Some Linux programs may be very useful and you want to run them on Windows. If these Linux programs are not ported to Windows, you should try other ways to run Linux apps on Windows. This post from MiniTool Partition Wizard shows you how to run Linux apps on Windows 10 and 11 using WSL.

3 Ways to Run Linux Apps on Windows

To run Linux apps on Windows, there are 3 ways you can take:

  1. Use a virtual machine. You can use VMware, VirtualBox, or Hyper-V to create a Linux virtual machine, and then run Linux apps on the VM. This method is the simplest way to run Linux apps on Windows.
  2. Dual boot Linux and Windows. You can make unallocated space on your PC and use it to install a Linux system alongside Windows. Then, you can boot into the Linux system and run Linux apps.
  3. Use WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux). WSL is the Linux subsystem of the Windows system. This tool is available for Windows 10 version 2004 and higher (Build 19041 and higher) or Windows 11. Compared to the virtual machine, WSL consumes fewer resources and is more compatible with the Windows system.

How to Run Linux Apps on Windows 10 and 11 Using WSL

Using WSL may be the simplest way to run Linux apps. To run Linux apps on Windows 10 and 11 using WSL, please refer to the following steps:

Step 1: Install WSL. You just need to run PowerShell or Windows Command Prompt as administrator and then enter the command “wsl –install”. After that, you may need to restart your PC to complete the installation.

Note: This will download the Linux kernel, set WSL 2 as the default, and install Ubuntu as the default distribution. If you don’t want Ubuntu, you can use this command “wsl --install -d distro name”. The distro name can be OpenSUSE Leap 42, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 (SLES), Kali Linux, and Debian GNU/Linux.

Step 2: After the installation is completed, you will find an app called Ubuntu in your start menu. Please open it and you'll be greeted with a Linux terminal. Then, you can run some Linux commands.

Step 3: Now you can install Linux apps on Windows 10 and 11 using WSL. How to install Linux apps using WSL? the process is very simple. Taking GIMP as an example, to install it in WSL, you just need to use the command “sudo apt install gimp -y”.

Note: If you are using a distribution other than Ubuntu, it may use a different package manager (not apt).

Step 4: After the app installation is completed, you can see this software appears under the WSL folder you just created. To run this software, you just need to type the name of the software into the terminal.

Bottom Line

Do you know other ways to run Linux apps on Windows 10 and 11? Do you have different ways to install and run Linux apps on Windows using WSL? Please leave a comment in the following zone for sharing. I will appreciate that.

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