Install Ubuntu on Windows 10

Key Value
Summary Get access to the unrivalled power of the Ubuntu terminal, including tools such as SSH, apt and vim, directly on your Windows 10 computer.
Categories server
Difficulty 2
Author Graham Morrison


Duration: 1:00

ⓘ Switch language: EN | ES

The wonderful Ubuntu terminal is freely available for Windows 10.

As any Linux user knows, it’s the command line terminal where the magic happens. It’s perfect for file management, development, remote administration and a thousand other tasks.

The Ubuntu terminal for Windows has many of the same features you’ll find using the terminal on Ubuntu:

  • Unrivalled breadth of packages, updates and security features
  • Bash, Z-Shell, Korn and other shell environments without virtual machines or dual-booting
  • Run native tools such as SSH, git, apt and dpkg directly from your Windows computer
  • A huge community of friendly, approachable users


Originally authored by Graham Morrison.


Duration: 1:00

You will need a x86 PC running Windows 10.

Windows 10 needs to be updated to include the Windows 10 Fall Creators update, released October 2017. This update includes the Windows Subsystem for Linux which is needed to run the Ubuntu terminal.

Enable WSL

To enable WSL 1 on Windows 10 Fall Creators update and newer run the following in PowerShell as Administrator:

dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux /all /norestart

To enable WSL 2 on Windows 10 May 2020 update and newer run the following in PowerShell as Administrator:

dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:VirtualMachinePlatform /all /norestart

and then restart Windows 10.

Install Ubuntu for Windows 10

Duration: 2:00

Ubuntu can be installed from the Microsoft Store:

  1. Use the Start menu to launch the Microsoft Store application or click here.
  2. Search for Ubuntu and select the first result, ‘Ubuntu’, published by Canonical Group Limited.
  3. Click on the Install button.

Ubuntu will be downloaded and installed automatically. Progress will be reported within the Microsoft Store application.

Launch Ubuntu on Windows 10

Duration: 2:00

Ubuntu can now be launched in the same way as any other Windows 10 application, such as searching for and selecting Ubuntu in the Start menu.

First launch

When launched for the first time, Ubuntu will inform you that it’s ‘Installing’ and you’ll need to wait a few moments.

When complete, you’ll be asked for a username and password specific to your Ubuntu installation. These don’t need to be the same as your Windows 10 credentials. With this step complete, you’ll find yourself at the Ubuntu bash command line.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed and activated the Ubuntu terminal on Windows 10. You now have all the power of the command line at your fingertips.

Getting help

Duration: 1:00

If you need some guidance getting started with the Ubuntu terminal, take a look at the community documentation, and if you get stuck, help is always at hand:

This is a helpful tutorial, but it does not work in January 2021 with Windows update 20H2. The installation fails with an error code which I can no longer retrieve, even through my Chrome history.

The tutorial is missing a step that might not have been required last revised but is now necessary.

The documentation published by Microsoft offers a second PowerShell command. A reputable source which I found in the Google search gave the location of a box to be check-marked in Windows Device Manager.