Installing Linux on Windows?

I’ve heard of people saying that it’s possible to install a Linux subsystem into Windows but how do you do it?

Try looking into this:

1 Like

Keep in mind with WSL that you need a few prerequisites:

  • You cannot use WSL on Windows 10 Home. You MUST be using Professional or higher.
  • You need to have a relatively recent version of Windows 10 (you should keep your system updated anyway, but be sure you run any updates before installing WSL).
  • After installing WSL, you need to select a “flavor” of Linux from the Windows Store (there are many free ones available). I recommend Ubuntu for most cases, due to its ease of use, and how popular it is, giving you plenty of resources to find help.
  • I haven’t been able to get x-server working properly in WSL, so there seems to still be some limits on what you can actually do with it. For most cases, though, it seems to work fine.

If you cannot use WSL, then you can look for “virtual machines” which was the old way of doing things before WSL came around. Ubuntu also has instructions on how to install Linux side-by-side with Windows, but there are some pretty severe caveats to that, and I wouldn’t risk it on a computer you aren’t willing to wipe and reset if something goes wrong.

Other alternatives are installing Linux on a cloud system like Azure or Google Cloud Services, and using SSH to log into them (this has the advantage of complete isolation, but you need to learn how to use SSH, find a good SSH app like MobaXTerm or PuTTy, and these machines typically have a monthly cost, depending on your usage.)


WSL or WSL2 is a great way to do it. I use it almost every day.

1 Like