The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL for short) is a Linux environment running parallel to your Windows system comparable to a virtual machine.

After you have installed the WSL you must use the Linux commands of this documentation. Of course you have to run them in the WSL and not the default cmd or PowerShell.


You can install it by following these instructions.

Chances are you don’t use the preview build of Windows so you must follow the "Manual install" step by step.

The installation of WSL 2 requires you to enable virtualization capabilities which most likely also includes to modify a setting in your BIOS/UEFI. For Robolab the WSL version 1 is enough but version 2 is better in any way and when you need support.

When you reach step 6 you will have to choose your Linux distribution. All commands in this documentation will work on Debian or Ubuntu so choose either of these two if you are unsure.

Set right permissions for Windows partitions

This step is only necessary if you use WSL1.

After your installation is finished and you set up a user you have to do one more thing:

# Inside WSL, execute this:
$ sudo vi /etc/wsl.conf
# Add the following lines to this file:
enabled = true
options = "metadata"
# Save and close the file with "ESC", then ":" "x" "ENTER"

This sets the right permissions in the filesystem to work on the "normal" C:-Drive.


After following all steps of the installation manual your WSL is now ready to use.

You can open it by searching for the name of the distribution you installed in the start menu (e.g. "Ubuntu" or "Debian") or running bash in any command prompt. If you have installed the Windows Terminal you can also open a new tab with the WSL. bash is the default shell (comparable to a command prompt) in most Linux distributions.

To navigate on your disk you can use the cd and all other UNIX commands. Your Windows files can all be found in /mnt/c (c is the drive letter).
If you don’t have any experience in Linux the fastest way to open a bash in a specific folder is the following:

  • Open the folder in the normal Windows explorer

  • Hold shift and right click on an empty space in the folder

  • Select "Open command prompt here" or "Open PowerShell here"

  • In the newly opened window type in bash and hit enter