Installing Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) on Windows 10

Microsoft has been doing a lot to promote linux  interoperability on windows.  I see this as a great step in the right direction, after decades of a closed and exclusive culture that has been a pain for cross-os users like myself.

Here is a quick and dirty rundown of how (March 2019) to install Ubuntu on Windows 10:

See here for the full rundown:

Install the Windows Subsystem for Linux

Before installing any Linux distros for WSL, you must ensure that the “Windows Subsystem for Linux” optional feature is enabled:

  1. Open PowerShell as Administrator (search for Powershell, right click, run as administrator), and run this command:
    Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux
  2. Restart your computer when prompted.

Install your Linux Distribution of Choice

Go to the Microsoft Store and search for Ubuntu.  Install it.

Once you are in Ubuntu, there are a few things to do that will make everything nicer…

Update Ubuntu and setup ssh server
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install openssh-server
sudo service ssh start

Fix character encoding issue (until this is fixed upstream)
sudo gunzip –keep /usr/share/i18n/charmaps/UTF-8.gz
sudo dpkg-reconfigure –frontend=noninteractive locales

Setup SSH under your user
mkdir .ssh
chmod 700 .ssh
touch .ssh/authorized_keys
chmod 600 .ssh/authorized_keys
(put your public key in there)
Setup PuTTY
You can then configure PuTTY to connect to port 22 with your username and key (ideally from Pageant)
You can access your c drive under /mnt/c/
You can access your desktop using /mnt/c/Users/YOU/Desktop
This enables you to write convenient scripts in ubuntu that affect windows files on your desktop for example.