This article describes steps one can take to mount the Ubuntu Linux file system on Windows 11 using Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).
Windows Subsystem for Linux lets developers run a GNU/Linux environment, including most command-line tools, utilities, and applications directly in Windows without setting up a virtual machine or dual-boot.
With the WSL environment configured, you can attach and mount physical Linux drives or mount points on Windows and explore the content via File Explorer.
This feature also works on a dual-boot system running Windows 11 and Ubuntu Linux installed on different drives.
How to mount Linux file system on Windows 11 via WSL
As described above, with the WSL environment configured, you can attach and mount physical Linux drives or mount points on Windows and explore the content via File Explorer.
Below is how to mount the Linux file system on Windows 11 with WSL configured.
Mount Linux file system on Windows WSL
To mount the Linux file system, open Windows PowerShell as administrator.
When the PowerShell app opens, run the commands below to list the available drives or volumes.
wmic diskdrive list brief
That should output something similar to the lines below:
Caption DeviceID Model Partitions Size SAMSUNG MZVKW512HMJP-000H1 \\.\PHYSICALDRIVE0 SAMSUNG MZVKW512HMJP-000H1 3 512105932800 ST1000LM035-1RK172 \\.\PHYSICALDRIVE1 ST1000LM035-1RK172 1 1000202273280
Pay attention to the drive path under the “Device ID” column.
Now, to mount the Linux file system or drive, simply run the format of the command below from your Windows machine with WSL enabled:
wsl --mount <DISKEPATH>
The <DISKPATH> is the “DeviceID” or drive of the Linux file system you want to mount. This will mount the entire disk or physical drive.
wsl --mount \\.\PHYSICALDRIVE0
If you want to mount a partition instead of the entire physical drive, you will use the –partition option with the command.
wsl --mount \\.\PHYSICALDRIVE0 --partition 1
WSL will attempt to mount the disk as ext4. If you want to specify the file system type, use the -t option with the commands. For example, to mount a FAT file system, you will run the commands below.
wsl --mount <DISKPATH> -t vfat
Unmount the Linux file system on Windows WSL
To unmount a mounted file system, run the format of the command below:
wsl --unmount DRIVEPATH
wsl --unmount \\.\PHYSICALDRIVE0
Access the Linux file system in Windows File Explorer
Now that the Linux file system is mounted, you can use File Explorer to browse the drive’s content.
Open File Explorer, then browse to the \\wsl$ and then to the mount folder
That should do it!
This post showed you how to mount a Linux file system on Windows 11 with WSL. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.