Using WSL2 🔗︎

Kind can run using Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL2) on Windows 10 Insider builds. All the tools needed to build or run kind work in WSL2, but some extra steps are needed to switch to WSL2. This page covers these steps in brief but also links to the official documentation if you would like more details.

Getting Windows 10 Insider Preview 🔗︎

Download latest ISO at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windowsinsiderpreviewadvanced . Choose “Windows 10 Insider Preview (FAST) - Build 18912”. If there’s a later build number, get that instead and then you can skip the work to upgrade to 18917.

Installing on a virtual machine 🔗︎

Note: this currently only works with Intel processors. The Hyper-V hypervisor used by WSL2 cannot run underneath another hypervisor on AMD processors.

Required Settings

Now, start up the VM. Watch carefully for the “Press any key to continue installation…” screen so you don’t miss it. Windows Setup will start automatically.

Installing on a physical machine 🔗︎

If you’re using a physical machine, you can mount the ISO, copy the files to a FAT32 formatted USB disk, and boot from that instead. Be sure the machine is configured to boot using UEFI (not legacy BIOS), and has Intel VT or AMD-V enabled for the hypervisor.

Tips during setup 🔗︎

Upgrading to 18922 or later 🔗︎

As of June 2019, you still need to opt-in and do an update to get a newer build with WSL2 included.

  1. Click Start, and search for “update”. Click “Check for Updates”
  2. In the left pane, scroll to the bottom and click “Windows Insider Program”
  3. Under “Windows Insider account”, click “Link a Windows Insider account”. Log in with the same account you used to download the ISO. On the “Use this account everywhere on your device” page - read closely. You might want to click “Microsoft apps only” instead of “Next”.
  4. Now back on the page under “Pick your Insider Settings”, click the big tile that says “Custom….”. This will take you to the “Pick your insider settings” page. Turn “Custom Options” off if it’s on, then click on “Fast”.
  5. Click the back arrow in the upper left
  6. Now go to “Windows Update” in the left pane. Click “Check for Updates”
  7. Once its done checking, it should offer the new version. This will be a long download then reboot. Once that’s done, move on to the next section.

Setting up WSL2 🔗︎

If you want the full details, see the Installation Instructions for WSL2. This is the TL;DR version.

Once your Windows Insider machine is ready, you need to do a few more steps to set up WSL2

  1. Open a PowerShell window as an admin, then run PowerShell Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName VirtualMachinePlatform, Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux
  2. Reboot when prompted.
  3. After the reboot, set WSL to default to WSL2. Open an admin PowerShell window and run wsl --set-default-version 2.
  4. Now, you can install your Linux distro of choice by searching the Windows Store. If you don’t want to use the Windows Store, then follow the steps in the WSL docs for manual install.
  5. Start up your distro with the shortcut added to the start menu
  6. Install Docker - here’s links for Debian, Fedora, and Ubuntu
  7. Start the Docker daemon using init (not systemd) sudo service docker start. This needs to be done each time you start WSL2.

Now, move on to the Quick Start to set up your cluster with kind.

Helpful Tips for WSL2 🔗︎