The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) allows you to run Linux software on your Windows 11 PC. once you enable WSL, Windows will install a custom-built Linux kernel. you’ll then install Ubuntu or another Linux distribution of your choice.
How WSL Works on Windows 11
You can enable the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) on all editions of Windows 11—even Windows 11 Home. (You also can install WSL on Windows 10.)
Like newer versions of Windows 10, Windows 11 uses WSL 2. This second version is redesigned and runs a full Linux kernel during a Hyper-V hypervisor for improved compatibility. once you enable the feature, Windows 11 downloads a Microsoft-built Linux kernel that it runs within the background. Windows Update keeps the kernel updated. (You can use your own custom Linux kernel if you favor , too.)
To use WSL, you’ll got to install a Linux distribution. By default, WSL installs Ubuntu. this may offer you access to a full Ubuntu command-line environment using the Bash shell or the other command-line shell of your choice.
You can access your Linux shell environments within the Windows Terminal app included with Windows 11, too.
You can also run graphical Linux apps out of the box (Just install them within the Linux command-line environment and run the command.). Windows 11 also includes support for running Linux apps with GPU access, making GPU-accelerated Linux computing workloads run well on Windows.
The Fast Way: Install WSL with a Command
Microsoft has made this process very simple on Windows 11. you’ll enable the Windows Subsystem for Linux and install a Linux distribution like Ubuntu with one command.
To do this, you’ll got to use a command-line window with Administrator permissions. We’ll do that with the Windows Terminal, although you’ll also just launch prompt .
To launch a Windows Terminal with Administrator permissions, right-click the beginning button on the taskbar or press Windows+X and click on “Windows Terminal (Admin)”.
(You also can find the Windows Terminal shortcut in your Start menu—right-click it and choose “Run as Administrator.”) comply with the User Account Control prompt that appears.
To enable the Windows Subsystem for Linux and install Ubuntu, which is that the default distribution, just run the subsequent command:
When the method is complete, Windows will ask you to reboot your PC. Restart your computer. You’ll be ready to use your Linux system after you are doing . (You can right-click the beginning menu and click on pack up or Sign Out > Restart to quickly reboot.)
To list other available Linux distributions, run the subsequent command instead. This lists (-l) distributions that are available online (-o).
wsl -l -o
You can install a Linux distribution of your choice by running the subsequent command, replacing “Name” with the name of the Linux distro, as displayed within the “Name” column:
wsl --install -d Name
For example, to install Debian instead of Ubuntu, you’d run:
wsl --install -d Debian
You can also execute this command multiple times to install several Linux distributions on your system.
Once your computer has rebooted, you can run the Linux distro that you installed from your Start menu.
You’ll also find it as an option within the Windows Terminal app. Click the down arrow to the proper of the new tab “+” button on the tab bar and choose the Linux distribution that you simply installed.
Tip: If you don’t see the Linux distribution that you simply installed within the Windows Terminal, launch it from your Start menu first. After it completes its first-run setup process, it’ll appear here.
Now, you’ll use the Linux shell even as if you were sitting ahead of a PC Linux—or as if you were remotely connected to a server running Linux. You’ll just got to know Linux commands.
The Slow Way: Enable WSL and Install a Distro
You can also enable the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) the older way. This takes more clicking, and that we recommend just running the command above.
To do this, open your Start menu and look for “Windows features.” (You can press the Windows key to open the beginning menu and just start typing.) Launch the “Turn Windows Features On or Off” shortcut.
Enable the “Windows Subsystem for Linux” checkbox here and click on “OK.” you’ll be prompted to reboot your computer.
After you are doing , open the Microsoft Store app and look for the Linux distribution that you simply want to use. For instance , you would possibly look for “Ubuntu.”
Install the Linux distribution that you simply want to use (like Ubuntu) as you’d the other application. Just click the “Install” button on its Store page.
You can now launch it from your Start menu even as if it were installed from the command above.