Back in the Anniversary update, Microsoft introduced a new beta feature called Bash on Ubuntu on Windows. With the Fall Creators update (v1709), the new module is now a stable feature and has a proper name called Linux Subsystem for Windows. With this module, you can use bash shell directly in Windows 10.
Of course, with the Linux Subsystem for Windows, you can run various Linux distros like Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Kali, etc., by installing them directly from the Microsoft Store. Follow these steps to install Linux subsystem in Windows 10.
What is Linux Subsystem for Windows
If you are an avid Linux user then you may know of Wine, a famous software that lets you run various Windows applications in Linux systems like Ubuntu. Linux Subsystem for Windows is very similar but allows you to run Linux directly in Windows.
No, Linux Subsystem for Windows is not a virtual machine or a re-complied software like Cygwin. By installing Linux subsystem in Windows 10, you'll be directly accessing the Linux terminal, run various commands, and install various Linux applications.
As good as it is, there are some limitations. i.e, you cannot install GUI (at least officially) for your Linux OS and the Linux Subsystem does not support a few terminal commands. Moreover, you may not be able to install or use certain commands and GUI applications due to inherent limitations of the Subsystem. However, for the most part, Linux Subsystem for Windows is pretty robust and gets the job done for a majority of users.
Verify Your Windows 10 Version
One thing to keep in mind is that you should be running 64-bit Windows 10 operating system with Fall Creators Update (v1709) or above to use Linux Subsystem for Windows. If you are unsure, check Windows 10 version and proceed to the next steps.
Control Panel Options to Install Linux Subsystem
You can easily install Linux subsystem in Windows 10 by enabling a simple feature.
1. First, open the start menu and search for "Turn Windows features on or off" open it. This is where you can enable extra features in Windows 10.
2. In the Windows Features window, scroll all the way down, find Windows Subsystem for Linux and select the checkbox next to it. Click on the Ok button to save changes.
3. As soon as you click on the ok button, Windows downloads any necessary files and installs Linux subsystem.
4. Once done, click on the Restart now button to reboot Windows.
After rebooting Windows, you can use the Microsoft store to find the Linux OS of your choice and install it.
PowerShell Command to Install Linux Subsystem in Windows 10
Before you proceed to install Linux Subsystem in Windows 10, save all your work. Your system will restart in the process.
To install any Linux operating system like Ubuntu, you first need to enable Linux Subsystem for Windows. You can do that using PowerShell.
1. Search for "PowerShell" in the start menu, right-click on it and select "Run as Administrator."
2. In the PowerShell, execute the below command. It will enable the Linux Subsystem feature.
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux
3. As soon as you execute the command, Windows will download any additional files it requires. Once downloaded, it prompts for your confirmation. Type
Y and press Enter.
4. Now, Windows will enable the additional feature and immediately restarts your system.
5. You can now install Linux OS. Just open Microsoft Store, search for Ubuntu and click on the "Get" button. This action will download and install Ubuntu.
Apart from Ubuntu, as of writing this, Microsoft Store has other Linux operating systems like OpenSUSE, SUSE Enterprise Linux, Debian GNU/Linux, and Kali. You can install any of them by simply searching for them and clicking on the "Get" or "Install" button.
6. Once installed, launch Ubuntu by clicking on the "Launch" button or by searching for it in the Start Menu.
That's all there is to do. It is that simple to install Linux Subsystem in Windows 10. Comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the Linux Subsystem for Windows.