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by Graham Williams
Duck Duck Go

Windows Subsystem for Linux

20200223 Ubuntu is readily available on Microsoft's Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) where Ubuntu can be installed out of the box. In this chapter we will concentrate on getting started with Ubuntu through WSL, which for most people who run Windows (Windows 10 specifically) is the simplest way to access GNU/Linux.

The steps to install WSL and then Ubuntu on a Windows 10 system are quite simple. Microsoft's instructions are summarised below.

First, enable the optional Windows 10 feature known as Windows Subsystem for Linux. From a PowerShell this is enabled using the following command:

> Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux

Now download and install the latest Ubuntu distribution from the Microsoft Store. It is a free application. Once you have obtained the app click the Launch button in the Microsoft Store. This will install and configure the Ubuntu distribution, including asking you to create a new username. Once you get to a shell prompt enter the following command to update the operating system:

$ sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

I would then also recommend installing wajig:

$ sudo apt install wajig
$ wajig update
$ wajig distupgrade
Given that the system has just been upgraded the distupgrade here may report that there is nothing to be done.

Also install XMing as the X Windows server for Windows 10 so that graphical applications running on Ubuntu can display onto the Windows 10 desktop.

For Ubuntu 18.04 the system can be started from PowerShell with:

> ubuntu1804

Ubuntu is now running within Windows. The following commands then illustrate a GUI based command demonstrating an animated plot.

$ export DISPLAY=:0
$ wajig install python3-pip
$ pip3 install mlhub
$ ml configure
$ ml install animate
$ ml configure animate
$ ml demo animate


Support further development by purchasing the PDF version of the book.
Other online resources include the Data Science Desktop Survival Guide.
Books available on Amazon include Data Mining with Rattle and Essentials of Data Science.
Popular open source software includes rattle and wajig.
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