How to Install Windows Subsystem for Linux in Windows 11

How to Install Windows Subsystem for Linux in Windows 11

Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) permits you to run Linux apps and providers in a light-weight digital surroundings on Windows 11. Here’s how to use it.

Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) permits you to run Linux software program on a Windows 11 PC. With WSL enabled, Windows can run a distribution of Linux on the identical time.

Microsoft permits you to allow WSL on all main variations of Windows 11, that means you don’t want to improve from Windows 11 Home to Pro to use it. Windows 11 makes use of WSL 2.0, an upgraded model of WSL designed to run a full Linux kernel in a Hyper-V surroundings.

Once you might have WSL working, you’ll have entry to the Linux shell from the brand new Windows terminal. From there, you should use instructions to set up and run Linux apps alongside Windows software program. Windows 11 contains help for Linux apps working with GPU entry, making it a flexible software for several types of customers.

Here’s how to get Windows Subsystem for Linux working in your Windows 11 PC.

How to Install Windows Subsystem for Linux on Windows 11

The quickest approach to set up WSL on Windows 11 is by way of the Command Prompt or EnergyShell. You can use both software to do that—choose whichever surroundings you’re most snug in.

To do that, open the Start menu (or press the Windows key) and kind cmd to search for the Command Prompt or powershell to open a brand new EnergyShell window. Hover over the Best match consequence, then choose Run as administrator on the correct.

If the UAC immediate seems, ensure that to enable your chosen app to run.

start cmd admin

In your admin-level EnergyShell or Command Prompt window, you’re in a position to set up and allow WSL with a single command. To do that, sort the next command and hit Enter:

wsl --install

WSL Install command

You’ll want to wait whereas Windows 11 permits WSL, prompts GUI app help, and installs the default Linux distribution (Ubuntu) in your PC. You can monitor the progress of the set up in the window.

WSL and Ubuntu installing

When it’s full, you’ll see a message prompting you to restart your Windows 11 PC to full the set up.

restart Windows 11

After your PC reboots, signal in to Windows, and you need to discover you’re in a position to use your Linux system.

To launch WSL, open the Start menu—you need to uncover Ubuntu underneath the “Recently Installed” part. You may discover it manually underneath its first letter in the app listing.

Recently Added ubuntu

How to Install Alternative Linux WSL Distributions

It’s additionally value noting that you just don’t have to use Ubuntu with WSL—you’ll be able to set up different variations of Linux. To discover out there distributions of Linux in your PC, enter the next in your Command Prompt, EnergyShell, or Windows Terminal window:

wsl -l -o

available versions of linux

Next, sort the next, changing distro with the identify of the Linux distribution you want to set up:

wsl --install -d distro

For instance, in order for you to set up openSUSE, you’ll sort the next:

wsl --install -d openSUSE

install different linux distro

As with Ubuntu, enable time for the wsl command to set up your most popular distribution.

How to Install Linux Distributions from the Microsoft Store

If you’re not snug utilizing a command-line software, you’ll be able to set up Linux by way of the Microsoft Store. Installing Linux from the Store is like putting in every other Store app. First, you’ll need to confirm WSL is enabled.

To do that, press Start (or hit the Windows key) and kind optionalfeatures.exe. Select the Best match consequence on the high.

start optional features exe

In the “Windows Features” field, choose the Windows Subsystem for Linux checkbox and click on OK.

Optional Features WSL

Allow a while for the modifications to full, then restart your PC.

Restart windows 11

Once you restart your PC, open the Microsoft Store app from the taskbar or Start menu and search for “Linux.”

You ought to see a number of distributions out there to you, together with Kali Linux, Debian, Ubuntu, and so forth. Choose the Linux distribution you need to use, then click on Get to start putting in it.

Microsoft Store Linux

The Microsoft Store will obtain and set up your Linux distribution at this level—enable a while for this to full. As with the command immediate technique above, you’ll discover it in the Start menu after set up is full.

Ubuntu Windows 11 Start menu

How to Access the Linux Shell on Windows 11

Windows 11 features a new terminal app (known as Windows Terminal) that enables you to swap between EnergyShell, Command Prompt, and different sorts of administrative home windows. If you put in and allow Windows Subsystem for Linux on Windows 11, you should use the brand new Windows Terminal to management your Linux shell.

To do that, right-click the Start menu and choose Windows Terminal (Admin). Next, choose the + (plus) icon in the tabbed bar on the high, then select your Linux distribution (e.g., Ubuntu) from the listing.

If you don’t see it, launch Ubuntu from the Start menu first, then open the terminal—it’s going to then seem in the dropdown.


You now have entry to the Linux shell, simply as in the event you had been utilizing a Linux PC. You can begin studying and practising Linux instructions to function it right here, or you should use it to modify your Ubuntu settings.

Ubuntu Bash Running Windows 11

How to Test Windows Subsystem for Linux on Windows 11

If you’re uncertain how to check whether or not WSL is working, you should use the Windows Terminal to achieve this.

First, open a brand new terminal by right-clicking the Start menu and deciding on Windows Terminal (Admin). In the terminal window, press + (plus), then choose Ubuntu. Alternatively, launch Ubuntu from the Start menu.

Once you’re prepared to use WSL, you should use a Linux recreation known as Tux Racer to see if WSL is working accurately. These steps will solely work in the event you’re utilizing WSL with Ubuntu, Debian, or associated distributions.

To do that, sort the next instructions in your Linux WSL terminal, one after one other:

sudo apt replace
sudo apt improve

You may run them collectively (sudo apt replace && sudo apt improve). Once these instructions end checking for updates, sort the next command to set up the sport:

sudo apt set up extremetuxracer

install TUX command

When the immediate asks in order for you to proceed, sort Y and hit Enter.

Yes to install Tux

Tux Racer takes just a few seconds to set up. Once it does, you’ll discover the Linux app in the Start menu—press on it to run it such as you would every other Windows app.

extreme tux racer installed Start Windows 11

There you go! You’re now working your first Linux app on Windows 11. Have enjoyable!

Extreme Tux Racer Running Windows 11

Using Windows Subsystem for Linux on Windows 11

Using the Windows Subsystem for Linux on Windows 11 provides you full entry to Linux apps and providers with no need to reinstall or dual-boot your system. WSL is one of the simplest ways to entry Linux apps on a Windows PC—in the event you don’t just like the distribution you’re utilizing, you’ll be able to all the time swap to one other by way of the Microsoft Store or the brand new Windows Terminal app.

If you’re new to Windows 11, check out different elective options, equivalent to enabling older .NET Frameworks to run retro video games and apps.