I have been testing Microsoft's Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) which is available on the Windows Store.

Does WSL have full support for networking and devices? For instance, can I expect commands like iptables, arp, lsusb or the /dev system to work as they do on a full Linux installation?


By "full suport" of network you will have a limited or even obscure scope here. I don't think you will be able to do advanced things like ipv4 forwarding on 2 NICs with a WSL Linux running, but 2 issues got solved related to iptables allowing the use of this firewall inside WSL Linux instances indicating that it could work.

iptables related issues:

Same will apply to arp and usb related problems. Check if the issues are closed or not:

arp related issues:

usb related issues:

td,dr: You will have to crawl through the WSL repository to see if the feature you want is implemented.


Generally no.

One of the most glaring examples of this is the inability to do anything whatsoever with the system's block devices from inside WSL, which unfortunately appears to be a side-effect of how Windows itself is designed, and means you can't use WSL to access disks that use filesystems which Linux supports but Windows doesn't.

You can find similar issues with almost any Linux program which interacts directly with the hardware, and the same is largely true of things that do things with the network other than the common cases of just opening a TCP or UDP socket and talking over it.

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