How to find WSL home directory using Windows GUI?

WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) is a specially created software layer by Microsoft to run Linux binary executables natively on Windows 11 or 10. When you install a Linux distribution on WSL, it creates a Linux environment within Windows, with its own file system and home directory. However, how to find this directory using Graphical File Explorer of Windows? If you don’t know that then in this article, we learn about it.

The default home directory for the user account in WSL is located at /home/<username> which can be accessed using the Command line interface of WSL running bash.

For example, if your username is H2s, your home directory in WSL would be located at /home/h2s. By default, when we start the WSL Linux app, we are in our Home directory. You can switch to that using:

cd /home

The working of the home directory in WSL Linux is similar to the traditional Linux distros we are running on virtual machines, containers, or bare systems. It holds all files related user’s personal files and configuration settings. All the files of the home directory are only meant to use for your WSL instance and will not interfere with the Windows file system or vice versa…

Although we are showing this tutorial using for Ubuntu subsystem, the process will be the same for others too such as OpenSUSE, Kali, and Debian installed on WSL. 

Steps to Find the WSL home directory using the GUI file explorer of Windows 

  1. On your Windows 10 or 11, go to File Explorer or simply open MyPC to get it for finding the WSL Linux app home folder.
  1. After that from the left side panel scroll down to the end.
  1. Open WSL Linux File Explorer: There you will see the Linux Penguin icon, click that.
  1. Now, all the installed Linux apps such as Ubuntu, Debian, Kali, etc. on your WSL will show in the folder.
  1. For example, if we open the Ubuntu folder then inside that we will have a directory called ‘home‘. Open that and you will find the user of that WSL Linux app along with other files.
Find Ubuntu WSL Linux home user files
  1. After selecting the Linux WSL app, open the Home directory you want to explore manually using the GUI.
Find the Home directory
Open WSL Linux File Explorer

Additional tip:

To access all Windows 11 or 10 system drives under the Command Terminal of Ubuntu or another Linux environment installed on Windows WSL; we need to follow the mounting command of Linux.

Note: One thing to be mentioned is that the Bash Shell of the Linux environment should be launched under the Administrative right to access the system folders of Windows. To give administrative permission just right-click on the installed Linux environment such as Ubuntu and select “Run as Administrator”.

From your Linux Bash Shell type the following command to mount C: Drive:

cd /mnt/c

In the same way for D: drive type 

cd /mnt/d

In this way, we can also mount both internal and external drives attached to our Windows 11 or 10 systems including the network drives.

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