applications to some Chromebooks.

At Google I / O 2019, Google ad that future Chromebooks will all have Linux application support. The Chrome OS has always been based on Linux, but all future Chromebooks can now run Linux software, be it command line utilities such as vim and Emacs, or graphics programs such as LibreOffice. They will run under Windows on your standard Chrome OS desktop without having to bypass standard Chrome OS security features. You can even to install Firefox in Chrome OS.

Even the Linux creator sees the potential of Linux applications on Chromebooks. "It seems like Chromebooks and Android are the way to the office," Linus Torvalds said in December 2018. Torvalds said that he could use a Chromebook in a few years.

RELATED: How to configure and use Linux applications on Chromebooks

Most desktops and laptops run Linux software

With these changes, any Windows PC or Chromebook you pick up will run a Linux kernel and Linux software.

Of course, they will not include a Linux desktop like GNOME. The main desktop will always be Windows or Chrome, but you can install any Linux software of your choice. You do not have to install a Linux distribution and fix hardware compatibility issues – Linux software will be supported without problems.

Apple's macOS will not include a Linux kernel, but macOS is based on a Unixlike the BSD operating system. Many Linux software was already working on it with some modifications. This is one of the reasons why so many developers went from Windows to Mac more than 10 years ago.

Now, Microsoft and Google far surpass the Mac for Linux developers by providing a more complete Linux environment.

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