Troubleshooting Windows Subsystem for Linux

For support with issues related to WSL, please see our GitHub repo:

For technical issues, use the product repo:

For issues related to the contents of this documentation, use the docs repo:

Submit a bug report

For bugs related to WSL functions or features, file an issue in the product repo:

Submit a feature request

To request a new feature related to WSL functionality or compatibility, file an issue in the product repo:

Contribute to the docs

To contribute to the WSL documentation, submit a pull request in the docs repo:

Terminal or Command Line

Lastly, if your issue is related to the Windows Terminal, Windows Console, or the command-line UI, use the Windows terminal repo:

Common issues

Bash loses network connectivity once connected to a VPN

If after connecting to a VPN on Windows, bash loses network connectivity, try this workaround from within bash. This workaround will allow you to manually override the DNS resolution through /etc/resolv.conf.

  1. Take a note of the DNS server of the VPN from doing ipconfig.exe /all
  2. Make a copy of the existing resolv.conf sudo cp /etc/resolv.conf /etc/
  3. Unlink the current resolv.conf sudo unlink /etc/resolv.conf
  4. sudo mv /etc/ /etc/resolv.conf
  5. Open /etc/resolv.conf and
    a. Delete the first line from the file, which says "# This file was automatically generated by WSL. To stop automatic generation of this file, remove this line.".
    b. Add the DNS entry from (1) above as the very first entry in the list of DNS servers.
    c. Close the file.

Once you have disconnected the VPN, you will have to revert the changes to /etc/resolv.conf. To do this, do:

  1. cd /etc
  2. sudo mv resolv.conf
  3. sudo ln -s ../run/resolvconf/resolv.conf resolv.conf

Starting WSL or installing a distribution returns an error code

Follow these instructions to collect detailed logs and file an issue on our GitHub.

Updating Bash on Ubuntu on Windows

There are two components of Bash on Ubuntu on Windows that can require updating.

  1. The Windows Subsystem for Linux

    Upgrading this portion of Bash on Ubuntu on Windows will enable any new fixes outlines in the release notes. Ensure that you are subscribed to the Windows Insider Program and that your build is up to date. For finer grain control including resetting your Ubuntu instance check out the command reference page.

  2. The Ubuntu user binaries

    Upgrading this portion of Bash on Ubuntu on Windows will install any updates to the Ubuntu user binaries including applications that you have installed via apt-get. To update run the following commands in Bash:

    1. apt-get update
    2. apt-get upgrade

Apt-get upgrade errors

Some packages use features that we haven't implemented yet. udev, for example, isn't supported yet and causes several apt-get upgrade errors.

To fix issues related to udev, follow the following steps:

  1. Write the following to /usr/sbin/policy-rc.d and save your changes.

    exit 101
  2. Add execute permissions to /usr/sbin/policy-rc.d:

    chmod +x /usr/sbin/policy-rc.d
  3. Run the following commands:

    dpkg-divert --local --rename --add /sbin/initctl
    ln -s /bin/true /sbin/initctl

"Error: 0x80040306" on installation

This has to do with the fact that we do not support legacy console. To turn off legacy console:

  1. Open cmd.exe
  2. Right click title bar -> Properties -> Uncheck Use legacy console
  3. Click OK

"Error: 0x80040154" after Windows update

The Windows Subsystem for Linux feature may be disabled during a Windows update. If this happens the Windows feature must be re-enabled. Instructions for enabling the Windows Subsystem for Linux can be found in the Installation Guide.

Changing the display language

WSL install will try to automatically change the Ubuntu locale to match the locale of your Windows install. If you do not want this behavior you can run this command to change the Ubuntu locale after install completes. You will have to relaunch bash.exe for this change to take effect.

The below example changes to locale to en-US:

sudo update-locale LANG=en_US.UTF8

Installation issues after Windows system restore

  1. Delete the %windir%\System32\Tasks\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Subsystem for Linux folder.
    Note: Do not do this if your optional feature is fully installed and working.
  2. Enable the WSL optional feature (if not already)
  3. Reboot
  4. lxrun /uninstall /full
  5. Install bash

No internet access in WSL

Some users have reported issues with specific firewall applications blocking internet access in WSL. The firewalls reported are:

  1. Kaspersky
  2. AVG
  3. Avast

In some cases turning off the firewall allows for access. In some cases simply having the firewall installed looks to block access.

