Since you need to use a software available exclusively for Windows on your Linux PC, you are looking for a guide on the Internet that explains how to install Windows on Linux without too much slamming. In the next lines we will show you all the steps to carry out the procedure in a very simple way!
1 – Unlike Windows, consumer versions of Linux are completely free. Simply download and install the Linux distro of your choice and you’ll be good to go. 2 – Updates are also free, and they (probably) always will be. 3 – The vast majority of Linux applications are free, including the aforementioned Office suites. Download: Debian for Windows. While Ubuntu and Debian are general-purpose distributions, Kali Linux is designed for ethical hacking. The project claims to include over 600 penetration testing tools. Like Ubuntu, Kali is based on Debian. The virtual installation offers you the freedom of running Linux on an existing OS already installed on your computer. This means if you have Windows running, then you can just run Linux with a click of a button. Virtual machine software like Oracle VM can install Linux on Windows in easy steps. Let us look at them.
How to download Windows
Before getting to the heart of today’s new tutorial, you need to get the ISO image of the Microsoft operating system that you can install on Linux. The Redmond company makes at this time to make the download the ISO of Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 (download it only if you have a product key valid only in non-OEM version – that is purchased separately and are not preinstalled on computer). That said, let’s see how to proceed with the Windows download.
To download the ISO image of Windows 10, carefully follow the steps that we propose below:
- Open the default browser on your computer, connect to the official website of Microsoft and press the button Download now the tool that you find under the section Do you want to install Windows 10 on your PC?.
- In the next step, you will download the free Media Creation Tool that the same Microsoft makes available to download any version of Windows 10, install it on your computer, save it as an ISO image or copy it directly on your pendrive. If you use a PC with an operating system other than Windows, you will be offered direct download of the Windows 10 ISO image (32 or 64 bit version via the dedicated drop-down menu).
- Once the download is complete, start the Media Creation Tool for Microsoft and click on Yes, Accept and update your PC now, or create an installation media to another PC. In the first case, the update procedure will start automatically with Windows 10 once the necessary files have been downloaded from the Web, while in the second it will be possible to download the ISO image to be burned to DVD or create a bootable USB stick containing Windows 10.
If you want to download Windows 8.1, then consider the steps that we list below:
- Connect to the download page of the operating system through a simple browser, select the edition you wish to download through the Select edition drop-down menu (eg Windows 8.1 or Windows 8.1 K ) and press the Confirm button.
- In the next step, select the language using the drop down menu Select a language and press Confirm again.
- On the Web page that appears, you can download Windows 8.1 by clicking the 32-bit Download button (for the 32-bit version) or 64-bit Download (for the 64-bit version).
As anticipated in the last lines, to be able to proceed with the download of Windows 7 must have a product key. That said, here are the steps:
- Connect to the download page of the operating system of Microsoft, type the product key in the text box below under Enter the product key and press the Verify button.
- At this point, the verification of the entered code will start and then the download of the ISO 7 of Windows 7.
If you have a physical installation disk of Windows, you can use a completely free software compatible with all the most famous Linux distro on the market: its name is Brasero. Thanks to this program you will be able to transform the disk into an ISO image to be used for the following steps.
Let’s see how to proceed:
- From your Linux PC, open the market where you can download the applications (eg Ubuntu Software Center on Ubuntu), look for Brasero through the appropriate search field and press the Install button to proceed with the installation.
- In the next step, start the free software and click on the Copy Disc button.
- Now, click on the drop-down menu. Choose the disk you want to copy and select the disk containing the Windows operating system.
- When this is done, press the drop-down menu Select a disc to write to and choose Image file.
- After pressing Properties, select the ISO9660 Image item from the Disc Image Type menu and choose the folder in which to save the image.
- Once the preferred name has been assigned, first click on Save and then click on Create image.
For those who do not know, Microsoft also provides ISO images of Windows suitable for use with virtualization programs (eg VirtualBox ). In other words, these allow you to use the Redmond colossus OS without having to perform any installation procedure.
Let’s see the steps to follow:
- Open the default browser on your Linux PC and connect to the download page of the Microsoft Developer site.
- At this point, press the drop-down menu below the Virtual Machine and choose the version of Windows you prefer most (eg MSEdge on Win10 ).
- After that, through the drop-down menu of Select platform choose the program you are using for virtualization (eg VirtualBox ) and press the button Download zip that appears just below.
