WSL 1 (Windows Subsystem for Linux) is required for running Microsoft Linux in Windows Terminal.

Read Carefully!

  1. WSL is a system service which requires Admin privileges to install.
  2. A System Reboot is required before WSL can be used.

Cheat Sheet

WSL 1 (also known as Bash for Windows) allows you to run most Linux applications directly from within Windows. This is NOT emulation, NOR virtualization, but rather a a Linux syscall wrapper around the Windows Kernel.

This will install WSL 1 ONLY.

Most people want WSL 1 + WSL 2 + Linux.
(WSL 2 is NOT a replacement for WSL 1, it's just another layer of WSL)

See the Full Cheat Sheet at

How to Install Linux

Once WSL is installed you can download Linux from the Windows Store. We recommend:

How to Switch to WSL 1

To set WSL 1 as the default:

wsl --set-default-version 1

To set WSL 1 for a specific Linux installation:

  1. List all installed Linux versions
    wsl --list
  2. Set the desired version to WSL 2 with --set-version. For example:
    wsl --set-version Ubuntu-20.04 1

How to Install WSL 1 with PowerShell

This installer uses this command to install WSL 1

powershell -Command "Start-Process cmd -Verb RunAs -ArgumentList '/c cd /d %CD% && dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux /all /norestart'"



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