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The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is a powerful tool that allows users of Microsoft’s latest computers, such as the PC and laptop versions of Windows 10 and 11, to access all the features of the Linux operating system (Linux Distros).
There are a variety of Linux distributions to choose from when using Microsoft’s Windows Subsystem for Linux. Some good options are available through the Microsoft Store or by finding other sources on GitHub. Here are some recommended choices that are best suited for Windows.
Linux Distro for WSL – Ubuntu
When you use the
wsl --install command to install a distro you will get Ubuntu as your default Linux distribution. This preference is not mandatory, but it is often recommended for most users when starting.
One of the main benefits of working closely together between Canonical and Microsoft is that Ubuntu can now be used on Windows in a similar way to how it is run on bare metal. Additionally, with systemd support you have access to the Snap package manager as well as the default apt command line tool.
Ubuntu is always kept up to date, as well as the latest versions available from Canonical. This includes beta and alpha releases for users who want to try them before making a decision about installing them onto their computer. Additionally, Ubuntu has an extensive user guide that can be consulted in case of any problems. For those new to Linux, Ubuntu will likely be one of the more welcoming distros out there–thanks largely to its easy-to-use features and helpful documentation.
Linux Distro for WSL – Debian
Ubuntu is a Linux distribution that has become well-known and popular, owing in part to its similarity to Debian. What this means is that the apt package manager (a common tool used for installing software on GNU/Linux systems) as well as a number of libraries and programs from Debian are both utilized by Ubuntu.
Overall, Debian is a great alternative to Ubuntu if you’re looking for something special. In many ways, it works just like Ubuntu – so you’ll be able to seamlessly move over as long as you are familiar with it.
Debian stable is a long-term support release of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution that typically features older versions of software than other variants. The trade-off for this stability is that it may lag behind newer releases in terms of updates and patches. However, if stability is your primary concern, Debian should be at the top of your list.
Linux Distro for WSL – Manjaro
There are no official Arch distros available through the Microsoft Store for WSL, but this unofficial community-developed release of Manjaro is a good option if you’re looking for one. Other options may not work as reliably in your case.
Manjaro is a Linux distribution that is available through GitHub. Once downloaded and installed, the package will do all of the work for you – there’s no need to manually configure or settings anything. After installation, Manjaro will be accessible on your Windows machine as WSL (Windows Subsystem forLinux).
By default, the Pacman package manager will be available, but you can also install Pamac-GTK from within the terminal by entering sudo pacman -S pamac-gtk. Additionally, Manjaro for Windows on ARM is supported under this platform too.
Linux Distro for WSL – Pengwin
Pengwin is a Linux distribution that provides users with installation guides and various software applications to make GUI use more advantageous when working with Windows 10 and 11 systems. It is an ideal choice for PC users who are experienced in using graphical interfaces.
Microsoft offers a paid distribution of Debian which includes the software standard WSLU by default. This version of Debian is different from Fedora Remix, an unofficial distro based on Debian developed by the same team, in that it incorporates this particular software package by default.
Pengwin is a great option for Linux newcomers who are looking for an enhanced user interface and simplified installation process. Thanks to its additional features, it might be worth purchasing if you’re new to Linux or using WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux). Additionally, Pengwin has full support for terminals that are native to Linux such as Konsole should there be features offered over Windows Terminal.
Additional Notes -Linux Distros
Numerous other Linux distributions are available for Windows Subsystem forLinux, which you can access using WSL. These include official releases from organizations such as Oracle, and community-developed options such as Arch, Elementary OS, and Linux Mint.
Some of the resources included in this article are great places to start for novice users, while Ubuntu is undoubtedly geared towards beginner level users. Additionally, Microsoft’s collaboration with Canonical renders it one of the best options overall for Windows 11 and 10 users.