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Using Windows 365 with Linux

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Linux is a free open-source operating system that has grown in market share over the years and is now found in many different versions (distributions or 'distros'). I wanted to see exactly how well my Windows 365 Cloud PC worked on real hardware when the host OS was running Linux. Windows 365 is a Cloud PC that is accessible from any HTML 5 capable web browser which you'll find on pretty much all modern operating systems including Linux. Please note that this entire blog post was written using the Linux distros below while connected to my Cloud PC.

Let's take a look at how well that works using a few popular free Linux distros including:

  • LinuxMint
  • Ubuntu
  • Fedora

You might wonder why I am using just the web browser in these tests, the reason, at the time of writing there is no remote desktop app available for Linux.

Note: If you'd like to vote for a Linux based RDP client for Windows 365 then click here.


LinuxMint is based on Ubuntu, which in turn is based on Debian. I downloaded LinuxMint version 21 from here and installed it on a HP EliteBook 830 G8 via USB bootable media created using http://unetbootin.github.io/. The installation was fast and I selected to also include 3rd party codecs when prompted during installation.

Screenshot from 2022-10-09 19-13-16.png

After I installed LinuxMint I updated it. That too was quick and painless. Once done, I launched Firefox and browsed to https://windows365.microsoft.com

Screenshot from 2022-10-09 19-14-43.png

I entered my credentials, satisfied the MFA request and within a few seconds could see the normal Windows 365 welcome screen showing my available Cloud PC.

Screenshot from 2022-10-09 19-15-24.png

After clicking on Open in browser, I could launch the Cloud PC proper. This particular Cloud PC was a 2vCPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB Storage running Windows 11 22H2 using the Hybrid Azure Ad Join method as described here.

Screenshot from 2022-10-09 20-14-17.png

As you can see the Windows 365 toolbar is at the top of the web browser session, and you can click on the Collapse Toolbar section to make it hide away.

Screenshot from 2022-10-09 20-14-27.png

This is better, but to get the best experience out of your Cloud PC via a web browser from Linux, press F11 to maximize the browser window, this will show only the Cloud PC.

Screenshot from 2022-10-09 20-14-48.png

So now that it looks and feels like Windows 11 (on LinuxMint Linux) it's time to actually use the Cloud PC.

Video playback

On the Cloud Pc, I used the Edge browser and started watching some videos, the results were OK but there was some noticeable lag from time to time. Unfortunately, there is currently no ability (that I am aware of) to use multimedia redirection in Linux currently like there is for Windows PC's. So, we'll have to make do with that lag.

You can see some of that lag in the following video where I set the video playback settings to 1080p. The lag seems to be the same whether or not the browser is full screen or not.

Blog writing

Next, I logged in to this site (which is an Invision Power Forum) and started editing the very blog post that you are  now reading. It was fast, easy to scroll around and worked just as well as if I was using the real thing. Quite fantastic actually.

Screenshot from 2022-10-09 20-39-55.png

I was able to upload screenshots that I had taken in LinuxMint using the upload ability in the W365 toolbar. That worked great the first time I did it and I uploaded several screenshots successfully, but the 2nd, 3rd and 4th attempt it uploaded nada, zilch. I think this is possibly a bug in the toolbar and I'm not sure if it's related to Linux or the version of the Windows 365 client on Windows 11 version 22H2, I've asked the Microsoft Product Group for comment.

Below you can see my later attempts at uploading screenshots, it said it was done and that I should move them but they did not appear in the uploads folder.

Screenshot from 2022-10-09 20-49-05.png

Using Office 365 apps

I started up PowerPoint, Excel and Word and had no issues with creating content on the Cloud PC, it honestly felt very easy indeed and I would forget that I was using Linux at all when creating content using Office 365.

Scrolling through Powerpoint was easy and fast and rendered perfectly in the web browser.

Screenshot from 2022-10-09 20-56-11.png

Word was a breeze

Screenshot from 2022-10-09 20-56-28.png

And Excel was also equally easy to work with.

Screenshot from 2022-10-09 20-57-05.png

I launched Outlook and that too worked seamlessly, no issues to report. From an Office perspective, I definitely think this worked just fine in test conditions. That said, my Cloud PC is not laden down with a plethora of security and other agents designed to read every file a million times while consuming every last iota of CPU and storage bandwidth.

Hardware support

I'm not a touch pad fan so I connected my trustee Think Pad mouse with an USB dongle. It worked perfectly. Next, I tried to connect my Bluetooth headphones (Freebuds 4). But when I tried to connect to them in LinuxMint it failed. Same thing for my Freebuds 3. It seems that this version of LinuxMint has bluetooth issues as reported here: https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?t=378859

Screenshot from 2022-10-09 21-36-13.png

Next, I plugged in my Jabra 2 with it's wireless dongle and that worked fine.