Permission Denied error when using ping

For Windows Anniversary Update, version 1607, administrator privileges in Windows are required to run ping in WSL. To run ping, run Bash on Ubuntu on Windows as an administrator, or run bash.exe from a CMD/PowerShell prompt with administrator privileges.

For later versions of Windows, Build 14926+, administrator privileges are no longer required.

Bash is hung

If while working with bash, you find that bash is hung (or deadlocked) and not responding to inputs, help us diagnose the issue by collecting and reporting a memory dump. Note that these steps will crash your system. Do not do this if you are not comfortable with that or save your work prior to doing this.

To collect a memory dump

  1. Change the memory dump type to "complete memory dump". While changing the dump type, take a note of your current type.

  2. Use the steps to configure crash using keyboard control.

  3. Repro the hang or deadlock.

  4. Crash the system using the key sequence from (2).

  5. The system will crash and collect the memory dump.

  6. Once the system reboots, report the memory.dmp to The default location of the dump file is %SystemRoot%\memory.dmp or C:\Windows\memory.dmp if C: is the system drive. In the email, note that the dump is for the WSL or Bash on Windows team.

  7. Restore the memory dump type to the original setting.

Check your build number

To find your PC's architecture and Windows build number, open
Settings > System > About

Look for the OS Build and System Type fields.
Screenshot of Build and System Type fields

To find your Windows Server build number, run the following in PowerShell:

systeminfo | Select-String "^OS Name","^OS Version"

Confirm WSL is enabled

You can confirm that the Windows Subsystem for Linux is enabled by running the following in PowerShell:

Get-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux

OpenSSH-Server connection issues

Trying to connect your SSH server is failed with the following error: "Connection closed by port 22".

  1. Make sure your OpenSSH Server is running:

    sudo service ssh status

    and you've followed this tutorial:

  2. Stop the sshd service and start sshd in debug mode:

    sudo service ssh stop
    sudo /usr/sbin/sshd -d
  3. Check the startup logs and make sure HostKeys are available and you don't see log messages such as:

    debug1: sshd version OpenSSH_7.2, OpenSSL 1.0.2g  1 Mar 2016
    debug1: key_load_private: incorrect passphrase supplied to decrypt private key
    debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
    Could not load host key: /etc/ssh/ssh_host_rsa_key
    debug1: key_load_private: No such file or directory
    debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
    Could not load host key: /etc/ssh/ssh_host_dsa_key
    debug1: key_load_private: No such file or directory
    debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
    Could not load host key: /etc/ssh/ssh_host_ecdsa_key
    debug1: key_load_private: No such file or directory
    debug1: key_load_public: No such file or directory
    Could not load host key: /etc/ssh/ssh_host_ed25519_key

If you do see such messages and the keys are missing under /etc/ssh/, you will have to regenerate the keys or just purge&install openssh-server:

sudo apt-get purge openssh-server
sudo apt-get install openssh-server

"The referenced assembly could not be found." when enabling the WSL optional feature

This error is related to being in a bad install state. Please complete the following steps to try and fix this issue:

  • If you are running the enable WSL feature command from PowerShell, try using the GUI instead by opening the start menu, searching for 'Turn Windows features on or off' and then in the list select 'Windows Subsystem for Linux' which will install the optional component.

  • Update your version of Windows by going to Settings, Updates, and clicking 'Check for Updates'

  • If both of those fail and you need to access WSL please consider upgrading in place by reinstalling Windows 10 using installation media and selecting 'Keep Everything' to ensure your apps and files are preserved. You can find instructions on how to do so at the Reinstall Windows 10 page.

If you're seeing this error:

Permissions 0777 for '/home/artur/.ssh/private-key.pem' are too open.

To fix this, append the following to the the /etc/wsl.conf file:

enabled = true
options = metadata,uid=1000,gid=1000,umask=0022

Please note that adding this command will include metadata and modify the file permissions on the Windows files seen from WSL. Please see the File System Permissions for more information.