Install PowerShell 7 On WSL and Ubuntu

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With PowerShell 7, we get the best PowerShell edition, most importantly, it’s cross-platform! While last time we installed the latest PowerShell 7 on a container, sometimes we don’t want just a plain environment with PowerShell, sometimes we want a to add other tools, change system configurations or use different Linux Distros.

That is why we use WSL.

What is WSL?

WSL or Windows Subsystem for Linux is a feature that lets us run full Linux distributions on top of our Windows OS without the overhead of running virtualization tools.

Prerequisites

In order to enable WSL in your Windows 10, You must run Windows 10 Build 16215 or later.

Enable WSL

First, we need to enable WSL. WSL is an optional feature in Windows and not enabled by default. To enable it, open PowerShell as Administrator and run the following command:

Enable WSL on Windows
Enable WSL

Confirm and restart your Computer

Installing A Linux Distribution

Now, that we enabled WSL on our system, its time to install a Linux Distribution. We can do it by the Microsoft Store or with PowerShell.

Install Linux Distribution from Store

To install a Linux distribution from Microsoft Store, follow the following steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Store
  2. Search for Ubuntu
  3. Click on Get or Install (if you already had it)
Installing Ubuntu for WSL from Microsoft Store
Getting Ubuntu for WSL from Microsoft Store

Install WSL Linux Distribution With PowerShell

Similarly, we can install a Linux distribution with PowerShell (The only way to install it on LTSC edition). To do it, we first need to download the appx, in this example, we will download Ubuntu:

Now we can use the Add-AppxPackage cmdlet to install our distribution:

You can find more Linux distributions on Microsoft Docs

Starting Ubuntu with WSL

Now, we can finally start our Ubuntu for the first time. If you downloaded it from the Store, you can press on Lunch, if you installed in with PowerShell you can find it under the Start Menu.

Running Ubuntu on WSL for the first time
Running WSL for the first time

After WSL finish installing our Ubuntu, it will ask us to set up Username and Password for our root user, go ahead and fill in yours.

initial configuration for Ubuntu on WSL
Setting up initial configuration

TIP: you can now launch Ubuntu directly from your PowerShell session with wsl.exe

Installing PowerShell 7

After all the work, we arrived to the fun part. We now Installing PowerShell 7 on our Ubuntu. There are four steps for this process, so let’s begin.

first, we need to create a folder to store our PowerShell files, we will store it on /usr/share, but feel free to use any path you like.

Now we will download the latest PowerShell 7 build (RC.2 to this time of writing)

The file we downloaded is zipped so we need to unzip it, we can do it by running:

The last step is to add this folder to the environmental path. This will allow us to run pwsh from anywhere in our OS and won’t require us to specify the full path. To do so, we need to edit our user profile file, it’s a file named .profile that sit in our #HOME directory.

It recommended to backup your current PATH before!

Add the following line in the end of the file:

Add environmental path to our profile in Ubuntu on WSL
Adding PowerShell folder to our environmental path

All that left now, is to restart WSL, and run pwsh! congrats, you just run PowerShell 7 on Ubuntu inside your Windows 10 device!

Running PowerShell inside WSL
PowerShell 7 on Ubuntu

Clean up

Now that we finished installing our PowerShell, we can remove the zipped file by running:

Conclusion

In this post, we added another tool to our toolbox, as we now know how to install and configure WSL and how to install and set up PowerShell 7 on it. Use it when you want to test your cross-platform scripts or modules, or to explore the differences between each OS.

I hope you learn a new thing today and enjoyed this post!

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