ArchLinux WSL


This article will show how to install Arch Linux in Windows 10 under Windows Subsystem for Linux.


Prerequisite is to have enabled WSL on your Win10 and already reboot your machine.

You can enable WSL :

  • Windows Settings
  • Apps
  • Apps & features
  • Related settings -> Programs and Features (bottom)
  • Turn Windows features on or off (left)





After rebooting your Win10, you can use Microsoft Store to install a Linux distribution like Ubuntu. Archlinux is not an official supported linux distribution thus this guide !



The easiest way to install Archlinux (or any Linux distro) is to download the wsldl from github. This project provides a generic Launcher.exe and any rootfs as source base. First thing is to rename Launcher.exe to Archlinux.exe.

ebal@myworklaptop:~$ mkdir -pv Archlinux
mkdir: created directory 'Archlinux'

ebal@myworklaptop:~$ cd Archlinux/

ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux$ curl -sL -o Archlinux.exe https://github.com/yuk7/wsldl/releases/download/18122700/Launcher.exe
ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux$ ls -l
total 320
-rw-rw-rw- 1 ebal ebal 143147 Feb 21 20:40 Archlinux.exe



Next step is to download the latest archlinux root filesystem and create a new rootfs.tar.gz archive file, as wsldl uses this type.

ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux$ curl -sLO http://ftp.otenet.gr/linux/archlinux/iso/latest/archlinux-bootstrap-2019.02.01-x86_64.tar.gz

ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux$ ls -l
total 147392
-rw-rw-rw- 1 ebal ebal    143147 Feb 21 20:40 Archlinux.exe
-rw-rw-rw- 1 ebal ebal 149030552 Feb 21 20:42 archlinux-bootstrap-2019.02.01-x86_64.tar.gz

ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux$ sudo tar xf archlinux-bootstrap-2019.02.01-x86_64.tar.gz

ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux$  cd root.x86_64/

ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux/root.x86_64$ ls
README  bin  boot  dev  etc  home  lib  lib64  mnt  opt  proc  root  run  sbin  srv  sys  tmp  usr  var

ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux/root.x86_64$  sudo tar czf rootfs.tar.gz .
tar: .: file changed as we read it

ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux/root.x86_64$ ls
README  bin  boot  dev  etc  home  lib  lib64  mnt  opt  proc  root  rootfs.tar.gz  run  sbin  srv  sys  tmp  usr  var

ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux/root.x86_64$ du -sh rootfs.tar.gz
144M    rootfs.tar.gz

ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux/root.x86_64$ sudo mv rootfs.tar.gz ../

ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux/root.x86_64$ cd ..
ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux$ ls
Archlinux.exe  archlinux-bootstrap-2019.02.01-x86_64.tar.gz  root.x86_64  rootfs.tar.gz

ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux$ ls
Archlinux.exe  rootfs.tar.gz

ebal@myworklaptop:~$ mv Archlinux/ /mnt/c/Users/EvaggelosBalaskas/Downloads/ArchlinuxWSL

As you can see, I do a little clean up and I move the directory under windows filesystem.


Install & Verify



Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.17134.619]
(c) 2018 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:UsersEvaggelosBalaskas>cd Downloads/ArchlinuxWSL

 Volume in drive C is Windows
 Volume Serial Number is 6C02-EE43

 Directory of C:UsersEvaggelosBalaskasDownloadsArchlinuxWSL

21-Feb-19  21:04    <DIR>          .
21-Feb-19  21:04    <DIR>          ..
21-Feb-19  20:40           143,147 Archlinux.exe
21-Feb-19  20:52       150,178,551 rootfs.tar.gz
               2 File(s)    150,321,698 bytes
               2 Dir(s)  374,579,486,720 bytes free

Installation Complete!
Press any key to continue...

C:UsersEvaggelosBalaskasDownloadsArchlinuxWSL>Archlinux.exe run uname -a
Linux myworklaptop 4.4.0-17134-Microsoft #523-Microsoft Mon Dec 31 17:49:00 PST 2018 x86_64 GNU/Linux

C:UsersEvaggelosBalaskasDownloadsArchlinuxWSL>Archlinux.exe run cat /etc/os-release
NAME="Arch Linux"
PRETTY_NAME="Arch Linux"

C:UsersEvaggelosBalaskasDownloadsArchlinuxWSL>Archlinux.exe run bash
[root@myworklaptop ArchlinuxWSL]#
[root@myworklaptop ArchlinuxWSL]# exit



C:UsersEvaggelosBalaskasDownloadsArchlinuxWSL>Archlinux.exe run bash
[root@myworklaptop ArchlinuxWSL]#

[root@myworklaptop ArchlinuxWSL]# date
Thu Feb 21 21:41:41 STD 2019

Remember, archlinux by default does not have any configuration. So you need to configure this instance !

Here are some basic configuration:

[root@myworklaptop ArchlinuxWSL]# echo nameserver > /etc/resolv.conf

[root@myworklaptop ArchlinuxWSL]# cat > /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist <<EOF
Server = http://ftp.otenet.gr/linux/archlinux/$repo/os/$arch

[root@myworklaptop ArchlinuxWSL]#  pacman-key --init

[root@myworklaptop ArchlinuxWSL]#  pacman-key --populate

[root@myworklaptop ArchlinuxWSL]# pacman -Syy

you are pretty much ready to use archlinux inside your windows 10 !!



You can remove Archlinux by simple:

 Archlinux.exe clean 


Default User

There is a simple way to use Archlinux within Windows Subsystem for Linux , by connecting with a default user.

But before configure ArchWSL, we need to create this user inside the archlinux instance:

[root@myworklaptop ArchWSL]# useradd -g 374 -u 374 ebal

[root@myworklaptop ArchWSL]# id ebal
uid=374(ebal) gid=374(ebal) groups=374(ebal)

[root@myworklaptop ArchWSL]# cp -rav /etc/skel/ /home/ebal
'/etc/skel/' -> '/home/ebal'
'/etc/skel/.bashrc' -> '/home/ebal/.bashrc'
'/etc/skel/.bash_profile' -> '/home/ebal/.bash_profile'
'/etc/skel/.bash_logout' -> '/home/ebal/.bash_logout'

chown -R ebal:ebal /home/ebal/

then exit the linux app and run:

> Archlinux.exe config --default-user ebal

and try to login again:

> Archlinux.exe run bash
[ebal@myworklaptop ArchWSL]$ 

[ebal@myworklaptop ArchWSL]$ cd ~

ebal@myworklaptop ~$ pwd -P


Tag(s): archlinux, win10, WSL