Microsoft WSL2 is amazing. But the kernel of the official release version is out of date. Fortunately, you can build a new customized kernel and use it.

Now, issue is comming. Under the new kernel, you will notice VS Code can't work well. If you type code under WSL, you will see some garbage outpus. This is because VS code uses a naive way to detect the WSL kernel version. It requires the kernel version string follow this pattern: x.xx.xx-microsoft-standard. At mean while, its version comparing algorithm is too naive to get the right result. For example, if current kernel version is 4.19 and the new kernel version is 5.1. VS code will think the new kernel is older than the current kernel because 51 is smaller than 419.

Wish VS Code can fix this issue in its newer release. But for now, we need do some hacking work. The easiest way is generating the same kernel version string as official WSL.

Let's goto /usr/bin folder, rename uname to uname.real. Then create a new uname file with the following content:

echo $(/usr/bin/uname.real $@ | sed -E s/[0-9]+.[0-9]+.[0-9]+-microsoft-wsl-xyb-port\\+/4.19.84-microsoft-standard/)

-microsoft-wsl-xyb-port is the version pattern of my customized kernel. You can replace it with the pattern used by your kernel.

Now, run uname -r, make sure you will see the following line:


Now, you can reinstall vscode-server:

  1. Under WSL, run rm -rf ~/.vscode-server
  2. Under Windows, run wsl --shutdown and goto %userprofile%\.vscode\extensions, delete ms-vscode-remote.remote-wsl-xxx folder.

Re-launch WSL, go to any folder you want to open in VS Code, type code .. VS code should work as normal now.