Let's talk about Windows 11 LTSC

Full disclosure: I rarely boot Windows and my daily driver has been Void Linux since I got my Framework 13 AMD. (Tried FreeBSD once, but the hardware support was not there yet. Maybe in a couple years.)

So, Windows 11 IoT Enterprise LTSC is out. Based on my experience with Windows 10 LTSC, I assume this version also has less “bloat” than regular Windows 11. Some people report it doesn’t have that pesky Copilot feature, even.

LTSC, while it technically might be violating some tiny text in the massive unintelligible EULA, is a much better alternative to just “debloating” Windows. Windows is notorious for breaking those “debloated” systems on automatic Windows upgrades. It shouldn’t happen on LTSC because 1) the stock is free of bloat by nature, 2) most updates don’t add features, just security patches.

Still, before I start blindly encouraging people to use the LTSC version, I’d like to collect some user experiences. If you have experiences with Windows 11 LTSC on Framework, please do share!

I will start working on wiping my current 1TB boot-me-Windows expansion card this weekend, and share my findings.

Thanks, and long live the LTSC!


This aside, I’m interested in getting it for a few of my devices. Where can I purchase it from?

LTSC versions are intended for companies, businesses. If you own a business, work in IT for one, or have connections, you might be able to get it through there. If you don’t, well, we can’t talk about other options here. Let’s keep the conversation on the general advantages of Win 11 LTSC.

Bummer…I just reached out to one of the North American distributor…and there were some criteria…none of them applies to an end-user:

  • You’re an OEM. AND
  • You’re going to resell a product. AND
  • The product has a specific fixed purpose.

Yeah… that’s why I mentioned that we might be violating some agreements.

You should be able to get the image itself from the link I posted above, however, since Windows 11 LTSC is technically still in its evaluation stage, if I understand correctly. I assume by the time Windows Server 2025 is released it won’t be available to public anymore.

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I am yet to try Windows 11 LTSC on Framework, but here is my general feelings towards the LTSC platform. I’ve been using Windows 10 LTSC on my laptop and Windows “gaming” VM for a couple years now.


They are really minimal. Imagine Windows with only system administration utilities, and that’s about it. Basically Windows XP with different kernel.

It’s so lightweight that you don’t have Microsoft Store installed. If you despise UWP apps, that’s a good news for you. But for me, my Samsung laptop (the one I used before buying Framework) has a driver detector/installer in form of UWP app. In this case, you’re going to have some pain figuring out the dependency and fiddling with PowerShell to install the package.


I find LTSC version to be really stable, and it feels like I know exactly what programs are running in the background. I especially like it when Windows actually listens to me and never auto-reboot to install updates.

This is especially useful if you mod Windows with debloater scripts. You can never be more stable than stock.

Bad for some specific cases.

If you are a developer and want to give WSL a try? Well, you gotta do some digging yourself. You need to figure out the right package and install them manually via PowerShell. Not that hard, but still a lot of hassle.

If you develop Windows drivers? Grab a second PC and forget about “trying it on my own PC”. (Well, if you do actually make drivers, you don’t really have to read this thread in the first place.)

But for normal, every-day usage of VS Code and Visual Studio should work. Even Android Studio works just fine, if you enable some features.

It games fine.

I don’t really play AAA games on my laptop, but so far, no games have been working funky. For desktop, it was caused by some bug in between the VM and the Host, so I don’t know which OS is at fault here.

I personally think having bloatware doesn’t really affect the gaming performance much, unless you have like 8 GB of RAM. If you do, having LTSC should help a lot.

I should be able to work on my Framework laptop soon, and share my initial impressions and some oddities, if there is any.

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What about the N version of Windows? They are debloated as well, in the sense that they are not bundled with a ton of Microsoft applications.

I think it is a European thing though, because I tried getting a N license and couldn’t seem to be able to buy one via the US site.

N, and KN, are European and South Korean variants that lack various multimedia features only.

Back in Windows 7, when I last tested N, it required me to install the media pack before it would even show me the performance rating.

N is nothing exciting sadly.

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Correct. I’ve used KN since Windows 7 days (I’m Korean myself) but they don’t really do much on modern day Windows 10 and 11. Not sure about the N version, but the KN version is the bare minimum Microsoft is doing to comply with the local anti-monopoly regulation.

On a different note, I’ve installed Windows 11 LTSC on my Framework 1TB Expansion Card. It seems to be running OK, but haven’t really gamed on it yet. I’ll go play some Euro Truck Simulator 2 with old Logitech G27 steering wheel to see if they’re up to my compatibility standard!


Could someone point me to how I can buy a LTSC license? As a normal user? Is that possible?

As a normal user, basically no, hence the “might be violating…” part in the OP. The evaluation copy will allow you 90 days of access, though.

For more permanent (and technically-not-violating-the-activation-mechanism-but-maybe-violating-EULA) activation, grab a full copy from elsewhere, compare it with the MSDN hash database, install it, and activate with patched hardware ID activation ticket.

If you want more info, then please, never ever, do not check out a GitHub repository massgravel/MAS and it’s linked homepages/documents.


I daily linux these days but whenever I do use windows it is 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC 2021 and it works great. I’ve been playing around with 11 LTSC and it seems to be the same but for 11. Nothing that would really be considered bloat other than edge and it also doesn’t have the arbitrary hardware requirements regular 11 does. When I eventually need to upgrade my Windows machines I will be moving to this. As with 10 LTSC the “IoT” version gets an extra 5 years of support plus the ability to permanently HWID activate using something like MAS so its the obvious choice.

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