Install Windows Subsystem for Linux with one command

Windows 10 administrators who want to install WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) can now do so by running only one command from Windows 10 2004 and later.

Microsoft released this improvement in the preview version of Insider in October 2020 and now apparently released it with the latest updates to Windows 10 2004, 20H2 and 21H1.

windows linux

Improvement is included in KB5004296, which is an optional update for the listed versions of Windows 10. The update is cumulative. So the new feature will be released in a few days, through Patch Day August. Optional updates are installed on systems only if administrators install them through Windows Update, or by requesting the update from the Microsoft Update Catalog website.

Microsoft has not yet mentioned the WSL enhancement in the release notes. But a post on Microsoft Dev Blog by Craig Loewen confirms the inclusion of the new WSL installation option in Windows 10.

All you have to do is open a command prompt with administrator privileges and run the wsl.exe -install command to install WSL on your device. By default, Ubuntu will be installed on the device as it is the default Linux distribution.

The main advantage of the new method is that the installation is much faster. Before, you had to install all the required components separately on your device.

The following is an overview of the commands and for what purpose you can use them. Be aware that some commands can only run after you install WSL on your device.

wsl command

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