How to install Windows on Linux through virtualization
Once the ISO image of the preferred Windows version is obtained, we can now see how to proceed with the installation of the Microsoft OS on your computer with Linux.
Let’s find out together the steps to follow:
- Log on to the official website of VirtualBox and, from the download page, pressed on the proper link based on the Linux distro in your possession (eg. Ubuntu ) in section Virtual box xxx for Linux. Be careful to choose i386 if you have a computer with a 32-bit architecture or AMD64 for a 64-bit one.
- Once the download is complete, proceed with the installation of VirtualBox by first opening the downloaded file through a double click and then pressing the Install button.
- Through the screen that opens, click on New at the top left and proceed by filling out the Name field, choosing the type of operating system to be installed (eg Microsoft Windows ) and the version from the appropriate drop-down menu (eg Windows 10 64 -bit ).
- After pressing Next, choose the amount of RAM to dedicate to the Virtual Machine and press Next if you want to leave the default settings.
- In the next window, we recommend that you leave the options active by default Create a new virtual hard disk, VDI and Allocated dynamically. By doing so, you will get a hard disk in VirtualBox ( VDI ) format optimized for the operating system you wish to install on your Linux PC.
- In conclusion, indicate the maximum storage space that must occupy the virtual machine on the hard disk of the PC through the appropriate bar and click on Create to end the procedure.
- Once the Virtual Machine is created, you need to install Windows using either the installation disk or the downloaded ISO image a little while ago. Start by double clicking on the name of the virtual machine created a short time ago from the main VirtualBox screen.
- At this point, press the yellow folder and select the ISO image to be installed or insert the DVD containing Windows in the appropriate computer reader select it from the appropriate drop down menu.
- Once you click on the Start button, you just have to follow the classic wizard to successfully complete the installation of Windows as if it happened on a real PC.
To make the virtual machine better performing, we suggest you to install the Guest Additions. Let’s talk about additional drivers that allow you to better integrate Windows (in virtual operating system) and Linux (the main OS).
Here are the steps to follow:
- First, start the Virtual Machine and then go to the Devices menu at the top.
- From here, choose Insert the Guest Additions CD image and choose to run the executable. If the Guest Additions download appears from the Internet, click on the Download button.
- Once pressed on Next, wait for the end of the setup and restart the system.
If no automatic startup window appears, open File Explorer, choose Computer/This PC from the left sidebar, press the Guest Additions virtual drive and manually start the installation.
If you have decided to download an ISO image of Windows already ready for use in a Virtual Machine, then take as a reference the steps listed below:
- Instead of creating a new virtual machine within VirtualBox, choose Import virtual application that you find in the File menu at the top left.
- After that, click on the yellow folder, select the previously downloaded OVF file and then click on Next and then click Import to complete the operation.
If you have an image in VDI, VHD or VMDK format, then you must choose the option Use an existing virtual disk file, using the yellow folder icon and then click on the Create button.
How to install Windows on Linux in dual boot
In addition to virtualization through Virtual Machine, you can install Windows in dual boot with Linux. This way, you can take full advantage of your computer hardware and not a small part.
The first procedure to do is to partition the storage disk so as to create a partition reserved for Windows. After that, it is necessary to proceed with the installation of the Microsoft operating system by copying the files on the partition previously created.
As we know in the year of 2021 Microsoft most probably going to end the Windows 7 support, thus it is time to move on, right? So, there are two options either you upgrade to Windows 10 or prepare yourself to experience something new in the form of Linux Distros.
Although you can use any Linux desktop environment which gives a familiar interface. However, it also important to see what kind of package management it uses and how many software are available for it, for example, Debian or Ubuntu with a wide range of packages.
Best Linux distro for Windows 7/10 users in 2021
Well, if you don’t want to invest your money in Windows 10 then think about free and open-source operating Sytems, evolve and stable enough to full fill all daily computing needs. Keeping this in mind here we are with some best Linux alternatives to Windows 7 and Windows 10 Operating systems. They have a Windows familiar interface and ease of usage for beginners.
We have chosen Linux Mint because it based on Ubuntu that means the benefit of a wide range of software and above that a familiar Windows 7 interface. Both things make it secure and the best Linux distro for Windows users. You can use its software manager to install various types of free and open-source on just one click. The best thing is its support to a wide range of old and new hardware including drivers.
