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Installing WSL 2 onto Windows 10 isn't a hassle anymore

Ubuntu on Windows 10
Ubuntu on Windows 10 (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • You can now install WSL 2 onto Windows 10 with a single command.
  • Previously, you had to enable it, download components for it, and go through a setup process.
  • To use the new setup process, your PC needs to be on the Windows 10 May 2020 Update (version 2004) or newer.

It's now significantly easier to install WSL 2 onto Windows 10 than before. People can now just enter

wsl --install

into PowerShell to use WSL. The Windows Dev Docs team announced the change on Twitter. To use this new method to set up WSL, your PC has to run the Windows 10 May 2020 Update (version 2004) or newer.

WSL 2 is a newer version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux. It provides full system compatibility on Windows 10 PCs, but its setup process has historically been more complex.

With WSL 1, all you had to do was enable it and reboot your PC. Setting up WSL 2 was more complex, at least until now. Our guide on how to install Linux WSL2 on Windows 10 shows how much effort was needed before.

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The new installation method streamlines the process of getting into WSL 2, allowing developers and anyone else to get started quickly.

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Whether you're into theming or just want to run a bunch of different shells side-by-side, the Windows Terminal application can do it all.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

2 Comments
  • Sweet, this makes life infinitely easier for those need to use WSL 2.
  • Definitely. The old method was a bit of a faff!