Install Vue.js on Windows Subsystem for Linux

A guide to help you set up a Vue.js development environment on Windows by installing the Vue.js web framework on Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). Learn more on the Vue.js overview page.

Vue can be installed directly on Windows or on WSL. We generally recommend installing on WSL if you are planning to interact with a NodeJS backend, want parity with a Linux production server, or plan to follow along with a tutorial that utilizes Bash commands. For more info, see Should I install on Windows or Windows Subsystem for Linux?.


  • Install Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), including a Linux distribution (like Ubuntu) and make sure it is running in WSL 2 mode. You can check this by opening PowerShell and entering: wsl -l -v
  • Install Node.js on WSL 2: This includes a version manager, package manager, Visual Studio Code, and the Remote Development extension. The Node Package Manager (npm) is used to install Vue.js.


Installing a Linux distribution with WSL will create a directory for storing files: \\wsl\Ubuntu-20.04 (substitute Ubuntu-20.04 with whatever Linux distribution you're using). To open this directory in Windows File Explorer, open your WSL command line, select your home directory using cd ~, then enter the command explorer.exe . Be careful not to install or store files that you will be working with on the mounted C drive (/mnt/c/Users/yourname$). Doing so will significantly slow down your install and build times.

Install Vue.js

To install Vue.js on WSL:

  1. Open a WSL command line (ie. Ubuntu).

  2. Create a new project folder: mkdir VueProjects and enter that directory: cd VueProjects.

  3. Install Vue.js using Node Package Manager (npm):

npm install vue

Check the version number you have installed by using the command: vue --version.


To install Vue.js using a CDN, rather than NPM, see the Vue.js install docs.

Install Vue CLI

Vue CLI is a toolkit for working with Vue in your terminal / command line. It enables you to quickly scaffold a new project (vue create), prototype new ideas (vue serve), or manage projects using a graphical user interface (vue ui). Vue CLI is a globally installed npm package that handles some of the build complexities (like using Babel or Webpack) for you. If you are not building a new single-page app, you may not need or want Vue CLI.

To install Vue CLI, use npm. You must use the -g flag to globally install in order to upgrade (vue upgrade --next):

npm install -g @vue/cli

To learn more about additional plugins that can be added (such as linting or Apollo for integrating GraphQL), visit Vue CLI plugins in the Vue CLI docs.

Additional resources