How to Use Linux in Windows 11: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

how to use Linux in Windows 11

Are you curious about running Linux on your Windows 11 machine? You’re in luck! With Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), you can easily install and run a Linux environment without needing a separate computer or virtual machine. This guide will walk you through the steps to get Linux up and running on your Windows 11 system.

Step-by-Step Tutorial: how to use Linux in Windows 11

This tutorial will show you how to enable Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) on Windows 11, install a Linux distribution, and start using it.

Step 1: Enable WSL

Open PowerShell as an Administrator and run the command: wsl --install.

In this step, you’re telling Windows to install WSL, which is a compatibility layer for running Linux binary executables natively. By running this command, you’re enabling the necessary features and downloading the default Linux distribution.

Step 2: Restart Your Computer

Reboot your computer to apply the changes.

Restarting your computer ensures that WSL is properly enabled and ready to use. This is a crucial step to finalize the installation process.

Step 3: Open Microsoft Store

Search for "Ubuntu" (or your preferred Linux distribution) and click "Install."

The Microsoft Store provides a variety of Linux distributions to choose from. By installing one, you’ll get a complete Linux environment on your Windows 11 machine.

Step 4: Launch Your Linux Distribution

Find your installed distribution in the Start menu and launch it.

Launching the distribution for the first time will set up your Linux environment. You’ll be asked to create a username and password, which you’ll use to access your Linux system.

Step 5: Update Your Linux Distribution

Open your Linux terminal and run sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade.

Updating your Linux distribution ensures that you have the latest software and security updates. This is similar to updating your apps on Windows.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have a fully functional Linux environment on your Windows 11 PC. You can start using Linux commands, installing software, and exploring the Linux ecosystem.

Tips for how to use Linux in Windows 11

  • Choose the Right Distribution: Not all Linux distributions are created equal. Ubuntu is a great starting point for beginners, but there are many others like Debian, Fedora, and Kali Linux that you might find useful.
  • Use WSL 2: If you encounter performance issues, consider switching to WSL 2. It uses a real Linux kernel and offers better performance and full system call compatibility.
  • Explore Linux Packages: Use the package manager to install software. For Ubuntu, apt is the go-to command.
  • Learn Basic Commands: Familiarize yourself with basic Linux commands like ls, cd, mkdir, and touch. They will make navigating your new environment much easier.
  • Take Advantage of Integration: WSL allows you to access Windows files from Linux and vice versa, making it easy to work across both environments.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I access Windows files from Linux?

You can access your Windows files from the Linux terminal by navigating to the /mnt/c directory, which represents your C: drive.

Can I run graphical Linux applications on WSL?

Yes, with WSL 2, you can run graphical Linux applications. You’ll need an X server installed on Windows to display the graphical interface.

Is WSL the same as a virtual machine?

No, WSL is not a virtual machine. It’s a compatibility layer that allows you to run Linux binaries natively on Windows.

How do I uninstall a Linux distribution?

You can uninstall a Linux distribution by going to the "Apps & features" section in the Windows settings, finding your distribution, and clicking "Uninstall."

Can I run both WSL 1 and WSL 2?

Yes, you can run both WSL 1 and WSL 2 on the same machine. You can even switch between them for different distributions.


  1. Enable WSL.
  2. Restart Your Computer.
  3. Open Microsoft Store.
  4. Launch Your Linux Distribution.
  5. Update Your Linux Distribution.


Using Linux in Windows 11 is a game-changer for anyone who wants the best of both worlds. With WSL, you can enjoy the flexibility and power of Linux without leaving the comfort of your Windows environment. Whether you’re a developer, a system administrator, or just someone who loves tinkering with technology, this setup opens up a whole new realm of possibilities.

Feel free to dive deeper into Linux commands and explore the vast array of software available. And remember, technology is all about experimenting and learning. So don’t hesitate to try different distributions, play around with various settings, and make this setup truly yours. Happy computing!