Introduction: Installing Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

This set of instructions is meant to help users install Windows Subsystem for Linux onto their Windows 10 computer. The specific Linux distribution that this instruction set will use is called Ubuntu. Look here for an overview of the different Linux distributions available for WSL and what they can do.

Note:This process will not work for users running Windows 10 Home Edition on their computer. Any other version of Windows 10 is compatible with WSL.


  • Internet Access
  • A computer running an up-to-date version of Windows 10 (Excluding Home Edition)
  • Basic computer/windows knowledge

Step 1: Enable the Windows Feature

Before you can install Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), you must first enable a windows feature. To do this, click on the start menu and enter into the search bar, "windows features". Select Turn Windows Features On or Off. Scroll down until you see the Windows Subsystem for Linux option and click the checkbox next to it. Select OK to exit and apply the changes. You'll then be prompted to restart your computer.

Step 2: Download From the Microsoft Store

The next step is to install WSL from the Microsoft Store. Open the start menu and search “microsoft store”. Select Microsoft Store from the list of options. Then, in the upper right corner of the Microsoft Store window, click on Search. Since the specific flavor of Linux we will be installing is Ubuntu, type “ubuntu” into the search bar. Once you have navigated to the page, click on Install.

Step 3: Open WSL (Ubuntu)

The last step is to open Windows Subsystem for Linux and allow it to finish installing. When you open it for the first time, you should be greeted by a screen like the image shown in this step. You will be prompted to enter a new username which you will use every time you open Ubuntu. You will then be asked to enter a password for your new user.

Important Note:When you type your new password in, no text will appear on-screen. Your password is being entered in just fine but will not show on the screen for security reasons.

After you finish re-entering your password, you should be all set to go!