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How to Check WSL Versions

How to Check WSL Versions

This post is a guide to help you check your Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) Version.

WSL allows users to develop and run applications within a GNU/Linux environment on a Windows computer. Previous to this feature release we needed Virtual Machines (VMs), and dual boot setups were much more common if you wanted local test environments.

There are 2 versions of WSL, the old (1), and the new (2). We should ideally be using the latest version like all other software in existence, but there are use cases where we might prefer to use WSL Version 1.

Have a look at this Microsoft Documentation page to compare the differences between versions. One of the key differences in 2022 is that Version 2 allows the use of Docker.

How to Check WSL Versions

With descriptions out of the way, we can check our WSL Versions by running the following from a PowerShell Terminal –

# check wsl version
wsl -l -v
How to Check WSL Version

The above gives us a list of all installed Linux distributions on your local machine including WSL Versions.

And that is all for this one. Feel free to browse more posts on this subject in the WSL Tag area.



  1. […] The first command below, wsl -l -v, is used to check the version of WSL as described in my other post – How to Check WSL Version […]

  2. […] need to run a basic wsl command to shut down the distro. First, I’m listing my installed WSL distributions followed by the ‘wsl –shutdown‘ […]