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How one can set the default consumer for a WSL distro that has been manually put in with wsl –import

I’ve blogged earlier than on the best way to simply transfer WSL distributions between Home windows 10 machines with import and export. I not too long ago did a full recent set up of Home windows 11 and needed to carry my present extremely custom-made Ubuntu set up together with me.

You’ll be able to tar up (zip up) the user-mode components of your WSL2 distributions like this:

wsl --export Ubuntu-20.04 c:TempUbuntuBackup.tar

The half after –export is the distribution title that you would be able to see from working wsl --list -v. The final argument is a full path and filename for the archive you need created.

Subsequent, on the machine you’ve got moved to, you may do the reverse. Discover that I’ve modified the Distro title right here, and you’ll if you would like. Keep in mind additionally that you would be able to have as many Linux Distros put in as you need.

wsl --import Ubuntu c:Linux c:TempUbuntuBackup.tar

The Linux file system is saved in a VHDX (digital laborious drive), normally deep in AppData/Native/YadaYada, however this import is a chance for me to retailer it in C:Linux which may even make it simpler to do upkeep on like Compact-VHD which shrinks your WSL2 disks.

This is the bizarre half. Whenever you import a WSL2 distro manually, working that distro on the brand new machine will find yourself logging you in as root. It is forgotten that I am “scott.”

There’s loads of methods to repair this that contain the registry or passing in arguments to wsl, however I simply need it to work after I run “wsl” or “wsl -d distroname.”

Run your distro, after which edit /and many others/wsl.conf and add a [user] part like this:


That is the perfect technique to set your WSL distro’s default consumer for imported tars as a result of it is saved contained in the Linux file system and the setting will stick round if you export/import in a while.

Linux on Windows

Hope this helps!

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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, marketing consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft worker. He’s a failed stand-up comedian, a cornrower, and a e-book creator.

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