Distro installation added to WSL –install in Windows 10 insiders preview build 20246

Craig Loewen

We’ve added automatic distro installation to wsl --install in Windows 10 insiders preview build 20246! This means that installing WSL is now easier than ever, as now when you run wsl --install all the necessary components that you need for WSL will be automatically enabled, including your specific Linux distro of choice.

How to use this new feature

We announced that our goal with this feature is to make installing WSL as easily as possible back in BUILD 2020. With automatic distro installation, you can now have a full WSL install on your machine in a matter of minutes just by running one command: wsl --install.

WSL install

We’ve also added some additional features to wsl.exe to help with this. By default when you run wsl --install without any additional parameters, you’ll install Ubuntu. You can also install any distribution of your choice by running wsl --install -d <Distro>. You can see a full list of distros available by running wsl --list --online. For example, I could install Debian by running wsl --install -d Debian.

WSL list online

Tell us your feedback

As always, you can find me @craigaloewen and WSL team members on Twitter if you’d like to keep up to date with WSL news there. If you run into any issues, or have technical feedback and feature requests for our team please file an issue on our WSL repo in Github. We’d love to hear what you think about this new experience, and whether you have any suggestions for other options you’d like to see!


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  • ‪ ‪ 0

    How if the distribution I plan to use isn’t there and I don’t want to install it?

    • Peter Michalica 0

      The easiest way is to use “wsl –import” – with that you can install any Linux flavor – e.g. RHEL, CentOs, Fedora, Leap etc. An example is described here: https://fedoramagazine.org/wsl-fedora-33/

  • Qiancheng Sun 0

    It seems that you guys just embedded the list of supported distros and their download links into wslapi.dll. Disappointed.

  • Aviv Avitan 0

    Please address the static IP/Subnet Issue. we must have known IPs we can use with VPNs and etc

  • cheong00 0

    I see there is SLES-12 as choice of distros. However AFAIK it is a distro that requires proper licensing in commercial environment.

    Do we need separate licensing to use it or not? It that included in use-right of properly licensed Win10/Windows Server installations?

  • 文涛 李 0

    I want to know the progress of wsl2 gui support. I pay more attention to this one. I currently use x410 to provide gui support, but I hope to have a better gui experience.

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