What is WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux)?

Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) allows you to run a Linux environment on your Windows operating system. It enables you to use Linux without setting up a separate virtual machine or dual-booting your machine. WSL is designed to provide a seamless and efficient experience for developers who want to use both Windows and Linux simultaneously 12.

WSL is a technology developed by Microsoft that allows you to run Linux operating systems directly on the Windows operating system architecture. WSL2, in particular, has a more powerful architecture and offers improved file performance. It also allows you to access Windows files from within Linux 1.

The advantages of using WSL include:

  1. Resource Efficiency: WSL consumes fewer resources (CPU, RAM, HDD) compared to a regular virtual machine.
  2. File Access: You can access Windows files from within the Linux operating system.

To get started with WSL, follow these steps:

  1. Check Your Windows Version: First, ensure that your Windows version supports WSL. WSL is available in Windows 10 version 1607 or later. You can check your version by pressing Windows Key + R, typing “winver,” and verifying your version.

  2. Enable the WSL Feature:

    • Open the “Settings” menu.
    • Click on “System.”
    • Go to “Developer options.”
    • Enable the “Use Windows Subsystem for Linux” option.
  3. Choose a Linux Distribution:

    • Open the Microsoft Store.
    • Search for “Linux.”
    • Select the Linux distribution you want (e.g., Ubuntu, Debian, Kali Linux, etc.).
    • Click “Get” to download and install the distribution.
  4. Launch the Linux Distribution:

    • To start the distribution, type “Ubuntu” (or the name of your chosen distribution) in the search bar from the “Start” menu and open the application.
    • When you first launch it, you’ll be prompted to create a username and password.
  5. Start Using WSL:

    • Once WSL is running, you can use Linux commands. Open the terminal to execute Linux commands and install Linux packages.

Now you can enjoy running Linux within Windows!




Yes, you can use Linux with a graphical interface on Windows Server using WSL. There are two ways to do this:

1. X Server:

  • Xming: It is a free X server application for Windows. Once you have installed Xming, you can start an X session on your WSL distribution by running the xming command.
  • VcXsrv: It is an alternative X server application to Xming. VcXsrv offers more features than Xming and is more configurable.

Once you have installed an X Server, you can run graphical applications on your Linux distribution. For example, you can run the Firefox web browser by running the firefox command.

2. Windows Subsystem for Linux Graphics (WSLg):

WSLg is a new feature that is available in Windows 11 and makes it easier to run graphical applications on WSL. To use WSLg:

  • Go to Settings > Apps > Advanced features > Windows Subsystem for Linux in Windows 11.
  • Enable the Turn on WSLg option.

Once you have enabled WSLg, you can run graphical applications on your WSL distribution. For example, you can run the Firefox web browser by running the firefox command.

Which method should you use?

Both X Server and WSLg have their own advantages and disadvantages:

X Server:


  • It offers more features and configuration options.
  • It works on all Windows versions, including Windows 10.


  • It is more complex to set up and use.
  • It is not as performant as WSLg.



  • It is easier to set up and use.
  • It is more performant than X Server.


  • It offers fewer features and configuration options.
  • It only works on Windows 11.

Overall, I recommend using WSLg. WSLg is a newer technology and is easier to set up and use than X Server. WSLg is also more performant than X Server.

However, if you need more features and configuration options, you may prefer to use X Server.

Additional resources:

I hope this helps!

Only registered users can write reviews