Teams performed just fine, without any noticeable lag. I held an audio meeting with Paul and it was totally fine, no lag, very little audio issues until the end of the call, in fact it worked better that I'd normally expect a teams meeting to perform.

Screenshot from 2022-10-09 21-57-14.png

I wasn't however able to to a video meeting as my web camera on the HP was not detected or shared with Teams.

sudo apt-get install cheese -y

got the camera working in LinuxMint. However I cannot see any way to share that camera with Windows 365 via a web browser session. If you'd like to vote for a Linux client for Windows 365 then click here.

Screenshot from 2022-10-09 22-16-26.png



Ubuntu is another Debian based distro and a very popular one too, in fact it is the first distro to get Linux management support via Intune as you can read here. I downloaded Ubuntu 22.04.1 LTS from here and set about testing everything I tested above with LinuxMint.

During the installation, I split the disk into two, allowing me to keep LinuxMint as well as have Ubuntu, that's a really nice ability with Linux. The installation was very easy and within minutes Ubuntu was installed.

Screenshot from 2022-10-10 11-47-53.png

I fired up the usual Office 365 apps and all worked as before, no issues there.

Screenshot from 2022-10-10 11-40-35.png

I even uploaded files (and edited this blogpost) from Ubuntu directly to my Cloud PC using the upload feature, and this time it worked (more than once).

Screenshot from 2022-10-10 11-43-47.png

Hardware Support

I wanted to test the camera and found out that Cheese was already installed. The camera worked fine in the Ubuntu desktop as you can see below without me having to install or configure anything, that was good !

Screenshot from 2022-10-10 11-48-27.png

but when I launched Microsoft Teams on my Windows 365 Cloud PC once again the camera was not detected, so that's a no-go for video meetings with Teams on Windows 365 if you are using Linux with your Cloud PC.

Screenshot from 2022-10-10 11-39-09.png

Once again, as with LinuxMint I had issues with Bluetooth, I couldn't get either of my Bluetooth headphones to work,

Screenshot from 2022-10-10 11-59-39.png

I plugged in my Jabra 380 wireless USB-C wireless dongle and I got working audio. This means that audio meetings/calls in Teams are at least possible on my Windows 365 Cloud PC when using Ubuntu.

Video Playback

Video playback while using Ubuntu was certainly OK, I started watching the Inspire 2021 session where Satya announced Windows 365 Cloud PC and played it in a window as well as full screen, the performance was totally acceptable, however I did notice what can only be described as audio ticks when playing back video content, this was also noticeable in LinuxMint.

Perhaps there are better audio/video drivers available for my test hardware, but I didn't find them however I did see that according to Ubuntu, this hardware was certified for Ubuntu Linux as of May 2021. The only difference between my test system and the certification was the version of my BIOS.

Screenshot from 2022-10-10 12-05-13.png

and full screen

Screenshot from 2022-10-10 12-19-26.png



I downloaded Fedora 36 from here and proceeded to install it on my HP EliteBook 830 G8. The installation was relatively quick, and I did have to adjust the disk partitions to get it to fit alongside Ubuntu and LinuxMint.

Screenshot from 2022-10-10 07-41-08.png

As with Ubuntu, Cheese was installed meaning that my camera worked in Fedora Linux, but not in Teams via the web browser on my Windows 365 Cloud PC.

Screenshot from 2022-10-10 07-47-27.pnged

Video playback via youtube on the Cloud PC worked just fine with the odd audio tick as noticed with the other Linux distros, but overall, it was perfectly acceptable.

Screenshot from 2022-10-10 07-46-32.png

Setting the web browser settings for Windows 365 to use high dpi does improve the readability somewhat.

Screenshot from 2022-10-10 07-46-22.png

Uploading files and continuing to edit this blog post also worked with no problem so I was able to be productive on the go using my Cloud PC.

Screenshot from 2022-10-10 08-00-05.png

Office 365 apps continued exactly where I left them. And I think that is the key differentiator here, being able to use whatever operating system you want on your host computer to connect to your Windows 365 Cloud PC to do your daily work without fuss. It's quite amazing and refreshing.


Using Windows 365 Cloud PC on your Linux box gives you the power to get your work done, anywhere using the Operating System of your choice. I did note some short comings with this approach such as the lack of a real remote desktop (RDP) client from Microsoft for the Linux OS. Web based sessions can only do so much and the lack of this RDP client will leave you with the inability to host video meetings in Teams, so keep that in mind if it's important to you.

Note: If you'd like to vote for a Linux based RDP client for Windows 365 then click here.

Please also note that there are some Linux based distros (which are not free) such as Igel that offer their own AVD/W365 based clients which are optimized for Teams and other meeting-based software (such as Zoom). I'll hope to write about that in a coming blog post.


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