How to Install ownCloud with WSL on Windows 11

This tutorial guides students and new users on how to install ownCloud, a cloud storage software, on Windows 11 using the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL or WSL2). The tutorial covers installation and setup process of WSL, Linux distribution of choice, Apache HTTP Server, MariaDB Database Server, PHP, ownCloud database, and ownCloud itself. It concludes with ownCloud website configuration on Apache.

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install ownCloud cloud storage software on Windows 11 using Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL or WSL2).

You do not need to install software or run a virtual machine in Windows 11 to install your ownCloud. You can now install and run ownCloud directly from Windows 11 via Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

In 2017, Microsoft released WSL and WSL2, which lets developers run a GNU/Linux environment, including most command-line tools, utilities, and applications directly in Windows without setting up a virtual machine or dual-boot.

WSL2 is the new and improved version that comes with a performance boost and full system call compatibility, and it is built with a new architecture that delivers features that make WSL an amazing way to run a Linux environment in Windows.

With Windows 11, installing WSL is slightly different than in Windows 10. However, the steps below will show you how to do that.

To install and run ownCloud on Windows 11, you must first install and enable WSL.

Install Windows Subsystem for Linux in Windows 11

To enable WSL in Windows, you must open the Command Prompt as administrator. Click on Start, then begin typing Command Prompt.

Next, right-click the Command Prompt app and choose to Run as administrator.

When the console opens, run the commands below to install Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL):

wsl --install

Wait for WSL to be installed.

After installing, you should get a success message similar to the lines below:

Installing: Virtual Machine Platform
Virtual Machine Platform has been installed.
Installing: Windows Subsystem for Linux
Windows Subsystem for Linux has been installed.
Downloading: WSL Kernel
Installing: WSL Kernel
WSL Kernel has been installed.
Downloading: GUI App Support
Installing: GUI App Support
GUI App Support has been installed.
Downloading: Ubuntu
The requested operation is successful. Changes will not be effective until the system is rebooted.

Restart your computer.

WSL should be installed and ready to use. When you want to update, simply run the commands below:

wsl --update

Install Specific Linux distro on Windows 11

Now that WSL is installed, you can install your own Linux distro. To list the available distributions to install, simply run the commands below:

wsl --list --online

You should then see all available distributions that can be installed on WSL.

Ubuntu          Ubuntu
Debian          Debian GNU/Linux
kali-linux      Kali Linux Rolling
openSUSE-42     openSUSE Leap 42
SLES-12         SUSE Linux Enterprise Server v12
Ubuntu-16.04    Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Ubuntu-18.04    Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Ubuntu-20.04    Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

To install a Linux distribution from the list above, simply run the commands below using the distribution name. For example, to install Ubuntu 20.04, run the commands below:

wsl --install -d ubuntu-20.04

You should then get a message that the distribution is installed.

Downloading: Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
Installing: Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS has been installed.
Launching Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

After installing, you should get a Ubuntu command console with setup details.

Installing, this may take a few minutes.
Please create a default UNIX user account. The username does not need to match your Windows username.
For more information visit:
Enter new UNIX username: Richard
New password:
Retype new password:
passwd: password updated successfully
Installation successful!
To run a command as administrator (user "root"), use "sudo <command>".
See "man sudo_root" for details.

Welcome to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (GNU/Linux 4.4.0-22000-Microsoft x86_64)

Some troubleshooting commands to run when you run into issues.

wsl --set-default-version 1
bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype auto start

Install Apache HTTP Server

Apache is the most popular open-source web server powering most websites online. Since ownCloud needs it, use the commands below to install it on Ubuntu.

To install Apache on Ubuntu, run the commands below:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install apache2

After installing Apache2, the commands below can be used to stop, start and restart Apache2 services.

sudo service apache2 stop
sudo service apache2 start
sudo service apache2 restart

To validate that Apache is installed and functioning, open your web browser and browse to the server’s hostname or IP address.

You should get a test page if every work.


Install MariaDB Database Server

For this tutorial, we’re going to be installing MariaDB. ownCloud needs a database server to store its content.

MariaDB is a truly open-source database server you can run with your projects. It is fast, secure, and the default server for almost all Linux.

To install MariaDB, run the commands below:

sudo apt-get install mariadb-server mariadb-client

After installing MariaDB, the commands below can be used to stop, start and restart MariaDB services.

sudo service mysql stop
sudo service mysql start
sudo service mysql restart

Next, run the commands below to secure the database server with a root password if you were not prompted to do so during the installation.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

When prompted, answer the questions below by following the guide.

