WSL2 in a VM requires nested virtualization

I successfully used Séb’s instructions to install WSL in a Windows 10 virtual machine in VirtualBox, but I then failed to upgrade it to WSL2.

WSL2 runs in a virtual machine, so for this to work in a Windows 10 VM, nested virtualization needs to be enabled. I did enable it in my VM’s configuration, but this didn’t seem to make a difference.

I know others have had better luck using kvm and virt-manager. I’ll continue poking at it when I get a chance, in the meantime if anyone has encountered the same problem and has managed to solve it, I’m all ears!

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@saviq kindly pointed out that VirtualBox’s support for nested virtualization is currently limited to AMD CPUs. No luck with my Intel CPU, I’ll give kvm a try.

Nested virtualization with QEMU/KVM works, and I got WSL2 running in a Windows 10 VM on a 19.04 host.


Why do you need to run the Terminal in WSL2, when you can do that in the (pure) Linux system?

@chanath we’ve already been through this on a different thread. You know the reasons.
Please don’t keep asking the same question over and over.


Is there someone who got WSL2 on the kvm of 18.04 host?

I’m getting the message below when trying install linux distribution on WSL2.

Installing, this may take a few minutes...
WslRegisterDistribution failed with error: 0x80370109
Error: 0x80370109 ?? ?? ?? ?????? ??? ?? ??? ??? ?? ??? ???????.

Press any key to continue...

@oSoMoN Could you share a working libvirt XML for the KVM/QEMU setup? I got Hyper-V to install inside the VM but wsl2 only returns an error on startup.

I have wsl 1 running on a windows virtual machine with kubuntu 20.04 as host and i am using virtualbox 6.1, which supports intel nested virtualization. i have also enabled nested virtualisation and when i use wsl 1 to check it, i get positive rsults but when converting to wsl 2, it tells me to enbale virtual machine platfrom feature and enable virtualisation when i have already enabled the feature and nested virtualisation and also have enabled hypervisor platform feature… Pls help??

To my knowledge Hyper-V (and thus WSL 2) does not work nested in Virtual Box, which is a type 2 hypervisor. I would recommend using a KVM-based solution instead.

Could you help me set it up since i a just a person who is new to virtualisation and stuff since i have come here out of pure interest

The easiest way to get started with KVM with a GUI is to use gnome-boxes.

Boxes (