WSL development environment under Win11

1.Why to do that ?

Because in the views of a non-Microsoft developer, the environment of windows is not very friendly, but windows software is needed daily, so there are only two choices: vm or wsl. I personally think wsl is more convenient, so I will use wsl first this time.

The following are my target requirements:

  • 1.Work and life are both in one system.
  • 2.File/software isolation does not affect each other.
  • 3.Complete development activities in wsl.
  • 4.No installation development software in the real system.

2.Install Wsl


The document of Microsoft

  • 1.BIOS:Activate the bios virtualization function.
  • 2.Start WSL Service: input command dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux /all /norestart in the powershell(admin mode).
  • 3.Start VM Service: input command dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:VirtualMachinePlatform /all /norestart in the powershell(admin mode).
  • 4.Download Update: Download a package to update the kernel of linux.
  • 5.Reboot: Reboot your Windows.
  • 6.Install Update: Install the fourth step that downloaded package.
  • 7.WSL2: use wsl --set-default-version 2 to open the second version.


You can use wsl --list --online to find some distribution of linux and below is the release version I got through the command.

Ubuntu          Ubuntu
Debian          Debian GNU/Linux
kali-linux      Kali Linux Rolling
openSUSE-42     openSUSE Leap 42
SLES-12         SUSE Linux Enterprise Server v12
Ubuntu-16.04    Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Ubuntu-18.04    Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Ubuntu-20.04    Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Use wsl --install --distribution Ubuntu/Debian/Ubuntu-20.04 to install the linux in your system and watting for the username and password to be entered when the installation is over.

after install

Use wsl --list -v to watch your system

that's mine

NAME            STATE           VERSION

* Ubuntu-20.04    Running         2

input ubuntu2004.exe config --default-user <your username> to change the default user logined.

As you have more and more software, wsl will become larger and larger, because wsl is installed in the C drive directory by default, so the external operating system will be more difficult to use. So you need to move the wsl system to a separate disk.

move the wsl

  • 1.Shutdown: Close your wsl terminal and use wsl --shutdown to shutdown wsl service.
  • 2.Export: use wsl --export Ubuntu/Debian/Ubuntu-20.04 D:\\wsl.tar to export your wsl system.
  • 3.Unregister: use wsl --unregister Ubuntu/Debian/Ubuntu-20.04 to destory the system that in the wsl service.
  • 4.Import: use wsl --import Debian/Ubuntu/Ubuntu-20.04 E:\\wsl D:\\wsl.tar to install system to the location you want.

You have a wsl2 linux system now.

3.A terminal software

  • 1.install tabby and set the default profile for new tabs equals WSL

4.Oh my zsh

Use tabby to open a new terminal tab and the following operations are all done in this tab.

  • 1.Install zsh sudo apt-get install zsh -y.
  • 2.Change the defualt env to zsh chsh -s /bin/zsh.
  • 3.Install oh-my-zsh sh -c "$(curl -fsSL"
  • 4.Download font files and install it.
  • 5.Set the tabby terminal software's defualt font MesloLGS NF.
  • 6.Clone to ~/.oh-my-zsh/custom/themes and replace ZSH_THEME="powerlevel10k/powerlevel10k" in ~/.zshrc.
  • 7.Close and reopen tabby terminal and complete the configuration according to the terminal prompt.


  • 1.Here are some plugins. if you want to install them.
  • 2.You can clone thme to ~/.oh-my-zsh/custom/plugins
  • 3.Configgure the plugins name in ~/.zshrc like this


apt softwares was so old so i use homebrew to install softwares.

Input command /bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL" in your terminal and follow the output logs to install that. there has some commands to use homebrew:

  • 1.brew list: list all softwares your installed.
  • 2.brew search name: search software.
  • 3.brew install name: install software.


6.1 Visual Studio Code

Now you can download the vscode to connect the wsl to develop.

6.2 Neovim

If you want to use vim/neovim then you can input brew install neovim

  • 1.Install python2,python3 and get pip2/pip3
  • 2.pip2 install neovim --user pip3 install neovim --user

Install Vim-Plug

  • 1.mkdir ~/.config/nvim
  • 2.touch ~/.config/nvim/init.vim
  • 3.use curl -fLo ~/.config/nvim/autoload/plug.vim --create-dirs to install vim-plug
  • 4.mkdir ~/.config/nvim/vim-plug
  • 5.touch ~/.config/nvim/vim-plug/plugins.vim

Add the following to ~/.config/nvim/vim-plug/plugins.vim

" auto-install vim-plug
if empty(glob('~/.config/nvim/autoload/plug.vim'))
silent !curl -fLo ~/.config/nvim/autoload/plug.vim --create-dirs
"autocmd VimEnter * PlugInstall
"autocmd VimEnter * PlugInstall | source $MYVIMRC

call plug#begin('~/.config/nvim/autoload/plugged')
Plug 'scrooloose/NERDTree'
call plug#end()

You can see a plugin named NERDTree between in the plug#beign and plug#end,So you can also config any plugin at here.

source $HOME/.config/nvim/vim-plug/plugins.vim to reload your env.

Install Plugins

use nvim to start neovim editor and input :PlugInstall to install your plugins.

use :q! to exit neovim eidtor and reopen it with nvim.

use :NERDTree to show the filetree plugin.

My neovim profile



I am learning vim from scratch, and I am only at an introductory level now. As I deepen my learning, follow-up vim articles will be published in the editor series. The configuration file will also be updated at any time, let us work hard together~