Initializing a newly installed distro

Once your distro has been downloaded and installed, you'll need to complete initialization of the new distro:

Launch a distro

To complete the initialization of your newly installed distro, launch a new instance. You can do this by clicking the "launch" button in the Microsoft Store app, or launching the distro from the Start menu:

Tip: You might want to pin your most frequently used distros to your Start menu, and/or to your taskbar!

Launch distros from the Start menu

On Windows Server, you can launch your distro's launcher executable <distro>.exe from the distro installation folder.

The first time a newly installed distro runs, a Console window will open, and you'll be asked to wait for a minute or two for the installation to complete.

During this final stage of installation, the distro's files are de-compressed and stored on your PC, ready for use. This may take around a minute or more depending on the performance of your PC's storage devices. This initial installation phase is only required when a distro is clean-installed - all future launches should take less than a second.

Setting up a new Linux user account

Once installation is complete, you will be prompted to create a new user account (and its password).

Ubuntu unpacking in the Windows console

This user account is for the normal non-admin user that you'll be logged-in as by default when launching a distro.

You can choose any username and password you wish - they have no bearing on your Windows username.

When you open a new distro instance, you won't be prompted for your password, but if you elevate a process using sudo, you will need to enter your password, so make sure you choose a password you can easily remember! See the User Support page for more info.

Update & upgrade your distro's packages

Most distros ship with an empty/minimal package catalog. We strongly recommend regularly updating your package catalog, and upgrading your installed packages using your distro's preferred package manager. On Debian/Ubuntu, you use apt:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Windows does not automatically update or upgrade your Linux distro(s): This is a task that the Linux users prefer to control themselves.

You're done! Enjoy using your new Linux distro on WSL! To learn more about WSL, review the other WSL docs, or the WSL learning resources page.

Enjoy using Linux on WSL


Below are related errors and suggested fixes. Refer to the WSL troubleshooting page for other common errors and their solutions.

Installation failed with error 0x8007007e This error occurs when your system doesn't support Linux from the store. Make sure that: