How to Install WSL on Windows

January 30, 2023

When you want to use a GNU/Linux distribution inside a Windows system, there are many possibilities, including virtualizing using a type 2 hypervisor such as VirtualBox or VMWare, installing the distribution in a container or simply taking advantage of the WSL feature that has been available for some time now for the most recent versions of Windows.

What is WSL

WSL stands for Windows Subsystem for Linux, basically it is a feature within Windows systems that allow compatibility to run within Windows systems, Linux software from GUI applications to a terminal emulator, which is what we will see later in this article.

The main advantage of using this subsystem instead of using, for example, a virtual machine with some type 2 hypervisor, say VirtualBox, is that the hardware consumption will be drastically reduced, plus it is an exaggeratedly easy way to be able to approach a sample of GNU/Linux distributions if you have always been using Windows.

How to install WSL on Windows

Well, installing this subsystem is actually quite simple, just open a beautiful PowerShell window and type the following command.

wsl --install

This command will call the WSL program and tell it to install, simple right? When you do it, you will have to accept the administrator permissions that it will ask for since, it is evident that changes will be made at the system level and that requires elevated permissions.

When the process finishes and is successful, you will see something like this, then you must restart and, when doing it, you will already have WLS installed in your Windows.

How to install a Linux terminal on Windows

Ok friend, once you have WSL ready and turned on, now it’s time to install as such “a Linux terminal” on Windows, for this there are several ways, we will show you the easiest and is to go directly to the Microsoft Store, once there, look for the GNU/Linux distribution you want to “install”, in this case Ubuntu, but there are many more, such as Kali Linux, SUSE and so on.

When you decide which one to install, select it and install it.

Then, you run the application and wait for it to install itself.

Once it is installed, you just configure the username you want to use, the password and ready, you have an Ubuntu terminal emulator where your user is in more groups in the system than the groups that exist in your family in WhatsApp.

At this point you will already have the Ubuntu terminal emulator on Windows, it should be noted that, for example, if you install a terminal emulator of, for example, Kali Linux from the Microsoft application store, you should know that you are not installing the operating system as such, so many tools (actually most) will not be included in this installation, take this type of software as a terminal emulator to practice commands in Linux or other specific actions.

To finish this article and add something more to the previous paragraph, remember that this is only one of the many options you have to use Linux from Windows, another, more complete option is to directly use a type 2 hypervisor, such as VirtualBox or VMWare, in this case the installation will be more complete and heavier, but it will serve you, if you want, to have an operating system as such running inside your Windows system.

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