Windows Substation for Linux (WSL), although not a new technology, is still worth exploring in Windows Server 2019. Let’s take you through how to install WSL and the use cases. We will also discuss what this means for your existing skills and knowledge.
What is the Windows Subsystem for Linux?
The WSL is a compatibility layer between your Windows operating system (Windows) and a Linux kernel. It is an optional component that you can install on your Windows computer or server (Windows Server 2019). Once the layer is installed, you can run Linux commands from a Linux Command Line — just like if you were sitting in front a native Linux computer.
This allows administrators, developers, and testers to quickly test scripts, programs, and commands without having to swap computers or start a Linux virtual machine.
WSL is a great alternative to traditional methods.
WSL has the obvious advantage of being easier to install than virtualizing a Linux box. This is especially true when you want to run a program against another machine in your environment. WSL allows you to access your network from your server, just like you would normally. However, WSL works from the Linux side of things. This allows for a more enjoyable testing experience, as there is very little configuration required when running Bash scripts over the network with WSL, if it has been properly set up.
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Apps are the second reason to start training There are many apps. Since the 90s, some Linux flavors have had an equivalent to an app store. This is accessible directly from the command line. This forward-thinking software delivery system is now part of modern Linux distributions and WSL.
Ubuntu WSL allows you to simply run a command that will update all file dependencies on your system, before installing the requested app from an online repository.
The majority of the work is automated, with the exception of occasional prompts to press the RETURN and ‘Y’ keys to accept the installation. It is transparent so you can see every step of the installation unfold right in front of your eyes in the command line. WSL works exactly in the same way. The vast array of apps and packages is at your disposal without any hassles.
Another reason to use WSL to impress your friends and colleagues is your new-found Linux knowledge. It can be quite surreal to launch a Bash session using a Windows Command Line at first.
Security is the final issue. Before Microsoft had a reliable update cycle, Linux systems were considered the best option for hosting critical services within organizations and companies. It is easy to update the entire operating system using the command line. All dependencies are taken care of automatically. WSL works the same. It is safe to use, provided that you keep your systems up-to-date.
What are you waiting for? Let’s get installing!
How to Install WSL With PowerShell
1. We need to start PowerShell with elevated permissions in order to get started. Type:
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux
After this step, your Server will reboot. Take all the precautions necessary to save your work.
2. Next, choose the flavor of Linux you want. Each person will have their own preferences, but we will use Ubuntu as our example.
Invoke-WebRequest -Uri -OutFile Ubuntu.appx -UseBasicParsing
This begins the process. It can take some time depending on your internet connection.
We downloaded the file to C:windowssystem32
Step 3. Step 3.
Step 4. Step 4.