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How to Download Linux on Windows 10

The most recent iteration of the Windows Subsystem for Linux is a big advance, and for the majority of users, installation is now simpler than before. So, how to download Linux on Windows 10?

When Microsoft introduced the Windows Subsystem for Linux, a means to run genuine Linux inside Windows without having to set up a virtual machine, many mouths dropped. WSL2 is the newest and best support the project has received.

It advances the situation a bit and makes using Linux on Windows 10 and Windows 11 even more fantastic. Here’s how to get started if you haven’t already looked into it.

How to Download Linux on Windows 10

Simplified setup of WSL2 on Windows 10 

There is now a brand-new, really straightforward method for setting up WSL2 on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 computer. The sole prerequisite is that you must be using Windows 10 version 2004 or higher. Make sure you’ve also downloaded the optional KB5004296 update since that is the one that activates this function if this describes your machine.

Once this is done, launch PowerShell and type the following command:

  • wsl –install

I’m done now. As the setup process starts, you can unwind until it is finished.

The older, more involved way still works if you don’t have the required version of Windows 10 installed to use the simpler setup.

How to enable Windows Subsystem for Linux

You must first have WSL in order to obtain WSL2. The procedures for enabling the first iteration and the second are rather different, which may sound a little confusing.

However, you must first possess the original in order to possess the most recent. There isn’t a simple way to merely install WSL2.

The Windows Subsystem for Linux has a comprehensive setup guide that you should read for a thorough introduction to getting started, but if you want to get started quickly, you just need to add one line of code to your machine.

Enter the following command after starting PowerShell as an administrator:

  • dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux /all /norestart

You will eventually have to restart your computer, but if you’re just installing WSL2, you can put that off for now.

How to install WSL2 on Windows 10

The Windows Subsystem for Linux is now activated. The time has come to download and set up WSL2. The most recent version effectively functions as a tiny virtual computer with a functioning Linux kernel at its core that starts up quickly. And for this reason, the installation is a little different than simply turning on WSL.

A few prerequisites must also be met in order to use WSL2 on Windows 10. You must be using the subsequent versions:

  • Version 1903 or more, with Build 18362 or more, for x64 platforms.
  • Version 2004 or newer, with Build 19041 or newer, for ARM64 platforms.
  • Before continuing, you must perform Windows Update if you have anything less.

Assuming everything is okay, the rest is simple.

Enabling Virtual Machine

You must activate this prior to installing WSL2 if you don’t already have it. WSL2 is a little virtual machine, as was already mentioned, so Windows must be ready for that. If you already have this enabled, don’t bother with it; just reboot your computer to make sure you’re prepared to install.

PowerShell is the fastest approach to complete the task. Enter the following command after starting PowerShell as an administrator:

  • dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:VirtualMachinePlatform /all /norestart

Restart your computer now, then go to the next section.

Downloading and installing WSL2

The following section simply requires a few steps.

  • Download the updated WSL2 Kernel.
  • activate the installation.
  • Click yes when asked if you want enhanced permissions.
  • When the installation is finished, WSL2 will be successfully installed on your computer.

Setting WSL2 for your Linux distros

WSL2’s ability to complement WSL rather than replace it is a plus. It only moves parallel to it. This implies that you can use a variety of versions to run Linux installations. You can set either as the default or a specific version for each Linux distribution you have installed on your computer.

Here are some of the most important PowerShell commands that you should be familiar with.

Setting WSL2 as default

You can make WSL2 the default version if you want everything to work with it right after installation.

  • wsl –set-default-version 2
How to Download Linux on Windows 10 (1)

Listing installed Linux distros and their WSL version

Any subsequent Linux installations will utilize WSL2 automatically because it has been established as the default. You can quickly find out which WSL version your installed Linux distributions are running.

  • wsl –list –verbose

The breakdown of which version of WSL is connected to which Linux distribution is provided by the verbose flag. Without it, all you’ll see is a list of the Linux versions you’ve installed.

Changing the version of WSL per Linux installation

While making WSL2 the default will make it applicable to any further installations. You’ll have to manually convert if your setup is already in place. You can also switch between versions 1 and 2 or run a combination of the two on your PC.

  • wsl –set-version

For instance, if you want to migrate a Debian installation on WSL to WSL2, you would enter

  • wsl –set-version debian 2

Launch specific Linux installations in PowerShell

If you have only one Linux version installed, just type

  • wsl

will take you to the corresponding bash shell when you type in PowerShell. However, if you have several, you can use this command to launch a certain distro.

  • wsl -d

Once finished, start typing.

  • exit

will take you back into PowerShell.


From this point on, you are free to install as much Linux as you choose. Our comprehensive tutorial will assist you along the way, but once WSL2 is configured to your preferences, it just disappears.

It’s also worth grabbing the Windows Terminal app from the Microsoft Store if you’re running WSL. While PowerShell or the default terminal that comes with each computer can be used to start, Windows Terminal provides a nice tabbed interface that enables you to run numerous shells simultaneously. Open Command Prompt, Linux, Azure Cloud Shell, and PowerShell all simultaneously in one window.

People May Ask

Q- For Linux, is Windows 10 free?

A- You can update to Windows 10 for free without causing any harm to your current Linux setup. You can still get the free Windows 10 upgrade even if you replaced the original Windows system with Linux. Just reinstall the original version of Windows first.

Q- Can I use Windows 10 and Linux together?

A- An open-source operating system family is called Linux. They can be downloaded for free and are based on the Linux kernel. They can be set up on Windows or Mac computers. Here’s how to set up Linux on a computer running Windows 10.

Q- Are Linux and Windows more secure?

A- Linux is protected against viral assault via segmented working environments. Windows OS is less segmented than other operating systems, making it more open to security risks. Linux has significantly fewer users than Windows, which contributes to its higher level of security.

Q- Is it free to use Linux?

A- Linux is an operating system that is free and open source and distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). As long as they do so in accordance with the same license, anyone is free to run, examine, edit, and redistribute the source code. They can even sell copies of the modified code.

Q- Hackers use Linux, right?

A- Due to its adaptability, open source platform, portability, command line interface, and interoperability with well-known hacking tools, Linux is the operating system of choice for hackers.

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