If you’re a developer or power user, there’s a good chance you might need to use Linux commands on your Windows 11 system. Fortunately, Microsoft has made it easier than ever to use Linux within Windows via the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through how to run Linux on Windows 11 using WSL.
What is the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)?
The Windows Subsystem for Linux is a compatibility layer for running Linux binary executables natively on Windows 10 and Windows 11. In simpler terms, it allows you to run Linux on your Windows machine without the need for a dual-boot setup or a virtual machine.
Step 1: Enabling the Windows Subsystem for Linux
The first thing you need to do is enable WSL. Here’s how:
- Open the Windows Start menu and search for “Turn Windows features on or off”.
- Scroll down and check the box next to “Windows Subsystem for Linux”.
- Click “OK”.
Windows will then install the necessary files. Once it’s done, you’ll be prompted to restart your computer.
Step 2: Installing a Linux Distribution
After your system reboots, the next step is to install a Linux distribution. Here’s how:
- Open the Microsoft Store app.
- Search for Linux. You’ll see a number of distributions available, such as Ubuntu, Debian, and SUSE.
- Click on the one you want, then click “Get” to download and install it.
Once the installation is complete, you can launch your Linux distribution by searching for it in the Start menu.
Step 3: Setting Up Your Linux Environment
The first time you launch your Linux distribution, you’ll be asked to set up a new user account (this is separate from your Windows user account). You’ll need to create a username and password, which you’ll use to log into your Linux environment.
And that’s it! You’re now running Linux on your Windows 11 machine. You can access your Linux command line by launching your Linux distribution from the Start menu.
This guide showed you how to run Linux on Windows 11 using the Windows Subsystem for Linux. With WSL, you can run Linux commands natively on your Windows machine, making it a great tool for developers and power users.