I'm looking for linux distro capable of natively running windows apps with .net, DirectX and all other stuff. Does such windows replacement even exist ?

  • 2
    no... Windows applications are written completely differently to UNIX-based systems. What you should do is install a simple, clean distro (my favourite being mint) and install WINEHQ
    – treyBake
    Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 13:32
  • @treyBake Actually, BackSlash Linux can but it is discontinued. I found ReactOS but it is not really linux, or complete. It is obvious goal to achieve. Majority of applications runs on windows so why don't support them too, right ? Windows API is public so you just have to create system what is able to correctly respond to API calls. Well, said easier than done.
    – Jacob
    Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 14:49
  • That's not the problem, the problem isn't Linux supporting Windows. It's Windows-based developers supporting UNIX. They use different binaries and file types to do the same thing. Most Linux distros have access to Wine, Virtualbox and other emulator-type programs to run Windows-based software. This is really all you need rather than a complete OS to handle running Windows, if you need to run more Windows programs than Linux, then just use Windows
    – treyBake
    Commented Dec 27, 2018 at 15:00
  • Dual boot is what I do. I share my home partition with both OS's. This provided me with a way to transition from Win to Linux on my laptop. Yes, a reboot is required to switch OS's. And file sharing has to be done in NTFS, which has its limitations in Linux. Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 2:25

1 Answer 1


No, there's no Linux that can natively run [any] Windows apps with .net, DirectX and all other stuff.

There are a couple options that might come close:

  • Run any Linux, and:

    • Run some compatible windows programs with WINE

    • Run a virtual machine (VM) program (hypervisor) like VirtualBox, and install Windows inside a VM, then run almost any program in the virtual Windows.

  • Run Windows 10, and run any Windows programs, but also "install linux inside Windows," with the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).
    Try searching for the "Windows subsystem for Linux"

    Wikipedia says:

    WSL provides a Linux-compatible kernel interface developed by Microsoft (containing no Linux kernel code), which can then run a GNU user space on top of it, such as that of Ubuntu, openSUSE, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Debian and Kali Linux. Such a user space might contain a Bash shell and command language, with native GNU/Linux command-line tools (sed, awk, etc.), programming language interpreters (Ruby, Python, etc.), and even graphical applications (using a X11 server at the host side).


    This subsystem is not capable of running all Linux software, such as 32-bit binaries, or those that require specific Linux kernel services not implemented in WSL. Since there is no "real" Linux kernel in WSL, kernel modules, such as device drivers, can't be run.

    It is possible to run some graphical (GUI) applications (such as Mozilla Firefox) by installing an X11 server within the Windows (host) environment (such as VcXsrv or Xming), although not without caveats, such as the lack of audio support or hardware acceleration (resulting in poor graphics performance). Support for OpenCL and CUDA is also not being implemented currently, although planned for future releases.

    That said, Microsoft explicitly states that WSL is oriented to the development of applications, and not for desktop environment or production servers, recommending the use of virtual machines (Hyper-V or Kubernetes) and Azure for those purposes.

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