(: March 9, 2019)
Questions: How can I enable Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) feature on Windows Server 2019?. How do I use Linux on Windows Server 2019?. This guide will show you how to enable Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) feature on Windows server 2019 and run a Linux Server such as Ubuntu inside Windows Server. In our last article, we covered running Docker containers on Windows Server.
The Windows Subsystem for Linux allows you to run GNU/Linux environment which includes most Linux command-line tools, utilities, and applications directly on your Windows system without any modification or overhead on the host system.
One pre-requisite is already installed Windows Server 2019. Lucky enough, we have a guide on the installation of Windows Server 2019.
Step 1: Enable Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) feature on Windows
Before you can install any Linux distribution for WSL, you must ensure that the “Windows Subsystem for Linux” feature is enabled:
Open PowerShell as Administrator and run the following command to enable Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) feature on Windows.
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux
Agree to restart your computer when prompted.
You can do the same from the Server Graphical Interfaces
Server Manager>Add roles and features>Select features
Step 2: Install your Linux Distribution of Choice
There are various ways in which you can install WSL Linux distros via the Microsoft Store. In this guide, we will use download and install one from the Command-Line.
Launch PowerShell and download the distro with use the
Invoke-WebRequest cmdlet or using curl.exe. Here’s a sample instruction to download Ubuntu 18.04.
curl.exe -L -o ubuntu-1804.appx https://aka.ms/wsl-ubuntu-1804
After the download, extract and install a Linux distro.
Rename-Item ubuntu-1804.appx ubuntu-1804.zip
Expand-Archive ubuntu-1804.zip ubuntu1804
Change your working directory to
ubuntu1804 and run the installer to finish your distro installation.
The installer will prompt you to provide username and password for the UNIX user to be created.
The sudo command can be used for privileged operations.
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install ansible
Add your distro path to the Windows environment PATH using Powershell:
$userenv = [System.Environment]::GetEnvironmentVariable("Path", "User") [System.Environment]::SetEnvironmentVariable("PATH", $userenv + "C:UsersAdministratorubuntu1804", "User")
This will enable you to launch your distro from any path by typing the
.exe launcher. For example using
Note that this will require closing and relaunching PowerShell.
There you go!. Enjoy using Linux distribution on your Windows Server. Other Linux distributions that you can run are:
The process of installing any of these distributions is same as one for Ubuntu 18.04.