Furthermore, as per your system configuration, you can download it with different Linux Desktop environment such as XFCE for low resource computer while Cinnamon for high. Don’t’ miss: Install Linux Mint 19 from a bootable USB drive
System requirements for Linux Mint:
- 32-bit and 64-bit processors
- 512 MB RAM (1GB is recommended)
- 5 GB Hard disk (20GB is recommended)
- Graphics card capable of 800×600 resolution (1024×768 recommended).
- DVD drive or USB port
Zorin OS for Windows 10 users
It uses its own Zorin Desktop based on the Gnome 3 shell. Incidentally, the icons used are reminiscent of the more modern Android versions.
Free Linux To Install From Windows 10
Zorin OS is considered a very entry-level Linux distribution more modern and, well, “orientates” strongly on the design of Windows 10. Thus it is best for those Windows users who are thinking to switch to Linux. It is available in two versions Ultimate for modern systems and Lite for old hardware. You can see: How to install Zorin OS
System Requirement for Zorin OS
- Zorin OS Ultimate, Education, and Core
- CPU 1 GHz Dual-Core – 64-bit
- RAM 2 GB
- Storage 10 GB (Core & Education) or 20 GB (Ultimate)
- Display 800 × 600 resolution
- Zorin OS Lite:
- CPU 700 MHz Single Core – 64-bit or 32-bit
- RAM 512 MB
- Storage 8 GB
- Display 640 × 480 resolution
If you are a Windows 10 user then and want an exactly similar interface on Linux with Ubuntu APT package manager and Software center then try Linuxfx. It is Brazilian distribution shipped with Cinnamon desktop and also known as Winfx or Windowsfx. It uses Kernel 5.7.8 and Wine + Linuxfx tools for .MSI and .EXE to easily install Windows applications. It includes a video management system called Sentinela, a computer vision software with video analytics and software for access control (facial recognition and automatic number plate recognition), object detection, gender, age, and mood detection.
Solus is another Linux Distro Windows user can think upon. It is based on the latest Linux kernel and has a wide selection of pre-installed software, such as the Firefox browser, the Thunderbird mail client, or the VLC media player. It is easy to understand due to its uniform design and focus on desktop users.
It uses a Budgie user interface not exactly like Window but gives a familiar look and feel. For example, Solus has a quick start bar on the right edge of the screen, which gives you quick access to notifications, system settings, and the integrated calendar somewhat like Windows 10. Its software management is relatively easy to download and install additional software.
Solus Linux Distro system Requirements:
- 64-bit (x86_64) processor
- Minimum of 10GB space
- 2GB RAM or more
- With 2GB or more space USB or DVD for ISO to install
Feren OS is also based on Ubuntu but why it is on this list? It is because of its out-of-the-box WINE compatibility layer, thus, if you want to install Microsoft office on it you don’t have to go through the hassle of installing WINE first. It shipped with the Cinnamon Linux user interface which is quite nice and attractive, however, with the latest version it has now moved to KDE Plasma. The clean and minimalistic design won’t let you scratch your head while operating it.
If you are Windows 10 user then you can easily relate to its interface, which can be seen clearly in the below screenshot.
DeepinOS, a perfect Windows alternative
“Linux Deepin” is a Debian-based Linux distribution that is perfect for those who don’t want the frustration of finding and installing software require for daily usage. It comes with numerous pre-installed programs. These include, for example, WPS Office, Google Chrome, Thunderbird, image viewing, and music and video player. If required, additional software can be downloaded and managed in the integrated store.
It is developed by a Chinese firm to replace Windows OS, however, open-source. It is also based on Ubuntu and comes with an intuitive interface and design. It offers an App store with various software to fully fill the hollow that you will feel after switching from Windows to Linux. You can call it one of the perfect alternative to the Windows 10 operating system. See: How to install Deepin Linux
DeepinOS System Requirements:
- Intel Pentium IV 2GHz CPU or higher; supports both 32 and 64 bit
- 2GB RAM, 4GB is recommended
- More than 25 GB free disk space
- USB or DVD disk support for the installation via ISO file
Closing thoughts on Linux Distro for Windows user
Well! I have not included Ubuntu, MX Linux, or Elementary OS which are also strong contenders because most of the above distros are based on Ubuntu, thus no need for them. Moreover, here I would like to include distros that look similar to Windows out of the box. Nevertheless, the Linux world is so big and once you have a good command over any of the above-mentioned operating systems then you are free to move towards others.