I am running Ubuntu 18.04 as a Windows app in Windows 10. As far as I understand, this uses Windows Subsystem for Linux to run linux processes.

From the Ubuntu terminal I am able to access the Windows C: drive:

$ ls /mnt/c

How can I access the Ubuntu drive from windows applications, from example from the Explorer?


Although it is indeed possible to access the files as Muhammed mentioned via C:\Users\NAME\AppData\Local\Packages\CanonicalGroupLimited.UbuntuonWindows_*\LocalState\rootfs, Microsoft strongly recommends against it in https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/commandline/2016/11/17/do-not-change-linux-files-using-windows-apps-and-tools/:

DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, access, create, and/or modify files in your distro's filesystem using Windows apps, tools, scripts, consoles, etc.

Opening files using some Windows tools may read-lock the opened files and/or folders, preventing updates to file contents and/or metadata, essentially resulting in corrupted files/folders.

  • Presumably Windows does something hokey to fake proper file permissions within its linux filesystem, which will break if edited directly with Windows apps. – Dan Feb 22 '19 at 11:02

I have not used the Ubuntu installer for Windows 10 yet but there is a great article on how you can access the Ubuntu subsystem via Windows Explorer: https://www.howtogeek.com/261383/how-to-access-your-ubuntu-bash-files-in-windows-and-your-windows-system-drive-in-bash/

Hope this helps.

Kind Regards, Mo

  • Welcome to Super User! Please quote the essential parts of the answer from the reference link(s), as the answer can become invalid if the linked page(s) change. – DavidPostill Jan 30 '19 at 14:17

There are driver apps available, but I would advise much testing before you use them in a production environment. I say this because I have had three ext4 filesystems corrupted severely by the ext2fsd driver in Windows 10 in a dual boot system when I used it to write into ext4 partitions, and their website cautions against ext4 use now.
Linux Reader from Diskinternals is a read-only driver, which reduces risk.
Ext2read also works with ext3 and ext4 as do the others. All the above are Open Source and free-as-in-beer.
Ext2 IFS is freeware, not Open Source, and described as working with ext2 and ext3 with some ext4 features.
A commercial product which says it supports most ext4 features ( excluding bigalloc, journal_dev, meta_bg, and inline_data ) is Paragon Software's Linux File Systems for Windows.

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