I am using Ubuntu downloaded from the Windows Store in Windows 10. It doesn't seem to be possible to use multiple terminal windows. Is the only way then to install a GUI and use this with the X server. I feel like this would defeat the point of using Ubuntu for Windows. I can imagine it working quite slowly. And I have to download 2GB of GUI.

  • did you invoke the terminal from out of the GUI? Then try right (other) mouse button and say New Window. That's what you mean? It is a bullshit feature only to open one terminal and then let the user alone with this issue. Similar with alt-tab where there is only one terminal accessible. you can configure this (different issue). Sep 11, 2018 at 14:12
  • Opening Ubuntu in Command Prompt as suggested below solves my current issue. :)
    – Sploxon
    Sep 11, 2018 at 17:52
  • @opinion_no9 I have observed that the apps we install from Store doesn't allow to open multiple instances/windows. Same is with Ubuntu app. It doesn't allow to open another window. On right click there are 3 options: App Name, Pin to Taskbar, Close.
    – Kulfy
    Sep 11, 2018 at 18:03
  • I use a desktop icon for Ubuntu and each time I double click it I get a new terminal. Jul 3, 2019 at 12:37

5 Answers 5

  1. Windows Terminal Way:

    Windows Terminal is a terminal emulator for Windows 10 written by Microsoft.

  2. CMD Way:

    This could be achieved. You need to open multiple windows of command prompt and type ubuntu or ubuntu1604 or ubuntu1804 depending on the version you've downloaded on all the prompts. You'll get multiple terminals.

    In this screenshot I have opened one "Terminal" in app and four in cmd

  • Hey that achieves exactly what I was after. Why didn't I think of that!
    – Sploxon
    Sep 11, 2018 at 17:50
  • 5
    Its not even needed to use cmd to open the other ubuntu terminals. You can just open them by typing ubuntu when opening your start menu. Apr 17, 2019 at 13:53
  • Do I understand you correctly that you have multiple WSL windows open like in your picture. I can open a CMD or Ubuntu terminal, but each one opens in its own tab, and I do not see any way to split the screen and put terminals side by side...
    – Alfa Bravo
    Jan 3, 2020 at 7:43
  • @AlfaBravo Unfortunately I'm unable to reproduce the issue. Can you please provide a screenshot (video would be best)? This can be a problem from Windows side. I'm not sure.
    – Kulfy
    Jan 3, 2020 at 14:34
  • Maybe I said it wrong, I just wanted to know if it was possible with Windows Terminal to have a multi-window setup like your picture (At least the 4 windows in the back). Like can I have 2 ubuntu terminals side by side? I have looked every where on the terminal window to split the screen but find nothing... :/
    – Alfa Bravo
    Jan 3, 2020 at 14:45

You can Shift-click the Ubuntu icon to open another instance of the Ubuntu app/terminal.

Or if you have it pinned to your taskbar and it's one of the first 10 icons (e.g. 2nd icon), you could also do Windows+Shift+2 as a keyboard shortcut to open a new instance, after doing Windows+2 to open it initially.

  • Can you please explain more precisely what you mean?  For example, do you mean “Hold the ‘Shift’ key while selecting ‘Ubuntu’ from the menu.”?  (“Shift+Ubuntu” would normally mean “Hold the ‘Shift’ key while pressing the ‘Ubuntu’ key.”  Does your keyboard have an ‘Ubuntu’ key?) … … … … Please do not respond in comments; edit your answer to make it clearer and more complete. Jul 2, 2019 at 15:37
  • 3
    Shift-click means to hold the Shift key while clicking on the Ubuntu icon. This worked for me. Aug 1, 2019 at 11:24
  • thanks so much. too easy :) Apr 1, 2022 at 14:27

Try using a different terminal cmd is awful, ConEmu https://conemu.github.io/ on windows works great. After you install it you can open multiple tabs or split vertical/horizontal like terminator on Linux using hotkey Ctrl+Shift+O or Ctrl+Shift+E.

Also to speed up WSL on windows (IO is so slow) There are a few tutorials out there such as https://medium.com/@leandrw/speeding-up-wsl-i-o-up-than-5x-fast-saving-a-lot-of-battery-life-cpu-usage-c3537dd03c74 (sacrifice some security tho)

  • Great tip. I did come across something like this but hope there would be an easier solution. Opening 'Ubuntu' in the CommandPrompt seems to achieve what I was after. Kind regards
    – Sploxon
    Sep 11, 2018 at 17:53
  • 1
    I like a lot Cmder as a cmd replacement, it's based on ConEmu with a nice config
    – bformet
    Sep 20, 2019 at 7:22

I think you will love MobaXTerm. They have a free version that has all the features. Paid version gets support.

It has been my workspace for WSL for many years and I love it. It has a snappy, native XWindows system that allows you to use GUI applications if you want (I use RStudio this way, as well as Synaptic on occasion).


Right click the ubuntu icon in the windows taskbar and then left click the Ubuntu 1X.0X LTS, there will be a new window popping out.

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