How to Access Your Linux (WSL) Files in Windows 10

Linux Tux Penguin on Windows 10 Desktop WallpaperLarry Ewing

May 2019 update of Windows 10 Finally, offers an easy, safe and officially supported way to access your Linux files and use them from File Explorer and other applications. Here's how to access your Windows Subsystem for Linux files.

Unlike previous methods, it's a sure way to work with Linux files! Windows in fact magic in the background, allowing you to edit your Linux files from Windows applications without causing file authorization problems. You still do not have to modify the underlying files to their actual location on your system.

There are two ways to access your Linux files. First, the easiest. In the Windows for Linux subsystem environment that you want to browse, run the following command:

explorer.exe.

This will launch the File Explorer showing the current Linux directory. You will be able to browse the file system of the Linux environment from there.

Viewing files from a Linux environment in the file explorer

You can also access it directly via a \ wsl $ path. In File Explorer or any other Windows application that can browse files, go to the following path:

\ wsl $

You will see the folders of all your Linux distributions installed, exposed as if they were network shares. For example, Ubuntu 18.04 is usually available on \ wsl $ Ubuntu-18.04.

Do not hesitate to create a shortcut to this folder. For example, you can drag it to the Quick Access section of the sidebar of the File Explorer.

Windows 10 indicating the location of the network  wsl $ in the file explorer

Again, you can modify these files normally as if they were another type of file on your system. Edit files with Windows tools (Notepad even supports Unix line endings!), create new files in Linux folders, delete files or do whatever you want. Windows will ensure that nothing goes wrong and that the file permissions are properly updated.

RELATED: Brand new in the May 2019 update of Windows 10, available now

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