Written by 9:13 am Microsoft, Virtualization, Windows, Windows Server • 16 Comments

How to Install WSL 2 on Windows Server

Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 on Windows Server 2022

With the latest Windows Server 2022 cumulative update (June 2022), you are also able to run WSL 2 on Windows Server. In this blog post, I am going to show you how you can install the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2) on Windows Server. The Windows Subsystem for Linux was already available in earlier versions of Windows Server; however, WSL 2 brings a lot of new advantages. WSL 2 will be available on Windows Server 2022 broadly with the June cumulative update and if you want to run it today, you can install the 5C update here.

WSL 2 on Windows Server
WSL 2 on Windows Server

The Windows Subsystem for Linux was in Windows 10 and Windows 11 for a while now and allowed you to use different versions of Linux on your Windows client machine. With WSL 2, the architecture will change drastically and will bring increased file system performance and full system call compatibility. WSL 2 is now using virtualization technology (based on Hyper-V) and uses a lightweight utility VM on a real Linux kernel. You can find out more about WSL 2 in the release blog or on the Microsoft Docs Page for WSL 2.

Install Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2) on Windows Server

Here is how you can install WSL 2 on Windows Server.

Prerequisites:

KB5014021 for WSL 2 on Windows Server
KB5014021 for WSL 2 on Windows Server

After you have installed Windows Server 2022 with the latest update, you will need to add the following features:

  • Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux
  • VirtualMachinePlatform

To enable these features, run the following command:

wsl --install

This command will need a restart to complete.

Install Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2) on Windows Server 2022
Install Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2) on Windows Server 2022

This will also download Ubuntu as for your WSL 2 Linux distro.

Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 on Windows Server 2022
Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 on Windows Server 2022

I hope this gives you a step-by-step guide on how you can install WSL 2 on Windows Server. If you want to install the Windows Subsystem for Linux (1( on Windows Server 2019, check out this blog post: Install Windows Subsystem for Linux on Windows Server.

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