Change WSL Distribution Version for Linux

This blog post will show you how to change your WSL Linux distribution version from version 1 to 2 and 2 to 1.


With the release of WSL 2, Microsoft made a lot of improvement to WSL that touch on performance and security.

Before you change the WSL version of your distribution, you probably want to run the list command and check the current version by running the below command.

wsl --list -v

You can see my output below which indicates that I’m runing WSL version.

PS C:\Users\nt> wsl --list -v
   NAME            STATE           VERSION
 Ubuntu-20.04    Running         2 

Changing between WSL versions is not an issue and you can change the version back and forth without any issue. To change to WSL version 1 I will run the following command.

wsl --set-version Ubuntu-20.04 1

To change back to version 2 I will run the following comamnd.

wsl --set-version Ubuntu-20.04 2

Just note that the process can take up to 30 minutes and durring that time you can’t use WSL.

Success! You're on the list.