How to List All Running Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) Distros in Windows 10


The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is a new Windows 10 feature that enables you to run native Linux command-line tools directly on Windows, alongside your traditional Windows desktop and modern store apps.

Starting with Windows 10 build 18342 (19H1) and Windows 10 build 18836 (20H1), Microsoft added some new commands that will give you more functionality when using wsl.exe. The commands that existed inside of wslconfig.exe have been added to wsl.exe to allow you to configure your distros more easily.

--list or --l has been added to wsl.exe that lists all distributions available for the current user. You could use --running with --list to see all currently running installed or imported WSL distros.

See also:

This tutorial will show you how to see a list of names of all currently running Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) distros for your account in Windows 10.


 CONTENTS:

  • Option One: See List of All Running Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) Distros in File Explorer
  • Option Two: See List of All Running Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) Distros in Command Prompt
  • Option Three: See List of All Running Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) Distros in PowerShell





List All Running Windows Subsystem for Linux Distros in Windows 10 OPTION ONE List All Running Windows Subsystem for Linux Distros in Windows 10
See List of All Running Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) Distros in File Explorer

1. Open File Explorer (Win+E).

2. Click/tap on Linux in the navigation pane, and click/tap on the Distros shortcut. (see screenshot below)

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3. You will now see the names of all currently running WSL distros for your account. (see screenshot below)

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List All Running Windows Subsystem for Linux Distros in Windows 10 OPTION TWO List All Running Windows Subsystem for Linux Distros in Windows 10
See List of All Running Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) Distros in Command Prompt

1. Open a command prompt.

2. Copy and paste the command below for your version of Windows 10 into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

(For Windows 10 version 1903 and later)
wsl --list --running or wsl -l --running

OR

(For versions earlier than Windows 10 version 1903)
wslconfig /list /running or wslconfig /l /running

3. You will now see a list of names for all currently running WSL distros for your account.
(For Windows 10 version 1903 and later)
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List All Running Windows Subsystem for Linux Distros in Windows 10 OPTION THREE List All Running Windows Subsystem for Linux Distros in Windows 10
See List of All Running Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) Distros in Command Prompt

1. Open PowerShell.

2. Copy and paste the command below for your version of Windows 10 into PowerShell, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

(For Windows 10 version 1903 and later)
wsl --list --running or wsl -l --running

OR

(For versions earlier than Windows 10 version 1903)
wslconfig /list /running or wslconfig /l /running

3. You will now see a list of names for all currently running WSL distros for your account.

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That's it,
Shawn


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