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A Linux distro optimized for WSL based on Debian.
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The first Linux® distribution optimized for WSL. Based on Debian®. From open-source software startup Whitewater Foundry. Formerly WLinux.

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If you are an enterprise customer, you may like to check out our enterprise-focused distribution, Pengwin Enterprise.

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  • Pengwin is a Linux environment for Windows 10 built on open-source technology concieved by Microsoft Research and the Linux ecosystem curated by the Debian project.
  • Pengwin is also the first Linux distribution pre-configured and optimized to run specifically on Windows® Subsystem for Linux, a Microsoft-supported feature of Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019.
  • Pengwin includes wslu, a set of useful open-source utilities for interacting between WSL and Windows 10.
  • A custom Pengwin-setup tool, accessible via $ pengwin-setup allows new Pengwin users to get started on Linux immediately:
    • Change language and keyboard settings.
    • Select optional shells: csh, zsh (with oh-my-zsh), and fish (with oh-my-fish).
    • Choose text editors: emacs, neovim, and Visual Studio Code.
    • Unpack your favorite development environment NodeJS (with n, npm, and/or yarn), Python 3.7 (with pip), Ruby (via rbenv), Rust (via rustup installer) and Go.
    • Manage your Microsoft Windows and Azure deployments with PowerShell and azure-cli, command line tools for Azure.
    • Enable/disable Windows Explorer shell integration.
    • Configure experimental GUI settings, including a Windows 10 theme for your Linux applications, HiDPI support and international input methods.
    • Create a secure bridge to Docker running on Windows.
  • Support for many Linux graphical applications with no need to configure display or libGL in Pengwin. (Requires a Windows-based X server, such as X410.)
  • Install over 27,790 open source packages via the apt package management system from the expansive Debian repositories and any third-party Debian-compatible repositories from outside projects.
  • Pengwin provides faster patching for WSL-specific bugs than any upstream Linux distro available on WSL.
  • A handful of unnecessary packages, such as systemd, have been removed from the base image to reduce image size and increase stability.
  • New features are actively developed based on community input. Learn how you can earn paid grants improving Pengwin.


Windows 10 1803 (Build 17134) Windows Subsystem for Linux Enabled

To enable Windows Subsystem for Linux open PowerShell as Administrator and run:

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux

Obtaining Support

Purchases of Pengwin in the Microsoft Store pay for a team of open source indie developers to add new features, test and release builds, evaluate WSL-related CVEs, and provide user support. User support is provided on a best effort basis. Most issues can be resolved by following the steps below.

  • First, search for your issue on the Pengwin Issues page here.
  • Next, search for your issue on the general WSL Issues page here.
  • Then consult the official Troubleshooting Windows Subsystem for Linux documentation from Microsoft.
  • Finally, if you are still unable to resolve your issue, please submit a bug report here and we will do our best to help you. We usually respond to most Issues within a few hours. Thank you for your patience.

Additional Pengwin Documentation

Related Pages


Core Team



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