Creators Update and BASH (Ubuntu 16.04 upgrade)

By Andy Barnes

Windows 10 Creators Update brings with it a new version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux, including upgrading the Ubuntu distribution from 14.04 (Trusty) to 16.04 (Xenial).

Remove & Replace

The recommendation from Microsoft is that you completely remove the Ubuntu environment and then re-install it.

To remove Ubuntu we open an administrator command prompt (as previously covered in my first installation howto and then enter the following commands:

C:\> lxrun /uninstall /full /y
This will uninstall Ubuntu on Windows.
This will remove the Ubuntu environment as well as any modifications, new applications, and user data.

Once it has been removed you can then re-install it with this command:

C:\> lxrun /install
-- Beta feature --
This will install Ubuntu on Windows, distributed by Canonical
and licensed under its terms available here:

Type "y" to continue: y
Downloading from the Windows Store... 100%
Extracting filesystem, this will take a few minutes...
Would you like to set the Ubuntu locale to match the Windows locale (en-GB)?
the default locale is en_US.
Type "y" to continue: y

Please create a default UNIX user account. The username does not need to match your Windows username.
For more information visit:
Enter new UNIX username: user
Enter new UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:
passwd: password updated successfully
Installation successful!

Live upgrade

If you have a particularly complex environment already configured however, you can do an in place upgrade. Check the Ubuntu instructions.

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo do-release-upgrade

You can confirm that your Ubuntu environment has been upgraded to 16.04 by looking at /etc/lsb-release or running the _lsb__release -a command:

~$ cat /etc/lsb-release

~$ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS
Release:        16.04
Codename:       xenial


Many changes and improvements have been made and issues fixed including, ifconfig, ping and ICMP tools working. File change notification (INOTIFY) including notifications for files in the Windows file system, which will be relevant to web developers working in Node.js, Ruby and Python. It is now possible to launch Windows apps and tools from within Bash, and Linux tools from Windows. It is also possible to run other distributions of Linux within WSL now, however it is not currently supported by Microsoft.