You may encounter the WSL Register Distribution Failed error due to the disabled subsystem for Linux. This means there is a corrupt installation of the Linux distro application. This error came up when I was launching WSL Ubuntu 18.04 LTS from the Microsoft store or when I tried to launch the Linux terminal with the following message. As stated below, this error happens because the Windows Subsystem for Linux optional component is not installed. See the following guide for more information “What is Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)“, How to install Windows Subsystem for Linux on Windows 11 via the Command line, and Microsoft Store, and “VirtualBox: How to install the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) on Windows Server via Server Manager and PowerShell“.
There are various ways to go about this: Via PowerShell and the Control Panel or Windows Settings.
Via the Control or Windows Settings
To do this via the control panel, see the link on how to install Windows Subsystem for Linux WSL on Windows 10.
Launch Windows Control Panel or Windows Settings
– Click on Apps
Click on optional features as shown below
Next, Click on More Windows Features. This will open a window to Turn Windows Feature On or Off as shown below.
Click on OK to have this feature installed. Note: You will have to restart your device. This is required in order to ensure that WSL can initiate a trusted execution environment.
– On how WSL can be installed via the control panel, see the link on how to install Windows Subsystem for Linux WSL on Windows 10.
Before you can run Linux distros on Windows, you must enable the “Windows Subsystem for Linux” optional feature and reboot.
Step 1: Open PowerShell as Administrator and run the syntax (commands) below.
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux
I hope you found this blog post helpful in Fixing the WSL Register Distribution failed error. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.