How to Install WSL on Windows: A Beginner's Guide

If you're a Windows user who wants to explore the world of Linux without leaving the comfort of your operating system, Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is an excellent option for you. WSL is a feature in Windows that enables you to run Linux distributions natively within Windows, allowing you to enjoy the power of Linux command-line tools and applications without needing a separate virtual machine or a Linux dual-boot setup. In this beginner's guide, we'll walk you through the steps of installing WSL on your Windows machine.

Step 1: Check Your Windows Version

Before you can install WSL, make sure your Windows operating system version is at least Windows 10 version 1607 or higher. You can check your Windows version by typing "winver" in the search bar, then hit Enter. If your version is not up to date, you can update it through the Windows Update feature.

Step 2: Enable WSL Feature

Next, you need to enable the WSL feature on your Windows machine. Open the Control Panel by searching for it in the Start menu, then navigate to "Programs" > "Turn Windows features on or off." In the Windows Features window, scroll down to find "Windows Subsystem for Linux," then check the box next to it. Click "OK" and wait for the feature to be installed.

Step 3: Install a Linux Distribution

Once the WSL feature is enabled, you can install a Linux distribution of your choice. You can do this by downloading and installing it directly from the Microsoft Store, which offers several popular Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Debian, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Simply search for the distribution you want, then click the "Get" button to download and install it.

Step 4: Launch Your Linux Distribution

After the installation is complete, you can launch your Linux distribution from the Start menu or by typing its name in the search bar. When you first launch your distribution, it will take a few minutes to set up, and you'll be prompted to create a username and password for your Linux environment.

Step 5: Update and Upgrade

Now that you have your Linux environment set up, it's a good idea to update and upgrade it to ensure you have the latest software and security patches. Open your Linux distribution terminal and type the following command:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

This will update and upgrade all the packages on your Linux distribution.

That's it! With these simple steps, you can now enjoy the power of Linux on your Windows machine. WSL provides a seamless way to work with Linux-based tools and applications within your familiar Windows environment. So go ahead, explore the world of Linux, and discover new possibilities for your work and projects.