Fixing broken Windows Services for Linux

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Last week I upgraded to the latest version of Windows 10. And I rather like it. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the upgrade seemed to break my lovely Windows Services for Linux installation. When I tried to open my Ubuntu command prompt it just closed instantly. No error, no nothing. Wah. A bit of searching didn’t help, since most of the fixes were to an almost working system and mine was anything but.

After a bit of heart searching I deleted the application and re-installed it. This was rather annoying. I didn’t have any important data in the installation, but it took me a while to configure the machine with all the services I wanted. Fortunately, thanks to my habit of writing a diary when I do something like configure a computer I can retrace my steps to set everything up again, but it’s still a pain to have to do it.

Of course, the really bad news is that the reinstalled machine didn’t work either. But at least this one gave me an error code I could search for. Turns out that the fix was to turn it off and on again - in this case turn the Windows Service for Linux feature off and then back on again.

I wish I’d tried it before I deleted my original service, but at least I’m back running again.

Update: I’ve since tried WSL on other machines that have been upgraded and they all work fine. So it must be something about my particular machine.