I have Bash on Ubuntu on Windows.

Bash on Ubuntu on Windows

The output of lsb_release -a is the following.

No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 14.04.5 LTS
Release:        14.04
Codename:       trusty

Should I upgrade? Do I risk to break it?


Yes its possible and there are two options:

  1. Use lxrunto install and uninstall bash:

    lxrun /uninstall
    lxrun /install
  2. Upgrade with do-release-upgrade:

    sudo do-release-upgrade


  • The second method might work according to the link given below, but that article is 2016 so this method might work.

  • Here is clip from Microsoft

    Note: WSL will install Ubuntu version 16.04 (Xenial) instead of Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty) in an upcoming release. This change will apply to Insiders installing new instances (lxrun.exe /install or first run of bash.exe). Existing instances with Trusty will not be upgraded automatically. Users can upgrade their Trusty image to Xenial using the do-release-upgrade command.




  • I would like to upgrade my Ubuntu 16.04 LTS release. I can edit /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades by changing Prompt=lts to Prompt=normal and then do-release-upgrade duly informs me that Artful 17.10 can be installed. I haven't see this documented by Microsoft though. Has anyone tried it? – user643722 Mar 14 '18 at 10:16
  • For do-release-upgrade you might need to set RELEASE_UPGRADER_NO_SCREEN=1: sudo -S env RELEASE_UPGRADER_NO_SCREEN=1 do-release-upgrade (source: wsl-guide.org/en/latest/update.html) – amaslenn Sep 27 '18 at 12:41
  • @amaslenn: Here's a link that explains why RELEASE_UPGRADE_NO_SCREEN is needed: github.com/Microsoft/WSL/issues/927 – Heinzi Apr 8 '19 at 7:40

You should backup and reinstall WSL. This time you should install a newer version from the Windows Store choosing your favorite distro.

sudo -S apt-mark hold procps strace sudo
sudo -S env RELEASE_UPGRADER_NO_SCREEN=1 do-release-upgrade

These should update the Ubuntu on Windows to the latest version.

  • What's the -S flag for? – Svish Aug 7 '19 at 8:36

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