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How to Install the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

Easy methods to Set up the Home windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is a compatibility layer that natively runs Linux binaries on the Home windows 10 and Home windows Server 2019 working methods. It means that you can arrange a Linux surroundings on Home windows with out having to put in a digital machine. With WSL, you’ll be able to set up any Linux distro you need in your Home windows machine.

On this tutorial, we are going to present you step-by-step learn how to set up the Home windows Subsystem for Linux. Then, we are going to set up the Ubuntu 18.04 (LTS) on high of WSL. However, first, let’s see what precisely you should utilize WSL for.

What Is the Home windows Subsystem for Linux Good for?

A very powerful factor to know in regards to the Home windows Subsystem for Linux is that it’s not a digital machine. Subsequently, you don’t get entry to a Linux desktop surroundings similar to Gnome or KDE and you may’t run Linux desktop apps. You gained’t must arrange a twin boot system, both, as WSL runs fully on high of your Home windows working system.

Nonetheless, you get entry to the UNIX terminal in which you’ll run native shell instructions and set up command-line instruments and packages utilizing the apt-get package manager. WSL additionally makes it simpler to work with programming languages that aren’t native to Home windows similar to Python and Ruby.

Apart from, the Home windows Subsystem for Linux makes it doable to run multiple Linux distros in your Home windows desktop on the identical time. For example, you should utilize Ubuntu and Kali Linux concurrently, and you may set up each proper from the Home windows Retailer.

Necessities for the Home windows Subsystem for Linux

The Home windows Subsystem for Linux solely runs on newer variations of Home windows 10 and Home windows Server 2019. To make use of WSL, it’s essential to have Home windows construct 16215 or a later model. On Home windows 10, you’ll be able to test your construct quantity within the Settings > System > About menu. For example, it’s 17134.829 within the instance under:

On Home windows Server 2019, run the next question within the Home windows PowerShell:

systeminfo | Choose-String "^OS Name","^OS Version"

1. Allow the WSL Function

You may allow the Home windows Subsystem for Linux function proper from PowerShell. Click on the Begin menu, discover PowerShell, right-click the applying, and choose the “Run as administrator” choice.

In Powershell, run the next command:

Allow-WindowsOptionalFeature -On-line -FeatureName Microsoft-Home windows-Subsystem-Linux

Typically Home windows asks you to restart your laptop, nonetheless, it doesn’t at all times occur. When the function is enabled, you’ll be able to set up your chosen Linux distro from the Home windows Retailer.

2. Set up Your Linux Distro from Home windows Retailer

Open the Home windows Retailer utility from the Begin menu and sort “Linux” into the Search bar on the high proper nook of the display. Browse the Linux distros you could have entry to and discover the one you wish to set up. Within the instance, we are going to use Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, because it’s a steady distro that comes with long-term help.

In Home windows Retailer, click on the “Get” button and obtain and set up the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS utility.

3. Run Your Linux Distro

Now, your Linux distro is up and working. You may launch it from the Begin menu like another Home windows utility. Nonetheless, keep in mind, that with the Home windows Subsystem for Linux, you gained’t get entry to the Ubuntu desktop or any desktop-like utility. You may solely use the UNIX terminal, nonetheless, with all of the command line instruments, packages, and options of Ubuntu 18.04.

So, click on the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS app in your Begin menu that may open and run Ubuntu from the UNIX command line.

On the primary launch, Ubuntu will ask you to specify your Linux username and password. These would be the credentials you will have once you wish to run sudo-level UNIX instructions. They aren’t associated to your Home windows username and password in any manner, so you’ll be able to select between utilizing the identical credentials or organising a brand new username/password mixture.

4. Replace and Improve your Ubuntu Packages

Earlier than you begin to use Ubuntu, it’s essential to replace and improve the system. That is what you would wish to do on an actual Ubuntu OS as properly, and WSL works just about the identical manner. The next command takes care of each the improve and replace of all of your Ubuntu packages:

sudo apt replace && sudo apt improve

Kind the command into your new Ubuntu terminal and wait a few minutes till the improve is finished.

5. Discover Your Linux Recordsdata

So, the place does the Home windows Subsystem on Linux place your information inside your Home windows OS? The situation of the WSL-related file system has been altering because the launch of the software program and may nonetheless change sooner or later, however as of July 2019, you will discover it on the following path:


Even when the trail modifications sooner or later, your Linux file system might be almost certainly saved within the AppData/Native folder. On the screenshot under, you’ll be able to see that it comprises all of the folders you will discover in an everyday Ubuntu setup, similar to bin, boot, dwelling, and so on, lib, and others.

6. Take into account Putting in WSL 2

Microsoft launched WSL 2, the brand new model of the Home windows Subsystem for Linux simply a few weeks in the past, in June 2019. Though WSL 2 solely works on the newest Home windows construct (wants construct 18917 or greater), you probably have already upgraded your OS, it’s price contemplating putting in it, too. Be aware that you simply already must have WSL 1 put in in your machine to improve it to WSL 2.

WSL 2 comes with some important modifications in comparison with WSL 1. Most significantly, it modifications how Linux binaries work together with the underlying Home windows OS and {hardware}. You get entry to an in-house constructed, open-source Linux kernel created utilizing the newest steady department accessible at kernel.org. This implies quicker operations, updates, and upgrades, full system name compatibility, and more.

To allow WSL 2 in your system, run the next command in PowerShell as Administrator:

Allow-WindowsOptionalFeature -On-line -FeatureName VirtualMachinePlatform

Then, join your current Linux distros to WSL 2 by working the next command in PowerShell:

wsl --set-version  2

You will get the precise title of your Distro with the assistance of the wsl -l command. If you happen to get caught with the improve, try Microsoft’s documenation about how to install WSL 2 on high of the Home windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL 1).


Accessing the UNIX terminal and Linux-native command line instruments, packages, and programming languages will help so much in internet growth. You should use it to handle your native and distant community, arrange an internet server, and work with superior applied sciences you’ll be able to’t entry from Home windows such because the WordPress CLI.

If you wish to be taught extra about learn how to work with Linux, take a look at our tutorial on how to use UNIX file permissions to increase security or try our assortment of the best Linux distros for programmers and developers, too.

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