Ubuntu 22.04 on WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux)

If you are a Windows user and do not want to take the full plunge into Linux, Windows Subsystem for Linux can be a fair compromise to at least give you some Linux capabilities on your Windows sytem. Ubuntu 22.04 is a great operating system to install on WSL, and definitely the most popular of the Linux distributions currently offered. Both Windows 10 and Windows 11 systems are capable of installing Ubuntu 22.04 through WSL.

In this tutorial, we will cover the step by step instructions of installing Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish via WSL on Windows 11. Windows 10 users can also follow along, as the steps should be identical across either version.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to enable Virtual Machine Platform and Windows Subsystem for Linux
  • How to install Ubuntu 22.04 for WSL via Microsoft Store
  • How to launch Ubuntu 22.04 via WSL on Windows
Using Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish Linux via WSL on Microsoft Windows
Using Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish Linux via WSL on Microsoft Windows
Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Windows 10 or Windows 11
Software Windows Subsystem for Linux, Ubuntu 22.04
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Ubuntu 22.04 on WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux)



  1. To start, we will need to enable the Vitual Machine Platform module and Windows Subsystem for Linux feature. Open up your Start menu and locate the Turn Windows features on or off menu.
    Open the Windows features control panel
    Open the Windows features control panel
  2. Next, find the Virtual Machine Platform and Windows Subsystem for Linux options. Check both of these boxes and then press OK to enable the features.

    Enable Virtual machine platform and Windows Subsystem for Linux
    Enable Virtual machine platform and Windows Subsystem for Linux
  3. Windows will make the changes, which may take a minute or two, then ask you to restart your system for the changes to take effect. Proceed with the reboot.
    Reboot your system for the changes to take effect
    Reboot your system for the changes to take effect
  4. When your system boots back up, go to your Start menu and find the Microsoft Store. Once there, search for Ubuntu 22.04.
    Search for the Ubuntu 22.04 option in Microsoft Store
    Search for the Ubuntu 22.04 option in Microsoft Store
  5. Once you have located the Ubuntu 22.04 LTS page, click on the “Get” button to download it.



    Download Ubuntu 22.04 LTS
    Download Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

  6. Once the download is complete, you can open Ubuntu 22.04 from your Start menu.
    Open Ubuntu 22.04 from the Start menu
    Open Ubuntu 22.04 from the Start menu
  7. There will be an installation process that appears, and it should not take very long. The distro will be unpacked and ready to use shortly.
    Ubuntu 22.04 is being installed on WSL
    Ubuntu 22.04 is being installed on WSL
  8. At this time, you will also be asked to create a new user account for Ubuntu 22.04 and some other small configuration settings.
    Pick a new username and password for Ubuntu 22.04 on WSL
    Pick a new username and password for Ubuntu 22.04 on WSL
  9. All done. You can now open Ubuntu 22.04 from your Start menu any time you want to use it. You will be presented with a command line terminal and can execute nearly all the same commands you could on a physical Ubuntu 22.04 machine.
    Launching Ubuntu 22.04 via WSL on Windows 11
    Launching Ubuntu 22.04 via WSL on Windows 11


NOTE
Just as you would on a normal Ubuntu 22.04 system, you will need to keep your WSL installation up to date to get the latest security patches and newest features. See our guide on how to update packages on Ubuntu 22.04.

Closing Thoughts

In this tutorial, you saw how to install Ubuntu 22.04 via Windows Subsystem for Linux on a Microsoft Windows 11 or 10 system. Although it is not quite the same as installing the operating system directly to the hardware, virtualization and integration with your Windows system proves very convenient and capable of tackling most tasks that in the past would require you to have a dual boot system or dedicated hypervisor.