Microsoft Linux distributions

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Linux distributions from Microsoft fall under an umbrella project named Microsoft Azure. The first product, known as Azure Cloud Switch, debuted in 2015.[1] Linux is used as a part of Azure infrastructure for reasons not disclosed by Microsoft.[2] With the support for Microsoft SQL Server for Linux, Microsoft itself required internal Linux support, which uses its own distributions for this purpose.[3]

In the past, Microsoft has strategically excluded any support for Linux due to it being a competitor operating system. However, as its partners have gradually embraced multiple technologies, the partnership became inevitable, where Canonical Ltd. (who develops the Ubuntu operating system) was hired in to provide support in the area, by providing a system to run Ubuntu natively on Windows 10.[4]


Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONIC) is a collection of network software components that runs on Debian. It was released on 9 March 2016. The software collection is designed to be run on top of layer 3 network devices such as some network switches.[5]

Azure Sphere

Azure Sphere is the first publicly released Linux distribution by Microsoft.[6]


  1. ^ Subramaniam, Kamala. "Microsoft showcases the Azure Cloud Switch (ACS)". Microsoft Azure. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Microsoft built its own Linux because everyone else did".
  3. ^ "SQL Server on Linux".
  4. ^ "Microsoft and Canonical partner to bring Ubuntu to Windows 10".
  5. ^ "Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC)".
  6. ^

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