Command Reference for Windows Subsystem for Linux

lxrun.exe is deprecated as of Windows 10 1803 and later.

The command lxrun.exe can be used to interact with the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) directly. These commands are installed into the \Windows\System32 directory and may be run within a Windows command prompt or in PowerShell.

  • lxrun.exe is used to manage WSL. This command can be used to install or uninstall the Ubuntu image.
Command Description
bash Launches the Bash shell in the current directory. If the Bash shell is not installed automatically runs lxrun /install
bash ~ Launches the bash shell into the user's Ubuntu home directory. Similar to running cd ~
bash -c "<command>" Runs the command, prints the output and exits back to the Windows command prompt.

Example: bash -c "ls"

Command Description
lxrun The lxrun command is used to manage the WSL instance.
lxrun /install Starts the download and install process.
/y may be added to bypass all prompts. The confirmation prompt is automatically accepted and the default user is set to root.
lxrun /uninstall Uninstalls and deletes the Ubuntu image. By default this does not remove the user's Ubuntu home directory.
/y may be added to automatically accept the confirmation prompt
/full uninstalls and deletes the user's Ubuntu home directory
lxrun /setdefaultuser <userName> Sets the default Bash on Ubuntu user. Will prompt for a password if the specified user does not exist. For more information visit:
/y Bypasses promping for the password. The user will be created without a password.
lxrun /update Updates the subsystem's package index