On Windows 10 or Windows 11, as of this writing, there are two versions of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) available, including versions 1 and 2.
WSL 1 was the original release, and it introduced the ability to run Linux distros natively alongside Windows 10. WSL 2 is the second version that now uses virtualization to run the Linux kernel inside a lightweight virtual machine, offering the same benefits as the first version, plus better system performance and full system call support compatibility.
If you recently upgraded from WSL1 to WSL2 and want to confirm the installation completed successfully or wonder what version of the architecture you have, Windows 10 and Windows 11 includes a command to check whether you have WSL2 or WSL1 installed on your device.
To check the WSL version installed on Windows 10 or 11, use these steps:
Search for Command Prompt (or PowerShell), right-click the top result and select the Run as administrator option.
Type the following command to check the WSL 2 or WSL 1 is installed on the device and press Enter:
wsl --list --verboseQuick tip: You can also write the command like this:
wsl -l -v.
Under the “Version” collum, confirm the WSL version installed on Windows 11 or Windows 10.
Once you complete the steps, if the output is 2, then WSL2 is installed on your machine. Since the command became available with version 2, if you get an error or there is no version number, you have WSL1 installed on Windows.