Rootfs for WSL [gitlab]

I downloaded the Desktop and Server ISO, unpacked the rootfs and generated two tars that are installable to WSL/WSL2.

I’m sure that there are people that want to try the ClearLinux performance in this environment, this is meant to install it easily.

The Desktop tar is updated to the lastest version with swupd update and exported from wsl --export, that’s the only thing that was touched.

The Server tar is 100% untouched.

Tested with WSL2 in the latest Windows Preview, if installing the Desktop variant, unpack the 7z.
With the Server variant, there is no need.

import it directly with

wsl --import



Nice. You might also want to share here:

What exactly is a person able to do with linux via WSL in windows? Do X apps launch? Is it like a whole CLI-only installation?


There are two versions of WSL.

WSL1 Translate the linux syscalls into Windows syscalls, meaning that it runs Linux applications in Windows kernel.

WSL2 Is a virtual machine.

Both are able to run X Apps, forward audio to windows, access all of the Windows filesystem like if it was native, use windows applications inside a linux-like system, so you can pipe a windows app through grep, etc…

Performance-wise, WSL2 is more performant while you are not using a windows file directory (but the Linux filesystem), and resides inside a virtual disk.

WSL1 apps run as windows processes while WSL2 run as a blob in the process manager.

You don’t have to bother about resources (RAM/CPU) since these resources are dynamically assigned.

So yes, basically is a CLI-installation, with the capability of creating and run multiple machines at the same time, using different distros etc… It’s like Docker but integrated with windows and notably with Visual Studio Code.

It’s my preferred way to develop Linux Applications now.

The most usual thing to do for me, at least, is to open a windows folder, right-click, and select “run X-distro with a shell in this directory ready”

I hope it’s useful for you,


What exactly do we type for the Desktop flavor?

--import <DistributionName> <InstallLocation> <FileName>
  Imports the specified tar file as a new distribution.
  The filename can be - for standard input.

… and is the tar ok or does it need to be further extracted?

PS C:\clear_wsl> ls                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Hi all,

for the question of import, you can try this (with the unzipped file):
PS C:\clear_wsl> wsl.exe --import clearlinux ./clearlinux ./clear_linux_exported.tar --version 2

as the file is 7Go+, this might take some time and actually I would recommend you to use (first) the Server file instead and then if you really want the Desktop environment, you could install it with swupd bundle-add desktop (ref.

Hope this helps,
WSL Corsair :pirate_flag: