How to Enable WSL and Install Linux on Windows

Are you eager to harness the power of Linux on your Windows 10 or 11 system? The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) provides a seamless solution, allowing you to run a Linux distribution directly alongside your Windows environment.

In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of enabling WSL and installing a Linux distribution on your Windows machine. Whether you’re a developer, system administrator, or Linux enthusiast, this tutorial will empower you to unlock the versatility of Linux while maintaining the familiarity of your Windows operating system.

How to Enable WSL and Install Linux on Windows
How to Enable WSL and Install Linux on Windows

Let’s dive into the straightforward steps that will have you up and running with Linux on Windows in no time, here are the steps:

Step 1: Enable WSL from Windows Features

  • Open your Windows 10 or 11.
  • In the Search box, type “Turn Windows Features ON or OFF”.
  • From the search results, open “Turn Windows Features ON or OFF” Options.
Turn Windows Features ON or OFF
Turn Windows Features ON or OFF

Step 2: Enable WSL

  • Scroll down the list of optional features to find “Windows Subsystem for Linux”.
  • Check the box next to “Windows Subsystem for Linux”.
  • Click on the “Install” button when prompted.
  • Restart your computer if prompted to do so.
Enable Windows Subsystem for Linux
Enable Windows Subsystem for Linux
Now Restart your PC
Now Restart your PC

Step 3: Install a Linux Distribution

  • After enabling WSL, open Microsoft Store from the Start menu.
  • Search for your preferred Linux distribution (e.g., Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora).
  • Click on the Linux distribution you want to install.
  • Click the “Install” button to download and install the distribution.
Install Ubuntu on Windows
Install Ubuntu on Windows

Step 4: Set Up a User Account

  • Once the installation is complete, launch the installed Linux distribution from the Start menu.
  • The first time you run it, it will take a few minutes to set up the new Linux system. You’ll be prompted to create a user account and set a password.
Set Username on Ubuntu
Set Username on Ubuntu

Step 5: Update and Upgrade Packages

  • After the initial setup, open the Linux terminal.
  • Run the following commands to update the package lists and upgrade installed packages:
sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
Update and Upgrade Packages on Ubuntu
Update and Upgrade Packages on Ubuntu

Step 6: Using Linux on Windows

Now that you have WSL installed, you can use the Linux terminal by launching the installed Linux distribution from the Start menu. You can run Linux commands and install additional packages using the package manager for your chosen distribution (e.g., apt for Ubuntu).

htop Ubuntu
htop Ubuntu

This method enables WSL directly from the Windows Settings, and you can manage WSL versions and distributions through the Settings menu.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve successfully embarked on the journey to bring Linux into your Windows world. With WSL, the synergy between these two powerful operating systems is at your fingertips. Whether you’re exploring Linux for development purposes, system administration, or just curiosity, this guide has equipped you with the essential steps.

As you delve into the Linux terminal on your Windows machine, the possibilities are vast. Feel free to experiment, customize, and make the most of this harmonious integration. If you have questions, insights, or share-worthy experiences, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is valuable, and we’re here to help you make the most of this dynamic fusion of Windows and Linux.

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