Where is the Linux Subsystem's filesystem located in Windows 10?

The single root file system was located here until Windows 10 Fall Creators update (released in Oct. 2017):


For example, C:\Users\Vigo\AppData\Local\Lxss\rootfs\

Other mount points are located one level up in the lxss directory. For example, your own home directory within Linux will be in %LOCALAPPDATA%\Lxss\home.

Starting from the Fall Creators update, it is possible to install more than one instance of Linux and run them in parallel. The existing instance (a.k.a. legacy) will stay in its directory but new instances created are located under:


For example, my Ubuntu 18.04 installation is located under the


Warning: Beware not to create, modify or delete files located under the lxss or distribution specific tree from Windows.

Exploring and reading files is the only harmless operation. See this Microsoft blog page for details.

Note that starting from Build 1903, there is an alternative way to access the files of a running distribution that doesn't exhibit the previously mentioned issues.

Just use the path \\wsl$\<distribution_specific_name>\ and you'll be able to create and modify files. The AppData is still not a supported way to access files with build 1903.

Nowadays, you can install multiple Linux distributions. Therefore, each distribution will have their own filesystem located in a different folder.

  • If you install some linux distributions from the Windows Store, the filesystems are located under %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Packages\...\LocalState\rootfs
  • If you have installed, moved or duplicated a linux distribution using LxRunOffline or any version of the WSLDistroLauncher, the filesystem can be located in any folder of your computer.

Obtaining the information from the Registry

The location of each filesystem can be obtained from the Windows Registry. The data is located under


You can start a PowerShell window and execute the following command to obtain the locations of the filesystems

PS> (Get-ChildItem HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Lxss | ForEach-Object {Get-ItemProperty $_.PSPath}) | select DistributionName, @{n="Path";e={$_.BasePath + "\rootfs"}}

You will get a table with information like the following

DistributionName Path
---------------- ----
Ubuntu           C:\Users\Jaime\AppData\Local\Packages\CanonicalGroupLimited.UbuntuonWindows_79rhkp1fndgsc\LocalState\rootfs
Ubuntu-18.04     C:\Users\Jaime\AppData\Local\Packages\CanonicalGroupLimited.Ubuntu18.04onWindows_79rhkp1fndgsc\LocalState\rootfs
mydistro         C:\wsl\mydistro\rootfs

Using lxRunOffline

LxRunOffline is a tool for managing linux distributions installed on WSL. You can use LxRunOffline to get the directory used by an installed distribution

# lxrunoffline get-dir -n <name of the distro>

C:\> lxrunoffline get-dir -n backup

C:\> lxrunoffline get-dir -n Ubuntu

For WSL2 you can access to home directory from windows explorer like this :


Sorry to be late at the party!