In this post, I describe how to install WSL 2 to serve as the backend for Docker Desktop for Windows. Previously I’ve always worked with Linux in a Virtual Machine using something like VMWare or Virtual Box, but I decided to give Docker Desktop a try, and was pleasantly surprised by the experience!

I’ll start by describing how to install WSL 2 based on the install documents, then show how to install Docker Desktop. Finally, I show the the experience of running a container and how it looks in Docker Desktop.

Installing WSL2

The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is a way to run a full Linux environment on your Windows machine, without having to install a “heavier” virtual machine, such as Virtual Box, VM Ware, or Hyper-V. WSL 2 also provides a mechanism for running Docker (with Linux containers) on your Windows machine. We’ll install it as a prerequisite for Docker Desktop for Windows.

If you’re running Windows Home, WSL 2 is the only way to run Docker Desktop. On Windows Pro, you can also use Hyper-V, but that is deprecated now, so WSL 2 is the way to go in all cases.


Installing Docker Desktop for Windows and WSL 2
1.50 GEEK