WSL2 is a memory hog and how to fix it.

September 25, 2020


Imagine my surprise when playing around with the Ubuntu distro in WSL, I find out that 50% of my memory at idle is in use. I have 16GB of memory. Anything above 30% at idle should be an anomaly. There's no reason for vmmemm to be taking up a whopping 10% of my available memory at idle. Or at least, I don't there should be.

Thankfully, Simon Peter Debbarma outlines a way to limit the amount of RAM that the WSL distro can access at any given time.

Use wsl -l -v to check out all running distros on your WSL. Then, wsl -t {insert distro} to terminate the ones in use. Or, simply wsl --shutdown. 🔗

The tradeoff in performance by limiting the amount of RAM WSl can access is obvious. It doesn't seem like WSL should be this inefficient, but maybe I'm splitting hairs here. Ubuntu inside windows does seem like its still too good to be true doesn't it?