Activate Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is an efficient way to benefit from various Linux operating systems on Windows 10 PCs and laptops. WSL allows running Linux applications directly on Windows 10 systems without using virtualization software such as VirtualBox or VMware. WSL is available for Windows 10 and Windows server 2019.
Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is basically a compatibility layer developed by Microsoft to run Linux binaries. It does not contain any type of Linux kernel code but uses a kernel interface that is compatible with Linux. The disadvantage of WSL is that it cannot run all Linux software, especially those that require Linux kernel services.
We can run Linux applications in graphics mode by installing an X11 opensource server on Windows 10 (host), but the performance will be poor due to lack of audio or hardware acceleration.
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There are many WSL advantages too, like users don’t need to install any Virtual machines to test Linux applications; someone can install and make Apache (LAMP stack), the original Nginx web server type on Windows 10; various types of Linux distribution systems are available as applications such as Debian, Ubuntu, Kali Linux, and OpenSuse; Low resource consumption compared to Virtual machines; navigate around the file system; the use of Linux command line applications through Bash and more.
Now let’s see how to install Subsystem for Linux on Windows 10 or Windows 2019 servers. WSL is not available for earlier versions of Windows.
How to Activate Windows Subsystem For Linux in Windows 10
- Open the Control Panel
- Click the Programs option
- Select Turn Windows features Turn on or off
- Scroll down and find the Windows SubSystem for Linux
- When the checkbox appears in the Windows SubSystem for Linux box and clicks the O button.
- Within minutes, the SubSystem for Linux (ASL) will automatically be installed on the system.
- After installation, click the Restart Now button.
- Now open Microsoft Windows Store and look for Linux
- Install one of the open-source Linux applications available on Windows 10
Following are the installation steps with the image:
Step 1: Click on the Windows start menu and navigate to the Control Panel.
Step 2: From the Control Panel, click on the “ Turn Windows features Turn on or off “option. You can also search directly from the Windows Search box.
Step 3: Scroll down and look for the Windows SubSystem for Linux option. After meeting the checkbox in the Windows SubSystem for Linux box and then clicking the OK button to install WSL on Windows 10.
Step 4: When prompted to restart the system, just restart.
Step 5: After the installation is complete, go to the Microsoft store and download the Linux application.
Step 6: When you search Linux in the search box, several options will appear, such as Run Linux of Windows, Debian, Ubuntu, OpenSuse enterprise server, Kali Linux environments. Choose what you want to use, then download and install. Here we try to install Ubuntu 18.04.
Step 7: After we install Ubuntu or other Linux applications on Windows, just open the search box and type in the name. For example, we want to install Ubuntu, so we type Ubuntu.
Step 8: As soon as you open Ubuntu bash on Windows you can run native Linux commands directly on the Windows 10 system. You can now set up the Apache web server (LAMP) without the need for a WAMP or XAMPP like the server. All Linux application files will be stored in your C Drive without contradicting Windows files.
We try to set Apache and PHP on Ubuntu on the Windows 10 subsystem for Linux and it works perfectly, smoothly and performs better than installing a virtual machine using VirtualBox or other Virtualization software.