Technology

Windows Subsystem for Linux gains momentum

The Microsoft Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), which allows you to run GNU/Linux environments on Windows 10 and Windows 11, has reached version 1.0.0 and is now available.

Microsoft has been building WSL and its own custom Linux kernel for several years now. At first, WSL and WSL2 were optional components of Windows, but in October last year, Microsoft made a preview of WSL available in the Microsoft Store as a standalone app.

The Store version can offer users—primarily developers and IT pros—faster updates and features that are independent of Windows updates.

Microsoft is making the WSL Store app the default app for new users

WSL is popular with developers: A 2022 Stack Overflow Developer Survey found that 15% of developers used WSL, compared to 31% on macOS, 40% on the Linux distribution, and 62% on Windows.

In addition to removing the “preview” tag from WSL, Microsoft is making the WSL Store app the default app for new users.

As Microsoft pointed out last October when Windows 11 was released, the long-term plan was to upgrade WSL users to the Store edition. However, Windows 11 still supported the “inbound version” of WSL while continuing to develop the Store version.

Ability to choose systemd support

With this release, Microsoft is supporting WSL features for Windows 10 and 11 to make the WSL version of the Store the default. The latest backport is available to “researchers” who click “Check for Updates” in Windows Settings, but it will be automatically downloaded to devices in mid-December.

Updates are available for Windows 10 21H1, 21H2, or 22H2 or Windows 11 21H2 with all November updates.

“If you have the correct version of Windows, if you are a new user, you can simply run wsl –install and you will be set to use WSL right away. If you are an existing user, run wsl –update to update to the latest version of the Store,” says Craig Lowen, Microsoft WSL Program Manager.

Microsoft detailed a number of command changes now that the Store version of WSL is the default, noting that “wsl.exe –install will now automatically install the Store version of WSL and will no longer include the Windows Subsystem for Linux add-on.” and will not install the MSI WSL core or WSLg packages as they are no longer needed. The optional VM platform component will still be enabled and Ubuntu will still be installed by default.

Microsoft specifies that if you run WSL using the once-a-week version of the Windows Add-on, it will display a message at startup stating that you can upgrade to the Store version by running wsl –update.

One of the main new features of WSL 1.0 is the ability for users to choose to support systemd, the Linux system and service manager that was once deprecated and runs by default on several Linux distributions, including Ubuntu and Debian. Microsoft began allowing systemd to run on WSL distributions in September after making necessary architectural changes to the WSL initialization process to make systemd the first process on a Linux system to run the rest of the system.

Additionally, Windows 10 users can use Linux GUI apps, a feature that was previously reserved for Windows 11 users.

Source: .com

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