Install entire Linux Subsystem on Windows 10 with a single Command Line in Command Prompt: Latest WSL Kernel with Ubuntu as default distro

Windows Subsystem for Linux WSL Command Prompt Line
A single command can get everything set up for WSL in Windows 10 OS. Pic credit: Steven Lilley/Flickr

Microsoft has made it extremely easy to get an entire Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) up and ready with a single Terminal Command. Windows 10, and possibly Windows 11 OS users, can get the latest WSL Kernel. The command also sets Ubuntu as the default distro, quickly and effortlessly.

Windows OS users can get everything they need to run WSL just by running a simple command in the Command Prompt or Terminal window. The only requirement is that Windows 10 OS users will have to be on Windows 10 2004 or later.

Running an entire open-source Linux distro inside Windows 10 is easier than ever before:

Released back in 2018, Windows Subsystem for Linux or WSL is a powerful compatibility layer that makes it possible for Windows 10 users to run Linux binaries. Certainly not meant for absolutely novice users, the WLS layer allows Linux Packages to run in ELF format natively, in a PowerShell or Windows 10 command prompt.

Microsoft has been actively developing WSL and making it simpler and more efficient. With WSL2 Windows 10, the OS now supports enhanced file system performance.

A Windows operating system now supports full system call compatibility that Linux OS and its binaries. Microsoft’s WSL and WSL2 use virtualization tech to run a full Linux kernel inside a lightweight Virtual Machine (VM).

Interestingly, Microsoft has even offered WSLg (Windows Subsystem for Linux GUI). WSLg allows Windows 10 OS users to use Linux applications in Windows with full GUI support.

Needless to mention, getting an entire Linux distro and all the supporting infrastructure up and running inside Windows 10 wasn’t easy. Microsoft has a step-by-step guide on how to install and launch Linux GUI apps inside Windows 10.

After flowing the detailed guide Windows OS users could launch Linux apps from the Start menu or a Command Prompt window.

However, moving ahead, there’s no struggle with installing multiple packages. Users need not even toggle Windows OS settings to get Linux up and running.

Install Windows Subsystem for Linux with simple, single Command Line:

Installing an entire Linux distro inside Windows OS, and getting everything ready to run Linux apps with GUI and hardware support, is now easier than ever.

Windows 10, and even Windows 11 users, will have to merely fire up the Command Prompt window as an administrator. Thereafter, enter the following, single command:

wsl.exe –install 

Running the command in the Command Prompt window or even a Terminal Window, automatically enables WSL. It also downloads and installs Ubuntu as the default distro. Additionally, the command even sets up the latest WSL Linux kernel version on the device.

A simple reboot completes the installation process. Thereafter, the newly deployed Ubuntu distribution will automatically start logging in.

After running the command, and getting WSL up and running, users can even run wsl –update to update the Linux kernel and wsl –update rollback to switch to a previous kernel version

Users can also run wsl –status to get an overview of your WSL configuration. This command will notify the default distro type, default distro, and the currently installed Linux kernel version.

It is important to note that Windows 10 users need to be on Windows 10 2004 or later. Alternatively, Microsoft has also offered an optional KB5004296 Preview Cumulative Update. Incidentally, this update also promises to fix Windows 10 gaming issues.

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