How To Start Ubuntu From Powershell

I remember the first time I tried to start Ubuntu from PowerShell. It was a bit intimidating at first, but with a little guidance, I was able to figure it out. In this article, I’ll walk you through the steps to start Ubuntu from PowerShell and share some personal tips and tricks along the way.

Why start Ubuntu from PowerShell?

Before we dive into the how, let’s talk about the why. Starting Ubuntu from PowerShell can be incredibly useful, especially if you’re familiar with PowerShell and want to leverage its capabilities while working with Ubuntu. It allows you to seamlessly switch between the two environments and take advantage of the best features of both.

Step 1: Install Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

The first step is to install the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) on your Windows machine. WSL provides a compatibility layer that enables you to run native Linux binaries on Windows. To install WSL, follow these steps:

  1. Open PowerShell as an administrator. You can do this by right-clicking on the start menu and selecting “Windows PowerShell (Admin)”.
  2. Run the following command to enable the WSL feature:
    Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux
  3. Reboot your computer when prompted.

Step 2: Install Ubuntu from Microsoft Store

Once you have WSL installed, the next step is to install Ubuntu from the Microsoft Store. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Microsoft Store app on your Windows machine.
  2. Search for “Ubuntu” and click on the “Ubuntu” app in the search results.
  3. Click on the “Get” button to begin the installation.
  4. Once the installation is complete, click on the “Launch” button to start Ubuntu.

Step 3: Launch Ubuntu from PowerShell

Now that Ubuntu is installed on your machine, you can easily launch it from PowerShell using the “wsl” command. Simply open PowerShell and type “wsl” followed by the Enter key. This will start Ubuntu and give you access to the Ubuntu command line interface.

From here, you can run all the familiar Linux commands and access the Ubuntu file system. It’s like having a Linux environment right at your fingertips, all within the comfort of PowerShell.

My Personal Tips and Tricks

Here are a few personal tips and tricks that I’ve found helpful when starting Ubuntu from PowerShell:

  • Customize your Ubuntu installation: After launching Ubuntu, you can customize your installation by modifying the .bashrc file in your home directory. This allows you to set aliases, customize the prompt, and add custom shell functions.
  • Share files between Windows and Ubuntu: You can easily share files between Windows and Ubuntu by accessing the Windows file system from within Ubuntu. The Windows file system is mounted at /mnt/c, so you can navigate to that directory to access your Windows files.
  • Install additional packages: Ubuntu comes with a wide range of pre-installed packages, but you may need to install additional ones depending on your requirements. You can use the apt-get package manager to install new packages.


Starting Ubuntu from PowerShell can open up a whole new world of possibilities for Windows users. It allows you to seamlessly switch between the Windows and Ubuntu environments and take advantage of the best features of both. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be up and running with Ubuntu in no time. Happy coding!