Is there any way to run existing TexLive installed on my Windows 10 through the Linux feature of windows WSL (windows sub-system for linux) or should it be installed separately on the WSL?

I have the feeling that installing a complete TL on the WSL while it is already installed on windows will be a waste of hardware memory space resources.

  • Edit the path and make your WSL read the existing texlive distribution. This might be helpful.
    – Niranjan
    Dec 8, 2019 at 8:56
  • 3
    you could use the windows binaries (but they will not understand the wsl filesystem mounts, or symbolic links, so it is better to use the linux binaries, but you only need the binaries you can, if you want, share all the texmf input tree for fonts and packaages etc Dec 8, 2019 at 9:14
  • If it's possible :) I did it just to play, check this (tug.org/pipermail/tex-live/2019-July/043969.html) maybe you'll get an idea. Dec 8, 2019 at 19:29

2 Answers 2


The only advantage of installing TL over WSL is the speed at compile times, I did the test installing using WSL 1.0 (version 2.0 is not yet available). If you're looking to improve the compile times a bit, it's better to install the 64-bit TL version.

Back to your question, the answer is YES, to use TL from windows under WSL, you only have to call the executables with their extension .exe. for example:

pdflatex.exe file.tex

And if you have decided to install TL under WSL, you only have to add wsl before the executable. for example:

wsl pdflatex file.tex

(be careful if you use xelatex, you will have to install fc and some more libraries).

  • 1
    +1 for giving the commands required to run the program in WSL, while TL is installed on windows.
    – enthu
    Dec 9, 2019 at 7:47

This is only a related comment but: If the choice of TeX distribution has little effect on performance, I would argue that being able to use an editor under WSL would be far more important. E.g., AFAIK, all the editors using Qt (e.g., TeXstudio or TexMaker), while available on Windows, compile extremely slowly there.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .