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How To Change From WSL2 to WSL1

How To Change From WSL2 to WSL1

This is a post on how to change a Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) Distribution from running on Version 2 to Version 1.

WSL has two versions, the latest (2), and the original version (1). You can have many different Linux Distributions installed on your machine, and you can easily change the WSL Version for one of them.

This Microsoft documentation page explains the key differences between versions and will help explain why you might want to downgrade back to version 1 for your particular WSL development needs.

To change one of your WSL Distributions from WSL2 to WSL1, we just need to pass in the –set-version parameter and it’ll be converted very quick. I’m listing my available WSL Distro’s before and after to visually verify the change.

# check wsl distro versions
wsl -l -v

# change wsl distro using name above to desired version
wsl --set-version Ubuntu 1
WSL Downgrade WSL2 to WSL1

3 Comments

  1. Bruno Ferreira
    5 months ago

    The version argument for the command is actually “–set-version”, not “–wsl-version”.

    • pete
      5 months ago

      Cheers for this, I’ll update.

    • pete
      5 months ago

      Updated, added words and sorted grammar.