If you're a Windows user looking to harness the power of Linux without leaving your Windows environment, you're in the right place. Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) allows you to run a full-fledged Linux distribution alongside your Windows installation, and in this guide, we'll show you how to enable it step by step.
Windows Subsystem for Linux, or WSL, is a compatibility layer for running Linux binary executables natively on Windows 10 and later versions. It enables you to have a Linux distribution right at your fingertips, all without needing to dual-boot or set up a separate machine.
The benefits of WSL include:
Before we dive into enabling WSL, let's make sure your system meets the prerequisites:
Let's get into the nitty-gritty of enabling WSL on your Windows system. Follow these steps:
Open PowerShell as Administrator: Right-click the Start button, select "Windows Terminal (Admin)," or "Command Prompt (Admin)".
Enable the WSL Feature: In the command prompt, enter the following command and press Enter:
dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux /all /norestart
Install a Linux Distribution: You can choose from several Linux distributions available on the Microsoft Store. For example, to install Ubuntu, run:
wsl --install -d Ubuntu
Initial Setup: After installation, you'll be prompted to create a new user and set a password for your Linux distribution.
Start WSL: You can start your installed Linux distribution by running its name. For example, to start Ubuntu, simply type:
Encountering errors is not uncommon during the installation and setup process. Here are solutions for some common issues:
Error 0x8007019e: This error often indicates virtualization is not enabled in your BIOS. Go back to the prerequisites section and make sure it's turned on. You can read more about Error 0x8007019e.
Access Denied Error: If you receive an "Access Denied" error while enabling features, make sure you are running PowerShell as an administrator.
Now that you have WSL up and running, here are some tips for using it effectively:
Congratulations, you've successfully enabled Windows Subsystem for Linux on your Windows machine. With WSL, you can seamlessly work with Linux tools and environments alongside your Windows setup, making it a powerful tool for developers and Linux enthusiasts.
Remember that WSL is a versatile tool that can greatly enhance your workflow, and it's worth exploring its capabilities further.
We hope this comprehensive guide has helped you get started with Windows Subsystem for Linux. If you have any questions or run into any issues, feel free to leave a comment below. Happy Linux-ing on Windows!