In connection: Microsoft’s handy Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) tool has in some ways been available for years. WSL enables users to run a full Linux environment of their choice – and their favorite Linux utilities and software – right within Windows. You don’t have to worry about dual-booting or setting up a resource-intensive virtual machine. Now, with the introduction of Windows 11, collecting WSL is easier and more accessible than ever.
To be clear, it was never a difficult process in and of itself; Microsoft has a number of easy-to-understand installation instructions in its WSL documentation. However, it required a basic knowledge and familiarity with command lines which the average user may not have. Granted, these users might prefer to stick with Windows instead of Linux, but the latter operating system is certainly gaining popularity in the mainstream world.
In any case, the WSL app is available on both Windows 11 and Windows 10 computers, although Microsoft has removed the latter from its official announcement post. However, Windows 10 users must be running version 22000.0 or higher of the operating system to use it. In particular, the non-Windows Store version supports Windows 10 builds as old as 19041 (or so Microsoft says).
Here is a direct link to the Microsoft Store page for the WSL app. It’s around 442MB in size so it won’t take up too much space on your PC. However, it is currently considered a “preview” so be prepared for bugs or missing features. Assuming it’s WSL 2.0, this should be a decent experience out of the box.
Hopefully most of you won’t have any problems, but if you do, let us know in the comments below.
As a final clarification point, existing WSL users do not need to download the MS Store version to continue receiving updates. You can still get these the old-fashioned way, but Microsoft wants you to switch at some point in the hope of making the Store app the “best way to install and use” the WSL in the long run.