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How to install the Windows subsystem for Linux on Windows 11

Hello! The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) has been a great idea from Microsoft. Indeed, it allows us to be able to run a Linux environment without having to use a virtual machine. It certainly represents a huge advantage. Well, WSL is now integrated into the Windows 11 App Store, and we will see how to use it. However, having a Linux subsystem running on Windows is something we have already seen before the arrival of Windows 11. Recall that WSL, we already use it on Windows 10 since it arrived in 2019. Consequently, it is nothing new in the Redmond operating system. Therefore, today we will see how to install the Windows subsystem for Linux. To say that in appearance, it is simpler to do than in Windows 10.

What is the Windows Subsystem for Linux?

The Windows Subsystem for Linux allows us to run a GNU/Linux environment directly on the Windows operating system. In addition, it is not necessary to use a virtual machine or a dual boot configuration. On the other hand, it includes most of the command line tools, utilities, or applications. Some things we can do in this subsystem are:

  • Run common command line tools.
  • Run Bash shell scripts and GNU/Linux command line applications, such as:
  • Using vim, emacs, tmux tools.
  • Different languages like NodeJS, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, C/C++, C# & F#, Rust, Go, etc.
  • Some services like SSHD, MySQL, Apache, lighttpd, MongoDB, PostgreSQL.
  • Install additional software via GNU/Linux distribution package manager.
  • Invoke Windows applications via a UNIX-like command line shell in addition to other GNU/Linux applications on Windows.

Windows Subsystem for Linux on Microsoft Store

Certainly, the Windows Subsystem for Linux has been around for years. However, the fact that it is now an application belonging to the Microsoft Store gives it an element of officialdom. In addition, it will be upgradable like any other app, which will bring long-term benefits. This official element contrasts with what we have been using recently. In effect, it is an additional feature of Windows that we had to install externally, although it was simple. To summarize, now the Windows Subsystem for Linux is official. Consequently, it has to be treated as any application belonging to the Microsoft Store.

How to install Windows Subsystem for Linux on Windows 11

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But let’s get to the heart of the matter. We all want to know what this is all about. Indeed, we will learn how to install the Linux subsystem. Kindly note that this application is now available from the Microsoft Store. Consequently, the first steps will be much easier than before, since this is just another app. However, before getting into the subject, a couple of prerequisites must be met.

  • The first is that we are running Windows 11 Windows build 22000 or higher. We can check which build we are running by pressing the Win+R combination. Then run winver and check the version.
  • In addition, we must have the Virtual Machine Platform component enabled.

If the Virtual Machine Platform is not enabled, you can always start it using PowerShell. With this in mind, we will do the following.

  • We put PowerShell in the search bar of the Start menu.
  • When it comes up, we right-click and select Run as administrator.
  • Now is when we must type the following command:
dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:VirtualMachinePlatform /all /norestart

As a result, we can now go to the Microsoft Store. Once there, enter this in the search engine: Windows Subsystem for Linux Preview.

After the results are displayed, just click on Get. After a few moments, we will be ready to start using it.

From here on, we will be able to have the Linux associated to our Windows 11, in the same way that it worked in Windows 10. However, being an app, Microsoft has taken the opportunity to add something new to it.

WSL in Windows 11

Actually, the Windows Subsystem for Linux for Windows 11 does have some new features. They are not many, but they are worth a try. On the other hand, you should know that now it will have updates from time to time. These updates will respect all the information that is given in the application, that is to say, like any other program. Some new things about Windows Subsystem for Linux in Windows 11 version are:

  • The WSLg, or Windows subsystem for the Linux GUI, is now integrated with the application.
  • The WSL Linux kernel is updated to version 5.10.60.1.
  • A new progress indicator
  • With a new command, we will be able to see the version information.

In any case, there is another way to find out all the news. If you want to find out what changes this version brings to the Microsoft Store, please check here.

An exclusive application for Windows 11.

There is bad news for Windows 10 users. For the moment, this WSL app in the Microsoft Store is only available for Windows 11 users. When Microsoft announced the arrival of this app, it did not comment on Windows 10 at any time. Consequently, it is likely that if the feature does arrive, it will not happen soon.

We are at the beginning of the distribution of Windows 11. Consequently, it does not seem likely that Microsoft will put any of its time and effort into an app for a system that it wants to be left behind and convince all the undecided to install the new one. For this reason, we think that it is not likely that Windows Subsystem for Linux will appear in the store for Windows 10 users. Beyond that, we’ve learned how to install the Windows subsystem for Linux on Windows 11. Bye!

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