The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) (aka: “WSL 1”) lets developers run a GNU/Linux environment — including most command-line tools, utilities, and applications — directly on Windows, unmodified, without the overhead of a traditional virtual machine or dualboot setup.
WSL 2 (Windows Subsystem for Linux 2) is a new version of the architecture in WSL that changes how Linux distributions interact with Windows. WSL 2 has the primary goals of increasing file system performance and adding full system call compatibility. Each Linux distribution can run as WSL 1 or as WSL 2, and can be switched between at any time. WSL 2 is a major overhaul of the underlying architecture and uses virtualization technology and a Linux kernel to enable its new features.
When you have Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) enabled, you can install Linux distribution apps from the Microsoft Store.
Users can make WSL 1 or WSL 2 the default architecture to be used as the default Linux distribution version whenever any new Linux distributions are installed.
Users can also set the Linux distribution version to WSL 1 or WSL 2 for existing installed Linux distributions at any time.
This tutorial will show you how to set the Linux distribution version to WSL 1 or WSL 2 for your account in Windows 10.