Home Technology can linux subsystem access windows files? - read all facts here

can linux subsystem access windows files? – read all facts here

Windows Subsystem for Linux, or WSL, is a revolutionary addition to Windows. It allows developers to use a full Linux environment within Windows. Users often ask if the Linux subsystem is able to access Windows files. Yes, the short answer is “yes”, but to understand how it works you need to dig deeper.

Understanding the Windows Subsystem in Linux

What are WSLs?

Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is a compatibility feature introduced with Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019 This layer allows Windows natively to run Linux binary executables. This feature allows users to use powerful Linux tools with the Windows interface, without having to switch between two operating systems.

What is the WSL?

The Linux subsystem works by translating Linux system call to Windows system call, allowing Linux software to be run on Windows kernel. This innovation bridged the gap and allowed for greater interoperability between the two operating system.

Windows Files Accessible in WSL

How to access Windows files with

If you use WSL to mount your Windows filesystem, it will be mounted in the /mnt/ folder. Your C drive is located under , /mnt/c/. Here, you can navigate your Windows files using standard Linux command-line tools. You can use powerful Linux commands to manage and manipulate your Windows files.

Caution and precautions

There are some important points to remember when accessing Windows through WSL. Understanding that the file metadata between Linux and Windows differs is crucial. WSL has implemented measures to reconcile the differences. However, some metadata such as file permissions may not be perfectly translated between systems.

In general, it is safe to manipulate Windows files with Linux tools in the Linux environment. A risky option is to manipulate these files using Windows apps running from Linux. This can lead to metadata mismatches or file locking problems. Microsoft warns against using Linux apps to access files in the Windows environment.


Linux’s ability to access Windows files creates a whole new world of possibilities. Now, developers can manipulate Windows files with powerful Linux tools. They can also operate in a mixed-environment without having to use a dual boot or virtual machine.

This powerful tool comes with a responsibility: to be aware of the potential dangers. Use the right tools to match the environment: Linux tools are best for Linux files, and Windows tools are best for Windows files. You can then fully utilize the power of WSL, without compromising data integrity.


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