WSL 2 is now available for Windows Insiders

Original author: Microsoft
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We are pleased to say that now you can try Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 by installing Windows build 18917 in the Insider Fast ring! In this article, we will talk about how to get started, about the new wsl.exe commands, and also share important notes. Full documentation on WSL 2 is available on our documentation page .



Getting started with WSL 2


We wanted to make WSL 2 as similar as possible to WSL 1, and we really look forward to your feedback on what could be improved. The installation documentation will explain how to get started with WSL 2.

When you start working with WSL 2, you will notice several UX changes. Below are more details about the two most important changes in the initial preview.

Put your Linux files on the Linux root file system


Make sure that the files you will frequently access with Linux applications are located inside your Linux root file system to take advantage of file performance. We understand that over the past three years we have asked you to place files on drive C when using WSL 1, but this does not apply to WSL 2. For faster access to the file system in WSL 2, these files must be inside the Linux root file system. We also provided Windows applications with access to the Linux root file system (for example, File Explorer! Try running: explorer.exe. In the home directory of your Linux distribution and see what happens), which will greatly facilitate this transition.

Access Linux Dynamic Network IP Applications in Initial Builds


WSL 2 includes major architectural changes using virtualization technology, and we are still working to improve network support. Since WSL 2 now runs on a virtual machine, you will need to use the IP address of this virtual machine to access Linux network applications from Windows, and vice versa, you will need the Windows host IP address to access Windows network applications from Linux. We are now striving to enable the ability to access network applications with WSL 2 localhost. You can find complete information on how to do this in our documentation here .

To learn more about UX changes, see our documentation: UX Changes between WSL 1 and WSL 2 .

New WSL Teams


We have also added some new commands to help you monitor and view WSL versions and distributions.

  • wsl --set-version

    Use this command to convert the distribution to a WSL 2 architecture or WSL 1. architecture

    : a specific Linux distribution (for example, “Ubuntu”)
    : 1 or 2 (for WSL 1 or 2)
  • wsl --set-default-version

    Changes the default installation version (WSL 1 or 2) for new distributions.
  • wsl --shutdown

    Shut down all running distributions and the lightweight WSL 2 virtual machine immediately. A

    VM that works with WSL 2 distributions is what we strive to do for you, so we start it when you need it and turn it off when not needed . There may be times when you want to turn it off manually, and this command allows you to do this by completing all distributions and shutting down the WSL 2 virtual machine.
  • wsl --list --quiet

    Shows distribution names.

    This command is useful for scripts because it will only display the names of the distributions that you have installed, without displaying other information, such as the default distribution, version, etc.
  • wsl --list --verbose

    Shows detailed information about all distributions.

    This command displays the name of each distribution, in what state the distribution is and in which version it works. It also shows which distributions are used by default with an asterisk.

Waiting for your feedback!


If you have any problems or have feedback for our team, please send a problem report to Github .

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