Ubuntu – Where is the Ubuntu file system root directory in Windows Subsystem for Linux and vice versa

windows-subsystem-for-linux

I have installed Ubuntu subsystem on Windows 10 (after enabling feature in settings), but where is the Ubuntu file system root directory located in the drive?

Best Answer

  • For Ubuntu installed from the Windows store:

    Each distribution you install through the store is installed to that application's appdata directory. For example: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Packages\CanonicalGroupLimited.UbuntuonWindows_79rhkp1fndgsc\LocalState - benhillis

    For WSL2 you can access to home directory from windows (Windows 10 build 18342) like this :

    \\wsl$
    

    In earlier iterations of Windows Subsystem for Linux, the Ubuntu file system was at %localappdata%\Lxss (e.g., C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Lxss - replace the Username with your Username on Windows). See the WSL blog post on File System Support:

    The primary file system used by WSL is VolFs. It is used to store the Linux system files, as well as the content of your Linux home directory. As such, VolFs supports most features the Linux VFS provides, including Linux permissions, symbolic links, FIFOs, sockets, and device files.

    VolFs is used to mount the VFS root directory, using %LocalAppData%\lxss\rootfs as the backing storage. In addition, a few additional VolFs mount points exist, most notably /root and /home which are mounted using %LocalAppData%\lxss\root and %LocalAppData%\lxss\home respectively. The reason for these separate mounts is that when you uninstall WSL, the home directories are not removed by default, so any personal files stored there will be preserved.

    CAUTION

    Creating/modifying any files within the Linux subsystem using Windows apps & tools can cause Data corruption and data loss in Ubuntu subsystem! (Thanks to Rich Turner for suggesting these words of caution!) This is absolutely not supported. From the same blog post:

    Interoperability with Windows

    While VolFs files are stored in regular files on Windows in the directories mentioned above, interoperability with Windows is not supported. If a new file is added to one of these directories from Windows, it lacks the EAs needed by VolFs, so VolFs doesn’t know what to do with the file and simply ignores it. Many editors will also strip the EAs when saving an existing file, again making the file unusable in WSL.


    Your Windows file system is located at /mnt/c in the Bash shell environment.

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    Source: Dustin Kirkland's blog, howtogeek