Get started with Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)


Get started with WSL by installing a Linux distribution, setting up a development environment, exploring recommended tools and workflows, learning what WSL can and can't do, trying some basic commands, and assessing whether WSL is the right fit for your needs.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you'll be able to:

  • Describe the Windows + Linux development environment that Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) enables, as well as its advantages over a traditional VM or dual-booting.
  • Install and run a Linux distribution or multiple distributions running side-by-side.
  • Explain a typical development workflow that utilizes WSL.
  • Describe the features WSL offers for utilizing both Windows and Linux command line tools and GUI applications.
  • Run basic WSL, BASH, and PowerShell commands.


  • A computer running Windows 11 or Windows 10.
  • Ability to run PowerShell or Windows Command Prompt as an Administrator.