  • Enter current password for root (enter for none): Press the Enter
  • Set root password? [Y/n]: Y
  • New password: Enter password
  • Re-enter new password: Repeat password
  • Remove anonymous users? [Y/n]: Y
  • Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n]: Y
  • Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n]:  Y
  • Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n]:  Y

To verify and validate that MariaDB is installed and working, log in to the database console using the commands below:

sudo mysql -u root -p

Type the root password when prompted.

Welcome to the MariaDB monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MariaDB connection id is 46
Server version: 10.3.29-MariaDB-0ubuntu0.20.04.1 Ubuntu 20.04
Copyright (c) 2000, 2018, Oracle, MariaDB Corporation Ab and others.
Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.
MariaDB [(none)]>

The server was successfully installed if you see a similar screen.

PHP and Related Modules

PHP is a general-purpose scripting language that glues all the above components together. ownCloud is a PHP application and requires PHP and related modules to function.

To install PHP and recommended modules, run the commands below.

sudo apt install php libapache2-mod-php php-imagick php-imap php-json php-ldap php-common php-pgsql php-ssh2 php-sqlite3 php-xml php-mysql php-gmp php-curl php-intl php7.4-mbstring php-xmlrpc php-gd php-xml php-cli php-zip

That should get PHP installed with recommended PHP modules that you can run with many PHP-based applications.

To validate that PHP is installed, run the commands below:

php -v

You should see an output like the one below:

PHP 7.4.3 (cli) (built: Oct  6 2020 15:47:56) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.4.0, Copyright (c) Zend Technologies
with Zend OPcache v7.4.3, Copyright (c), by Zend Technologies

You can also test with a test PHP script that displays the installed version and related modules that are enabled or disabled.

To do that, run the commands below to create a PHP test file called phpinfo.php

sudo nano /var/www/html/phpinfo.php

Then type the content below and save the file.

<?php phpinfo( ); ?>

Save the file.

Open your browser and browse to your server hostname followed by phpinfo.php

Restart Apache, then type the address and browse the file.

You should see the PHP default test page.

At this stage, all required components that ownCloud needs are installed above. Continue below to download and configure ownCloud settings.

Create ownCloud Database

Now that you’ve installed all the packages required for OwnCloud to function continue below to start configuring the servers. First, run the commands below to create a blank OwnCloud database.

To log on to the MariaDB database server, run the commands below.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called owncloud


Create a database user called ownclouduser with a new password

CREATE USER 'ownclouduser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'new_password_here';

Then grant the user full access to the Database.

GRANT ALL ON owncloud.* TO 'ownclouduser'@'localhost' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.


Download ownCloud

Next, go and download the latest version of ownCloud.

When writing this article, the latest stable version of ownCloud is version 10.7. Before continuing with the next step, visit the ownCloud download page and check if a new version of ownCloud is available.

wget -P /tmp
sudo unzip /tmp/  -d /var/www

Then run the commands below to set the correct permissions for OwnCloud to function.

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/owncloud/
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/owncloud/

Configure ownCloud Site

Finally, configure the Apahce2 site configuration file for OwnCloud. This file will control how users access OwnCloud content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called owncloud. conf

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/owncloud.conf

Then copy and paste the content below into the file and save it. Replace the highlighted line with your domain name and directory root location.

<VirtualHost *:80>
     DocumentRoot /var/www/owncloud/
     Alias /owncloud "/var/www/owncloud/"

     <Directory /var/www/owncloud/>
        Options +FollowSymlinks
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted
          <IfModule mod_dav.c>
            Dav off
        SetEnv HOME /var/www/owncloud
        SetEnv HTTP_HOME /var/www/owncloud

     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined


Save the file and exit.

After configuring the VirtualHost above, please enable it by running the commands below, including other modules.

sudo a2ensite owncloud.conf
sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo a2enmod headers
sudo a2enmod env
sudo a2enmod dir
sudo a2enmod mime

When you’re done, restart Apache.

sudo service apache2 restart

Now browse the server hostname or IP address and set up the ownCloud platform.

Create an admin account, enter the database details, and finish the installation.

Log in with the account you create above and start building your environment.


This post showed you how to install ownCloud in Windows 11 WSL. If you find any error above, please use the comment form below to report.

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  1. so far I have completed all the steps but when it comes to the last step to begin setting up ownCloud platform, my browser shows my ip-address refused to connect, please help me solve this issue.

  2. I have installed as for as the mariadb, but if I try run or stop I get mysql: unrecognized service

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