Linux is becoming increasingly popular among users. And it is that, today, the operating system that a few years ago was only for “hackers” has become a fully accessible system for all users. Microsoft even makes it easier to access Linux from its Windows 10 and Windows 11 systems thanks to a new feature known as ” Windows Subsystem for Linux .” However, is this subsystem really complete enough, or is it better to install a real Linux distro on the PC? Let’s see it.
When to use WSL
The truth is that the arrival of the subsystem in Windows caught many users by surprise, as Microsoft has not always gotten along so well with Linux as to include it as part of its own operating system. Thanks to this function it is possible to load a complete Linux Kernel on top of Windows, thanks to Hyper-V , which allows us to execute any Linux command or program directly from a Windows console. Thanks to WSL we can have a hybrid operating system, with the best of both systems, perfect for programmers and developers who need to use both systems at the same time.
For one thing, we can get WSL up and running in a matter of seconds . Simply run a command in CMD (wsl –install) to enable and configure this feature, and then download the distro you want from the Microsoft Store. We can even have several distros at the same time, launching the one we want depending on what we are going to do.
On the other hand, the problem with the subsystem is that, for now, it is only specially designed to run applications and services in terminal mode, without a graphical interface. There are some distributions that do allow you to open programs with a GUI thanks to a series of specific configurations. But, officially by Microsoft, there is nothing. And that complicates the use of this subsystem for novice users.
Install a Linux distro: the best option
Although the subsystem may be attractive to most users, there is another possibility that will help us experience how this operating system works much better: install the distro from scratch on the computer . And we can do this either by dedicating 100% of the hard drive to this operating system, or through a Dual-Boot configuration where we have both Windows and Linux installed at the same time.
By doing it this way we will be able to use a distro, like Ubuntu, just as it has been designed by its developers. In other words, we are going to have an operating system that is much easier to use, with a GUI, and that is going to really show us what it is capable of doing. This is also how we’re going to learn a lot more about how this operating system works, and we’re also going to increase Linux’s market share, which translates into better support, more support from developers, and better support from Linux. hardware.
Also, if at any time we need to return to Windows, all we have to do is restart, choose the new operating system from the Dual-Boot menu, and that’s it.