You may encounter the Server execution failed error in WSL on one or more instances on your Windows 11 or Windows 10 system; including when you try to run a Linux distro, when you try to run a bash command in that environment, or when you try to update/install WSL or upgrade WSL 1 to WSL 2. This post provides the most suitable fixes to this error in all cases. Keep in mind that solving the error may depend on your environment scenario.
Fix Server execution failed error in WSL
If the Server execution failed error has occurred in the WSL environment on your Windows 11/10 machine, you can try our recommended solutions below in no particular order and see if that helps to resolve the issue.
- Initial checklist
- Disable and Re-enable WSL
- Disable Virtual Machine platform
- Reset Windows 11/10
Let’s take a look at the description of the process involved concerning each of the listed solutions.
1] Initial checklist
Before you try the solutions below, you can do the following, and after each task see if you can complete without issues the initial task that was throwing the error in highlight:
- Restart LxssManager Service. LxssManager is a user-mode session manager service that launches a new instance of WSL running native ELF binaries. If this service is stopped or disabled, those binaries will no longer run. To restart LxssManager Service, follow the instructions in the post WslRegisterDistribution failed with error: 0x800700b7 or 0x80080005.
- Restart PC. If restarting LxssManager Service is stuck on “Stopping” phase or the action completed but the issue in focus persists, you can just restart the system altogether.
- Update Windows. If Windows is not updated on your system, it’s likely some functions or features will not work properly. So, check for updates and install any available bits on your Windows 11/10 device and see if the error reappears. On the other hand, if the error started after a recent Windows update, you can perform System Restore or uninstall the update – but if you prefer to do either task as a last resort, you can then go ahead with the solutions below.
2] Disable and Re-enable WSL
If you have encountered the Server execution failed error in WSL on your Windows 11/10 computer, you can troubleshoot the WSL error by disabling and re-enabling Windows Subsystem for Linux on your device.
To disable and re-enable WSL, is as simple as turning the feature Off/On in the Windows Optional Features applet in Control Panel or running a PowerShell cmdlet.
To enable the Windows Subsystem for Linux feature using the Turn Windows features on or off dialog box, you need to search for Turn Windows Features on or off in the Windows search box.
From the populated list, check the option for Windows Subsystem for Linux. Select OK. It will search and install some required system files and ask you to reboot your computer. After restarting your computer, your Linux distro would be working without any issues.
Alternatively, open Windows PowerShell with Administrator level rights. Execute the following command to enable the Windows Subsystem for Linux feature:
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux
It will start searching for and installing some required system files.
When prompted, you need to type Y to reboot your computer.
It will install all the required system files, and your Linux distro would usually be working now.
Be sure to reboot the PC after disabling, and reboot once again after enabling.
However, this solution might not be ideal if the error is triggered multiple times as reported by some affected PC users. In this case, you can try any other solution in this post.
3] Disable Virtual Machine platform
This solution requires you to disable the Virtual machine platform – and not only just disabling Hyper-V on your Windows 11/10 machine. To perform this task, do the following:
- Press Windows key + X to open Power User Menu.
- Tap A on the keyboard to launch PowerShell in admin/elevated mode.
- In the PowerShell console, copy and paste in the command below and hit Enter:
$ dism.exe /online /disable-feature /featurename:VirtualMachinePlatform /norestart $ dism.exe /online /disable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Hyper-V /norestart
- Exit PowerShell once the command executes.
- Restart computer.
4] Reset Windows 11/10
If nothing has worked so far, at this point, you might be dealing with severe system corruption which can’t be resolved by conventional methods, for example; SFC/DISM scan. In this case, to see if the issue will be fixed, you can reset Windows 11/10 with the option to keep your personal files. After the reset, you can freshly set up WSL on your device.
In the unlikely event, the issue in focus persists after the reset procedure, you can raise an issue on GitHub.com for WSL-related issues.
Hope this post helps you!
Related post: Windows Backup Server execution failed (0x80080005)
Why do I keep getting server execution failed?
The Server execution failed Windows Media Player error may be caused by windows system files damage. This error might also occur if for some reason the Windows media player network service is stopped or if there is a problem with your user account.
Why my WSL is not working?
If WSL is not working on your Windows 11/10 PC, it could be due to a number of reasons, including outdated OS or corrupt system files. So generally, you can update your version of Windows. If the issue persists and you need to access WSL, consider performing an in-place upgrade by reinstalling Windows using installation media and selecting Keep Everything to ensure your apps and files are preserved.
Related: Explorer.exe Server execution failed
Is WSL faster than a VM?
It’s also much faster to launch the WSL terminal than to start up a full VM. WSL also integrates much more fully into Windows than a regular VM in VirtualBox does. While there are ways to integrate your Windows desktop and a Linux VM in VirtualBox, it can take some time to get it working properly. WSL 2 runs as a Hyper-V virtual machine.