How to check WSL version on Windows 11

Here are the easy steps to find out the version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux running on Windows 11.

Windows 11 check WSL version
Windows 11 check WSL version

On Windows 11, it’s simply known as Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), but with every major update, the platform receives a version number. 

Currently, there are two versions of the platform. WSL version 1 was the original release, and it introduced the ability to run Linux distros natively alongside Windows 10. WSL version 2 is the second version that runs the Linux kernel inside a lightweight virtual machine. In the nutshell, the virtualization approach features the same benefits as the original version, improves system performance, brings support for Linux GUI apps, and offers full system call support compatibility.

If you want to confirm the version you have installed on the computer, the Windows Subsystem for Linux includes a command to find out quickly.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to confirm the Windows Subsystem version for Linux installed on Windows 10.

Check WSL version on Windows 11

To check the WSL version installed on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start on Windows 11.

  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to check the WSL 2 or WSL 1 is installed on the device and press Enter:

    wsl --list --verbose
    Check WSL version on Windows 11
    Check WSL version on Windows 11
    Quick tip: You can also write the command like this: wsl -l -v.
  4. Under the “Version” collum, confirm the installed WSL version.

After you complete the steps, if the command returns 2, then WSL2 is installed on the computer. If you get an error or there is no version number, WSL1 is installed, and this is because the command to check the version became available with version 2.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].