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HP brings the power of Ubuntu-based data science to Windows workstations

This article was last updated 1 year ago.

Ubuntu is fast becoming the platform of choice for data scientists worldwide – which is why HP is empowering its customers to launch Ubuntu environments directly on their Windows machines.

In addition to native Ubuntu offerings, select Z by HP workstations are also available with Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2) pre-installed and pre-enabled, giving users the ability to accelerate data science workflows on Ubuntu straight out of the box, without leaving their native Windows OS.

Why data scientists choose Ubuntu

Ubuntu is the most widely used Linux distribution globally, and the leading operating system across all major public clouds. Given the platform’s popularity, especially among developers, it is no surprise that Ubuntu has become the industry standard operating system for data science workflows, used by the likes of Netflix, Tesla, OpenAI, and countless others.

Not only does Ubuntu offer one of the broadest and best-supported libraries of key data science tools, but many of these tools are also developed with Ubuntu as their target platform. Likewise, the majority of artificial intelligence and machine learning documentation is written with Ubuntu in mind.

This enables Ubuntu users to easily take advantage of existing guidance and code, making data science more accessible on Ubuntu than on any other platform.

Additionally, Ubuntu allows users to develop where they deploy. Since it is at home on workstations, bare-metal, in the cloud, and at the edge, Ubuntu offers a seamless path from development to testing to production all on the same operating system with the same tools, unlocking a host of efficiencies.

The final piece of the puzzle is GPU acceleration. NVIDIA GPUs are critical for complex AI/ML workloads, and Linux enables users to take full advantage of NVIDIA CUDA to achieve more granular control over the hardware than is possible with Windows.  

Running Ubuntu directly on Windows with WSL 2

The benefits of Ubuntu are clear, however, not all data scientists use Ubuntu machines. Whether as a result of corporate mandate or personal preference, there are many who rely on Windows. For these people, accessing the development advantages of Ubuntu has previously required dual-booting, a virtual machine, or an entirely separate workstation – all of which are time-consuming, unwieldy, and unintegrated options.

The solution to this problem is WSL 2, a Linux-architecture subsystem that enables users to rapidly create Ubuntu environments directly on Windows. Tight integration delivers the best of both worlds: users can access the Ubuntu data science ecosystem without the overhead of rebooting or launching a VM, they can transfer data between OSs using a shared filesystem and benefit from integrated Windows tools such as VS Code and Docker Desktop to maximise their productivity.

Check out the Z by HP workstations homepage for more information.

Learn more about WSL for data science

Read our latest whitepaper, Ubuntu WSL for Data Scientists

For a round up of our Ubuntu WSL tutorials check out our recent blog post, Upgrade your data science workflows with Ubuntu WSL

To learn more about data science on Ubuntu, visit 

To learn more about Ubuntu WSL, visit or get in touch.

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