During the last two years, Microsoft has surprised many by introducing Linux in Windows. Yeah, that’s great news for Linux lovers because they can run both Windows and Linux in one Operating System without using any Virtual Machine. After the success of WSL 1, it is officially announced that Microsoft is revealing the newest architecture of Windows Subsystem for Linux at the end of June 2019. So get ready to install WSL 2 on windows 10. This newer version will be providing a real Linux kernel with Windows that will make full system call compatibility possible and will increase the file system performance.
So in this article, you will learn how to enable the Linux Subsystem for windows 10 and I am 100% sure that at the end of the article you will be able to run Linux in Windows by yourself.
Windows Subsystem for Linux
Before knowing about how to install Linux in Windows, you must have some prior knowledge about what actually Linux subsystem for windows 10 do and why you should be using it.
- Sometimes it takes hours in Linux even searching a simple problem, most probably while installing drivers and software. On the other hand, windows have always been superb with searching efficiently.
- If you have installed both Windows and Linux in your computers then it would be very frustrating changing from one OS to another again and again. Virtual Machine’s on the other hand, offers a great solution to run both at the same operating system at the same time but they are quite slow. So what should be better than that if you are availing both at the same platform without compromising OS speed and performance?
As we all know Linux offers splendid stability, effective open-source support and an astonishing array of powerful administration tools and that’s what Windows is trying to provide you within one operating system. Although, windows is not much powerful as Linux operating system is but we are hoping that in WSL 2 windows will appear with great and powerful Linux features and support.
Microsoft has enabled users to install a beta version of a bash shell in windows via Ubuntu and after the update of windows to version(1709), users are now allowed to install the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). You can run powerful shell commands through a real bash shell, manage multiple distros, and even install Linux command line packages and applications with apt-get on WSL.
The thing to remember is while installing Linux subsystem in Windows, the language Microsoft uses to narrate the feature can be confusing up to some extent, making it sound like you’re installing an additional operating system besides your Windows 10 installation. While that’s not true, you are just installing chunks of Linux distribution instead of getting the desktop environment or window manager that we often link with desktop. Moreover, you are not overwriting your Windows 10 files, nor dual-booting your system. Don’t be downhearted, however. Instead of getting a Windows GUI, you’re getting the most powerful and functional part of Linux: the command line interface. With this tool you can take control of the inner functionality of your operating system, using bash commands and command-line applications from Linux.
Enable Windows Subsystem for Linux in the Windows 10
The full version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux is only available for the Windows 10 version (1709) or later. With these version of Windows, you can install the Windows Subsystem for Linux from the Windows Store. All you need to do is some preparation in PowerShell.
Follow the instructions to install Linux Subsystem in Windows 10.
- Enable Subsystem in Powershell
Search for “PowerShell” in the Start Menu of Windows 10 to turn on the Subsystem in powershell and choose “Run as Administrator” from the right.
Copy the following command and paste it to the PowerShell command line by right-clicking on the command line window and hit Enter.
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux
Note: A restart will be required by running the command, don’t get confused and simply press Y to restart your system and it will enable powershell with the restart.
- Install Linux distro from the Windows Store
Navigate to the Windows Web Store and search for the distro of Linux you want to install. As in the picture, three distros of Linux are available for installation, including Ubuntu.
From them, choose the Ubuntu distro and click on Get.
It will start downloading Ubuntu so wait for the download to finish.
- Launch and Run the Ubuntu
After the successful download, a Launch option will appear, click on it to install Ubuntu on your system.
If you don’t want to launch from the web store, no matter, go to windows search menu and search for Ubuntu.
However, Once the install window opens, wait for the installation process to complete.
Enter your UNIX username and then the password. This can be different from your current Windows username and password or the same because it has no relationship with your existing username and password.
That’s it, Windows Subsystem for Linux has been installed to your system. Now you can use this distro to run Linux on your Windows 10. From here you can use bash commands, run shell scripts and install extra utilities with apt-get. It’s a fully-featured shell, so the features are about what you’d expect from an actual Linux installation.