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How to uninstall & reinstall Windows Subsystem for Linux

·185 words·1 min
tech linux technology ubuntu windows windows-10 wsl
James Pettigrove
James Pettigrove
Cloud Engineer with a focus on Microsoft Azure

Now that the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) has been released to the masses in Windows 10 Anniversary Update and you have have installed the feature and had a play, What happens if you want to start from scratch and reset everything to a fresh state? This is something we often do in IT, especially when troubleshooting an issue. Instead of going into Programs & Features in Control Panel there is a very quick command you can run to perform the reset.

lxrun /uninstall

This will uninstall the WSL environment from your workstation. Combine it with:

lxrun /install

to reinstall the WSL environment and you are all reset.

You can also set root as the default user for WSL at the install phase with the following switch:

lxrun /install /y

Alternatively, you can define your own user at install with:

lxrun /install /setdefaultuser <username> /y

Note: if you omit the /y switch when defining your own username then you will be prompted to set a password for said user.

Super simple stuff! Go forth and get knee deep in the world of Linux, Windows Administrators


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