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How can I install Windows Subsystem for Linux on Windows 11? Any tutorials or guides?

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  • Thanks Guys.. I got it done at last. I also took some help from here
    – Titus Kris
    Oct 27 at 6:01
  • How is this related to Ubuntu? As far as I can read, this is about installing Windows software on Windows. 🤔 It would have been somewhat another matter if the question was: "How do I install Ubuntu on WSL under Win 11", but this is clearly not the case either. Oct 28 at 11:54
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    @ArturMeinild Your comment is technically correct, but this time I am bending the rules to review to leave this question open because this topic is of compelling interest to Ubuntu users who want to run Ubuntu in Windows 11.
    – karel
    Oct 29 at 6:12
  • @ArturMeinild There are lots of Q&A's here that are about WSL setup which may or may not lead to using Ubuntu when done. For example: What's the easiest way to run GUI apps on Windows Subsystem for Linux as of 2018? Nov 6 at 23:07
  • @karel I agree with you. I don't think it's "bending the rules" though. See my comment to Artur Meinild above. Nov 6 at 23:09
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The recommended way is just go to the MS store on Windows and download it, alternatively, you can run

wsl --install

in CMD or PowerShell, as administrator (quickest way there: Win+X, then A), then reboot.

That's it, MS made this super simple for Windows 11.

For more information and a detailed guide, look at this Microsoft Devblogs entry.

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The recommended way to install WSL is to run this command from an administrator command prompt

wsl --install

Do not install the WSL preview from the Microsoft Store (which is NOT the recommended way) unless you would like to preview upcoming features which may or may not have been thoroughly tested (just like you can install PowerShell or PowerShell preview from the store).

If you do not specify a distribution, wsl --install will install WSL with the default Ubuntu installation. You may want to to install a different distribution of Linux, or a LTS version of Ubuntu (One that will not automatically be upgraded to the next major release).

You can get a list of distributions by typing

wsl --list --online

The current list as of this moment is:

Name Friendly Name
Ubuntu Ubuntu
Debian Debian GNU/Linux
kali-linux Kali Linux Rolling
openSUSE-42 openSUSE Leap 42
SLES-12 SUSE Linux Enterprise Server v12
Ubuntu-16.04 Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Ubuntu-18.04 Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Ubuntu-20.04 Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

If you want to install WSL with a different distribution, say Ubuntu 20.04, you would type from an administrative command prompt

wsl --install -d Ubuntu-20.04

But what if you want to install WSL and not select a distribution at all so you can "shop" for your first distro from the Microsoft Store? Installing a distro from the store without running the WSL install from the command line will not install WSL, just the distro, which won't run correctly at this point.

To get around this, from the start menu search for "turn windows features on or off" and from there you can select "Windows Subsystem for Linux". This will install WSL with no Linux distribution and then you will be able to pick your first installation from the Microsoft Store if you would like.

Microsoft's official document for installing WSL on Windows 10 and Windows 11: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wsl/install

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