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If you're running WSL on Windows and seeing the error message "Temporary failure in name resolution", here's what's going on and how to fix it.

Verify the problem

You'll see that error any time a request comes from WSL to the internet. Verify by pinging some website from the WSL terminal, e.g. via ping If you see that "Temporary failure" error instead of the ping expected data, you've got a DNS resolution problem. But we can fix it.

Why is this happening?

The WSL configuration file /etc/wsl.conf contains, by default, a setting generateResolvConf = false that is intended to prevent the Linux instance from resetting your DNS resolution settings on each bootup. Unfortunately that setting does not stop the instance from deleting your settings.

You can set your DNS resolver manually, but it'll get deleted every time you reboot unless you mark the file as read-only. So that's what we'll do.

Update /etc/resolv.conf and make it read-only

Run the following commands in your WSL terminal, changing the nameservers if you feel so inclined:

# /etc/resolv.conf is a symbol link, delete it to create a regular file
sudo rm /etc/resolv.conf
sudo tee /etc/resolv.conf << EOF
nameserver # Cloudflare
nameserver # Google
nameserver # Google

# Mark as read-only to prevent deletion on reboot
sudo chattr +i /etc/resolv.conf

Thanks to the the WSL GitHub issue on the topic, and specifically the comment by GitHub user wjzhou, for this answer!