Earlier this year, Microsoft started testing support for Linux GUI apps on Windows 10. The company implemented it through Windows Subsystem for Linux GUI (WSLg) on Insider builds. Alongside this exciting development, Microsoft also streamlined the installation process of WSL for Insiders with a single install command. The Redmond giant has now brought the WSL installation command to older Windows 10 builds.
Install WSL on Windows 10 with a Single Command
You can use the ‘wsl –install’ command to install Windows Subsystem for Linux on your computer. Available only on Insider builds so far, Microsoft has now ported the command to Windows 10 version 2004 and higher.
“The process will automatically enable the WSL optional features required, install the Ubuntu distribution by default, and install the latest WSL Linux kernel version onto your machine. When it’s completed and you restart your machine, your distribution will start after you boot up again, completing the installation,” said Craig Loewen, Program Manager, Windows Developer Platform.
You can also use the command ‘wsl –list –online’ to see the list of available Linux distributions. Moreover, the command ‘wsl –update’ lets you update your WSL Linux kernel manually. Other commands include ‘wsl –update rollback’ to roll back to a previous WSL Linux kernel version and ‘wsl –status’ to see the details of your current WSL installation.
To start using the new WSL command, make sure you have updated Windows 10 from Settings -> Updates and Security -> Check for updates. It is also available as an optional update with the version KB5004296.
While getting started with the command is fairly straightforward, you can check our guide on running GUI-based Linux programs on Windows 10 to see the command in action. As for WSLg, it’s already live on Windows 11. You can follow the same steps to run Linux GUI apps on Windows 11.