Expo with WSL2 over lan

I recently started using expo with WSL2, and want to connect a physical device to expo. The tunnel option works, but is slow and impossible to use with a debugger. I’d like to be able to connect directly with a device on the same wifi network.

There are some problems with the networking configuration in WSL2, but I’ve been able to overcome them when using a python webserver. If I do the following:

(On windows)
netsh interface portproxy add v4tov4 listenport=19000 listenaddress=0.0.0.0 connectport=19000 connectaddress=127.0.0.1
netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="TCP Port Open" dir=in action=allow protocol=TCP localport=19000

(on ubuntu)
python3 -m http.server 19000

Then I am able to access the following:
localhost:19000
192.168.1.3:19000 (windows ip, from same machine)
192.168.1.3:19000 (from external device on same lan network)

However, when I run expo start I can only access from localhost. Now, I noticed that expo by default binds to the local WSL ip, while the python command binds to 0.0.0.0

So I tried export env REACT_NATIVE_PACKAGER_HOSTNAME=0.0.0.0
Now, expo starts on the same ip and port as the python command, but I am still unable to connect to expo. Is there something I’m missing in how it binds to the address?

One thing I noticed is ss -tulw prints
(expo)

Netid           State             Recv-Q            Send-Q                         Local Address:Port                          Peer Address:Port
tcp             LISTEN            0                 128                                        *:19000                                    *:*

(python)

Netid           State             Recv-Q            Send-Q                         Local Address:Port                          Peer Address:Port
tcp             LISTEN            0                 5                                    0.0.0.0:19000                              0.0.0.0:*

I’d really like to get expo working smoothly with WSL2 so that I can debug properly, so if anyone has suggestions I’d greatly appreciate it!

  Expo CLI 3.21.5 environment info:
    System:
      OS: Linux 4.19 Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS (Bionic Beaver)
      Shell: 4.4.20 - /bin/bash
    Binaries:
      Node: 14.3.0 - ~/.nvm/versions/node/v14.3.0/bin/node
      Yarn: 1.12.3 - /usr/bin/yarn
      npm: 6.14.5 - ~/.nvm/versions/node/v14.3.0/bin/npm
    npmPackages:
      expo: ^37.0.12 => 37.0.12
      react: 16.9.0 => 16.9.0
      react-dom: 16.9.0 => 16.9.0
      react-native: https://github.com/expo/react-native/archive/sdk-37.0.1.tar.gz => 0.61.4
      react-native-web: ~0.11.7 => 0.11.7
      react-navigation: ^4.3.9 => 4.3.9
    npmGlobalPackages:
      expo-cli: 3.21.5
1 Like

I have the same issue. First of all, make sure you do the same for port 19001 on Windows, as it is used by the Metro bundler. I have both forwarded and added to firewall exceptions, I can access both from anywhere on my local network, including from the phone where the Expo app is installed - I can load both in its browser. However, the app simply fails to open. When I run Expo on my Mac machine the app connects just fine.

I’m having the same problem. I start expo on my linux distro, inside WSL… and I receive as IP something like exp://172.27.226.58:19000 to LAN mode

But when try access it from my smarthphone, nothing happens.

Its a problem, because, work over tunnel its slow

I FOUND THE SOLUTION

FOR THOSO WHO WANT TO ACCESS THE EXPO INSIDE LAN WITH WSL, FOLLOW THE STEPS INSIDE

Can confirm, this seems to work.

Don’t forget to set both ports 19000 and 19001.

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