Collecting my attempts to improve at tech, art, and life


Windows Subsystem for Linux

Either a heavyweight container or a lightweight VM. Either way, it’s how I do Linux when on Windows.

CLI Usage


Launches default shell if COMMAND is not specified and ARGUMENT is not provided.


Show usage information

Launching shells

probably should be a sub-item of executing commands

wsl ~

Launch default distribution and start user session in distro-user’s $HOME

WSL Management commands


With no additional arguments, installs WSL and Microsoft’s default preference distro (Ubuntu)


Show installed WSL distributions

〉wsl --list
Windows Subsystem for Linux Distributions:
Ubuntu (Default)

--list --verbose

Add WSL version and current status to WSL distribution list

〉wsl --list --verbose
  NAME                   STATE           VERSION
* Ubuntu                 Running         2
  docker-desktop-data    Running         2
  Ubuntu-22.04           Stopped         2
  NixOS                  Stopped         2
  docker-desktop         Running         2

--list --online

Show distributions available to install on WSL

> wsl --list --online
The following is a list of valid distributions that can be installed.
Install using 'wsl.exe --install <Distro>'.

NAME               FRIENDLY NAME
Ubuntu             Ubuntu
Debian             Debian GNU/Linux
kali-linux         Kali Linux Rolling
SLES-12            SUSE Linux Enterprise Server v12
SLES-15            SUSE Linux Enterprise Server v15
Ubuntu-18.04       Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Ubuntu-20.04       Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
OracleLinux_8_5    Oracle Linux 8.5
OracleLinux_7_9    Oracle Linux 7.9

--set-default DISTRIBUTION

Record a new preference for default Linux distribution.


Terminate all running distributions and the WSL manager


Docker will complain.

--terminate DISTRIBUTION

Terminates specified distribution while leaving other distros and WSL manager alone.

〉wsl --terminate Ubuntu
The operation completed successfully.

Docker will complain if you terminate a distribution it has been integrated with.

--unregister DISTRIBUTION

Remove named distribution from WSL registry so it can be reinstalled or cleaned up.

〉wsl --unregister NixOS
The operation completed successfully.

Added to vault 2024-01-15. Updated on 2024-01-26