Below we will see how you can install some of the supported Linux distributions in an environment that does not have a Windows Store. Windows Server for obvious reasons does not have the Windpws Store that Windows 10 has by default.
So below we will see how you can manually distribute the distribution you are interested in to Windows Server.
The system I use is Windows Server 2019 Standard, but the steps below should work on all supported Server versions.
First we need to install Windows Subsystem for Linux, which is not pre-installed.
Open a PowerShell as Administrator and run the following command:
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux
Restart when prompted. Reboot is required to make WSL a trusted Server process.
Download Linux distribution
If there is no Microsoft Store app, we will download the distribution we are interested in manually.
All available distributions are available at the following links:
By clicking on the above links you will download the distribution you want through the browser you use.
Download with PowerShell
To download any of the above distros with PowerShell, we will use the cmdlet Invoke-WebRequest.
Below is the command to download Debian
invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://aka.ms/wsl-debian-gnulinux -OutFile Debian.appx -UseBasicParsing
Once the .appx download is complete we need to rename the appx to zip. You can do it manually but also by command in PowerShell:
Rename-Item Debian.appx Debian.zip
Then we have to extract (decompress) the zip file manually or with the following command in PowerShell:
Expand-Archive Debian.zip Debian
Then open the folder and you will see the executable debian.exe file.
Open a cmd.exe with administrator privileges from the search (cmd and in the result "open as administrator"). Proceed to the Debian folder with the cd command
and run the debian.exe command to start the installation. When done, you will be prompted to enter a username and password.
That was it, now you have a Debian system on your Server.