How to Run Ubuntu on Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Running Ubuntu on Windows 11 is a breeze with the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). You’ll essentially be running Ubuntu like any other Windows application. Here’s a quick overview: install WSL, download Ubuntu from the Microsoft Store, and set it up. It’s that simple!

Step by Step Tutorial to Run Ubuntu on Windows 11

Want to run Ubuntu alongside your Windows 11 environment? This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process.

Step 1: Enable Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

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

This command will enable the necessary components for WSL and install the latest version of Ubuntu by default.

Step 2: Restart Your Computer

Once the installation is complete, restart your computer to apply the changes.

Restarting your computer ensures that all the new settings are properly configured and that WSL will run smoothly.

Step 3: Install Ubuntu from the Microsoft Store

Open the Microsoft Store, search for "Ubuntu", and click "Get" to install it.

This step will download and install the Ubuntu distribution onto your Windows 11 system, making it available for use.

Step 4: Set Up Ubuntu

After installation, open Ubuntu from your Start menu and follow the on-screen instructions to set it up.

You’ll need to create a username and password for your Ubuntu installation during this step.

Step 5: Start Using Ubuntu

You can now start using Ubuntu on your Windows 11 machine just like any other app.

Simply open the Ubuntu app, and you’ll have access to the full Linux terminal and environment.

Once you’ve completed these steps, Ubuntu will be running on your Windows 11 system. You can use it for development, testing, or just to get familiar with Linux.

Tips for Running Ubuntu on Windows 11

  • Keep WSL Updated: Make sure to regularly update WSL to get the latest features and improvements.
  • Use Windows Terminal: The Windows Terminal app provides a better experience for managing multiple command-line windows.
  • Install Additional Software: You can install additional software and packages using the apt package manager in Ubuntu.
  • Check Compatibility: Ensure that the software you need is compatible with WSL.
  • Backup Data: Regularly back up any important work as WSL is still evolving and changes could affect your setup.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is WSL?

WSL stands for Windows Subsystem for Linux. It allows you to run a Linux environment directly on Windows without the overhead of a virtual machine.

Can I run graphical applications on WSL?

While WSL2 supports graphical applications, it’s still a work in progress. For a more seamless experience, consider using a virtual machine.

Are there performance limitations with WSL?

WSL2 offers near-native performance for most tasks, but heavy computational tasks may still be better suited to a dedicated Linux system.

Can I access Windows files from WSL?

Yes, you can access your Windows files from WSL. They are typically located under the /mnt/c/ directory.

Is it possible to run other Linux distributions besides Ubuntu?

Absolutely! WSL supports a variety of distributions like Debian, Kali Linux, and more. You can install them from the Microsoft Store.

Summary of Steps

  1. Enable Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).
  2. Restart your computer.
  3. Install Ubuntu from the Microsoft Store.
  4. Set up Ubuntu.
  5. Start using Ubuntu.


By following these steps, you can easily run Ubuntu on Windows 11. This setup offers the flexibility and power of Linux alongside the usability of Windows. Whether you’re a developer looking to test Linux applications or simply curious about using Ubuntu, WSL makes it straightforward and accessible. For further reading, consider exploring advanced WSL setups or even dual-booting Windows and Linux for a more robust experience. Running Ubuntu on Windows 11 can add an extra layer of versatility to your computing environment. Dive in, explore, and make the most of both worlds!

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