WSL2 notes

Notes on Windows 10 and WSL 2

This page provides some pointers to documents on how to get a Linux environment set up on your Windows 10 computer.

Linux installation

If you have a sufficiently recent version of Windows 10, follow these instructions to install a Linux distribution: Windows Subsystem for Linux Installation Guide for Windows 10 This approach uses the Microsoft Store to get the Linux distribution.

Instead of going through the Microsoft Store, you may want to down a WSL Linux distribution manually. These notes will explain how to do so.

If you are new to Linux, you could follow WSL notes from the Ubuntu world to get a bit of an introduction to running Linux. The notes describe typical tasks such as installing packages in Ubuntu Linux.

Mounting Windows drives

From this blog entry we get the following example of mounting an external drive using DrvFs.

To mount a removable drive D: as /mnt/d directory, run the following commands:

sudo mkdir /mnt/d
sudo mount -t drvfs D: /mnt/d

Now, you will be able to access the files of your D: drive under /mnt/d. When you wish to unmount the drive, for example so you can safely remove it, run the following command:

sudo umount /mnt/d

Xserver (optional)

To use graphical applications install an Xserver such as VcXsrv. There are some Windows firewall settings that you will need to adjust and you will need to have an appropriate value for the DISPLAY variable in your Linux environment. See the notes on getting the Xserver working from WSL2: Running an X server with WSL2

Most of our programs, such as Eilmer and L1d, are console-based so you do not need an Xserver running to use them. GUI-based programs, such as Paraview, will need an Xserver to run.

DMD compiler

With your favourite Linux distribution now running, it’s time to install the DMD compiler. You may choose a prebuilt binary for your selected Linux distribution or you can install the DMD compiler via the install script at

curl -fsS | bash -s dmd

Having installed the compier via the script, you will need to activate the DMD compiler in order to use it. At the time of writing these notes, the current DMD compiler version was 2.094.0. To activate the compiler, issue the command:

source ~/dlang/dmd-2.094.0/activate

and, to deactivate:


Install Eilmer

With Linux running on your workstation, you can continue with the getting-started instructions.