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How to Install Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)on Windows 11

Installing Linux on Windows 11 system allows you to run the Linux Apps or games from Windows 11 directly without switching to another Linux device. Then the installation of Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is a necessity to run Linux on Windows 11. In this article, we will show you the step by step guide on how to install Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)on Windows 11.

How to Install WSL on Windows 11?

As Microsoft has made it easier to install WSL on Windows 10 and the later system versions. There are three methods about installing WSL on Windows 11 will be introduced. The feature of Windows Subsystem for Linux should be enabled before installing Windows Subsystem for Linux.

Steps to enable WSL feature: Open PowerShell as Administrator > PowerShell > right-click > Run as Administrator) and enter the command:

dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux /all /norestart

Then you can follow the methods below to successfully install WSL on Windows 11.

Method 1: Install WSL on Windows 11 with Command Prompt

Step 1: Search Command Prompt in the search box on the Taskbar, and choose Run as administrator;

Step 2: Enter the command: wsl –install and press Enter;

Install WSL on Windows 11 with Command Prompt

Step 3: Restart your device and follow the tips from the system whether you needed to reboot the system, until the WSL has been installed on Windows 11;

Step 4: A username and password are needed to be your credentials for WSL.

Install WSL on Windows 11 with Command Prompt

Method 2: Install WSL with Specific Distro on Windows 11

Step 1: Search Command Prompt in the search box on the Taskbar, and choose Run as administrator;

Step 2: Enter the command: wsl –list –online and press Enter; then you will see a list of available WSL distros you can install, such as Ubuntu, Debian, etc. are supported. Check the supported list here:

  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
  • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
  • openSUSE Leap 15.1
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP1
  • Kali Linux
  • Debian GNU/Linux
  • Fedora Remix for WSL
  • Pengwin
  • Pengwin Enterprise
  • Alpine WSL
  • Raft(Free Trial)

Step 3: Enter wsl –install -d DISTRO-NAME to install the WSL with a specific distro and press Enter;

Note: please replace the DISTRO-NAME to the one in your list and you want to install.

Step 4: Restart your PC to continue the installation;

Step 5: The Windows Subsystem for Linux components will install along with the distro of Linux mentioned above.

Method 3: Install WSL on Windows 11 from Microsoft Store

Make sure you have enabled the feature of Windows Subsystem for Linux, and then search Microsoft Store in the search box and click to launch it.

In the Store, search for Linux to locate the right app and click to get it. Taking ubuntu for example:

Install WSL on Windows 11 from Microsoft Store

Then the Linux app will be installed on your device.

Another important note is that: you’d better update to WSL 2, and the Builds lower than 18362 do not support WSL 2. Here the requirements of running WSL 2 are:

  • x64 systems: Version 1903 or higher, with Build 18362 or higher;
  • ARM64 systems: Version 2004 or higher, with Build 19041 or higher;

And you can also set WSL 2 as your default version with the following steps: Open PowerShell and run this command: wsl –set-default-version 2.

Frances

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