Troubleshooting Debugging in VSCode with WSL2 and Ubuntu 22.04

What will you learn?

In this comprehensive guide, you will learn how to effectively troubleshoot and debug Python functions using Visual Studio Code (VSCode) on Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL2) with Ubuntu 22.04. You will explore common challenges faced during debugging in a multi-environment setup and discover structured solutions to enhance your development workflow.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

When developers work with Python across Windows, WSL2, and Ubuntu 22.04, they often encounter issues setting up the debugger correctly in VSCode. These challenges can stem from misconfigurations in VSCode settings, problems with the Python extension, or intricacies introduced by utilizing WSL2.

To overcome these obstacles, we will embark on a systematic approach aimed at identifying common pitfalls and implementing targeted solutions. Our journey includes verifying installation setups, adjusting configuration files, ensuring compatibility among components, and utilizing diagnostic tools provided by VSCode. By following this methodical troubleshooting process, we aim to restore a seamless debugging experience essential for efficient development workflows.


# Sample Python code snippet for demonstration purposes
def greet(name):
    greeting = f"Hello {name}!"
    return greeting


# Copyright PHD

Ensure: – Your Python interpreter is correctly selected within VSCode. – Verify that .vscode/launch.json accurately reflects your project’s debugging configuration.


The focus lies on configuring VSCode for successful debugging within WSL2:

  1. Selecting the Correct Interpreter: Choose the Python interpreter from your Linux distribution on WSL2 by accessing Python: Select Interpreter through the command palette (Ctrl+Shift+P).

  2. Configuring launch.json: Ensure proper configuration of launch.json for WSL by specifying “request”: “launch” and “program”: “${file}”, along with other necessary settings tailored to your project.

  3. Checking Extensions: Install all required extensions within the WSL extension of VSCode rather than solely on Windows.

By following these steps, you ensure seamless cross-environment functionality and maximize the utility of debugging tools available in VSCode when working on Python projects under WSL2 running Ubuntu 22.04.

    1. What is WSL2?

      • WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) version 2 provides an enhanced Linux kernel directly running on Windows systems, significantly improving performance compared to its predecessor.
    2. How do I check if my Python interpreter is set up correctly?

      • Open Command Palette (Ctrl+Shift+P), search for Python: Select Interpreter, and choose one associated with your desired Linux distribution under WSL.
    3. Why isn’t my breakpoint hitting while debugging?

      • This issue may arise due to incorrect path mappings or improper configurations in launch.json. Ensure paths align with expectations within your Linux environment.
    4. Can I use GUI-based applications with my current setup?

      • Yes! Recent updates from Microsoft have integrated support for graphical apps through their X server implementation called “WSLg”.
    5. Where should I install my extensions?

      • Critical extensions for development should be installed directly onto Visual Studio Code running inside your selected Linux distribution via its Extensions Marketplace.

Navigating complex environments involving Windows’ host OS alongside virtualized subsystems like WSL demands patience and meticulous configuration adjustments across each component involved such as paths, environment variables, permissions, etc. By following a structured troubleshooting approach outlined in this guide, you not only enhance problem-solving efficiency but also deepen your understanding of interoperable mechanisms at play´┐Żultimately fostering smoother development cycles moving forward.

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