Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) lets developers run a GNU/Linux environment — including most command-line tools, utilities, and applications — directly on Windows, unmodified, without the overhead of a traditional virtual machine or dual-boot setup.
You must be running Windows 10 version 2004 and higher (Build 19041 and higher) or Windows 11.
How to install Windows Subsystem for Linux using Settings
If you want to run distros of Linux on Windows 10, you must first enable the Windows Subsystem for Linux feature before you can download and install the flavor of Linux that you want to use.
Enabling Windows Subsystem for Linux using Settings
To install WSL using Setting on Windows 10, use these steps:
- Open Settings.
- Click on Update & Security.
- Click on “For Developers”
- Now select “Developer Mode”
- Now open “Control Panel” –> Program and Features. Click on Turn Windows Features on or off.
- Now click on the check box next to “Virtual Machine Platform” and “Windows Subsystem for Linux” and click OK.
- Click the Restart now button.
Once you complete the steps, the environment will be configured to download and run the distros of Linux on Windows 10.
Installing Linux distros using Microsoft Store
To install a distribution of Linux on Windows 10, use these steps:
- Open Microsoft Store.
- Search for the Linux distribution that you want to install. Some of the distros available include:
- OpenSuse Leap 15.
- Kali Linux.
- Alpine WSL.
- Suse Linux Enterprise 12.
- Select the distro of Linux to install on your device. Click on “Get”.For Demonstration, we are installing Debian linux distribution.
- You will see the download starts.
- Now Click on the Launch Button to launch it.
- It will take few minutes to configure your linux machine. It will ask you for new username and password, please create it accordingly.
- After you complete the steps, you can start using the distro as any other flavor of Linux (without the graphical user interface, of course).
- If you have vscode editor installed on your windows machine ( Vscode editor for windows !!), you can launch it for your newly installed linux distribution also like below:
- You will see your vscode editor just got launched.
Now you can continue with your development work without worrying about spinning up a linux virtual machine on Oracle virtual box or Vmware workstation.