Linux on Windows?

There are few times that we were forced to work in Windows for various reasons (for example, native Microsoft programming environments). But using Windows we can also feel close to our GNU / Linux system; that is why we present tools, both for experts and novices in GNU / Linux, which can be installed in Windows and will allow us to interact with our distro preferably or dare to know another world for those who have just started.


It is not new, since a full article to this tool.

Cygwin works like Wine: it is not an emulator, but rather provides an emulation layer of the GNU / Linux and UNIX environment, allowing the compilation of native programs for this type of system. Perhaps the highlight is the ability to use the same commands: cut, grep, cat, ls, sort, etc.

We also have other tools adaptable to Cygwin. Cygwin / X provides all the libraries, API's and clients of X Server and XORG; it is currently included in the standard Cygwin installer. Puttycyg is a patched version of Putty, which allows to have a terminal with greater functionality than the Windows Command Prompt.

Cygwin website:

Puttycyg Web:


There are many tools to access partitions of type ext, but the best one in my opinion is ext2read. Provides ease of use, allows you to copy and save files from the partition and copy entire directories recursively. It can even be downloaded as a portable. A real savior when it is necessary to find those files that were saved in the / home folder.

One detail: we must always run them as Administrator, otherwise it will not read the partitions. It works perfectly in Windows 7 and reads ext2, ext3 and ext4 partitions, among others, without problems.

Ext2read web:

Sourceforge (download):

Get Linux

A program that many will have tried: it is a software that lists more than 100 GNU / Linux and BSD distributions, briefly describes them (name, image, description, country of origin, default desktop and file size) and allows downloading ( in its 32 and 64 bit versions if you have them). The application is really light because it works by linking the download requests to the servers provided by the official pages of each distribution.

An interesting feature is that it works as a small download manager and allows you to resume paused downloads.

A great alternative that saves us from the exhaustive process of visiting the pages of each distribution. Keep in mind that the official page is also being developed with this premise of being a "distribution library"

Web Get Linux:


An application that by itself is rare and interesting at the same time. It is about porting Ubuntu entirely in Windows without the need to emulate it, giving the feeling of having 2 operating systems running at the same time. Instead of being an emulated system, it uses coLinux to port the Linux kernel, PulseAudio as the sound server and Xming as the X server.

Once installed, we can run the programs that it includes natively while using Windows, such as Konqueror and Windows Explorer. Another advantage is the contextual menu that is added to the right-click options and as an element in the icon menu, from where we can access the options.

AndLinux website:

Virtual machines

If we have the image of our distro we can make use of the well-known virtual machines. For those who do not know what we are talking about, it is about "installing" an operating system virtually on another operating system, so that changes made to one do not affect the other. This gives us the possibility of having 2 different operating systems running at the same time. Among the most recommended to be installed in Windows are:

Virtual Box:



Visual transformation packs

If what we miss is only the visual aspect that characterized our GNU / Linux system, there are several packs that allow us to change the graphical environment of Windows. We will mention some of them, although today we have several options on the web:

In conclusion, I would like to add that the idea is not to get used to "Windows transformed into Linux", but rather that we know the tools that allow us to use Windows in a more pleasant and functional way. For those of you who haven't tried Linux yet, we recommend that you give these programs a try and can convince yourself to take the steps that hopefully will convince you to try a Linux distribution. We assure you that you will not regret it 😉

Thank you Juan Carlos Ortiz! 

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  1.   Ghermain said

    Excellent compilation, for those who still find it difficult (or for work reasons) to part with W $, on this page you can also get many Linux skins, there is one for KDE (the first on the list) that is sensational.

  2.   Alfredo Pons said

    Also mention the mingw compiler and the msys utility (Linux Minimal System):

    That allow us to compile applications on Linux and Windows.

  3.   Sergio Esau Arámbula Duran said

    and you forgot KDE; KDE has a version for Winbugs