HomeLINUX DISTROSWindows 10 WSL2 Now Available In Windows 10, V2004

Windows 10 WSL2 Now Available In Windows 10, V2004 [Updated]

Windows 10 WSL2 Will Be Usually Available In Windows 10, V2004: Microsoft’s love for Linux is increasing day by day, and the latest news signals toward the further strengthening of relationships for the long-term. The company is now making some big changes to the full-blown Linux kernel it’s adding to Windows 10.

According to a blog post, Microsoft will leverage Windows Update to provide automatic installation and updates for WSL2’s Linux kernel, similar to how it installs and updates device drivers. This method will come into place along with the new feature update Windows 10 2004 (20H1).

Streamlining The Windows Subsystem For Linux (WSL2)

In 2016, Microsoft introduced WSL to establish the GNU/Linux environment directly on Windows 10. Not only that, but it also included most command-line tools, utilities, and applications to run without the overhead of a virtual machine.

But WSL was behaving like a Linux interface, hence, users could only perform limited actions. Owing to that, they came up with a remodeled design, named WSL2, that included a new Microsoft-written Linux kernel. It’s a full-blown Linux kernel that brings much-needed performance improvements to the Windows Subsystem for Linux.

Now, to further enhance the regular support, Microsoft has removed the Linux kernel from the Windows 10 OS image. The goal is to provide automatic installation and updates without the need for installing a new Windows image. Subsequently, this change will improve the agility and flexibility of Linux kernel updates in WSL2.

How To Automatically Install And Update?

WSL2 Will Be Usually Available In Windows 10, V2004
Updating WSL2 from Windows settings

You’ll be able to install Linux kernel updates simply clicking on the “Check for Updates” button in Windows Settings.

“Our end goal is for this change to be seamless, where your Linux kernel is kept up to date without you needing to think about it. By default this will be handled entirely by Windows, just like regular updates on your machine,” said Microsoft Program Manager Craig Loewen in a blog post today outlining the coming change.

Loewen noted that initially, Windows 10 2004 users and Insider testers using Slow Ring preview builds will temporarily need to manually install the Linux kernel. They’ll receive within “a few months” an update that will add automatic install and servicing capabilities. (In fact, Slow Ring testers just got on March 13, a new Windows 10 2004 test build, 19041.153, which includes this servicing change to WSL2.)

WSL is what lets developers run a Linux environment, including most command-line tools, utilities and apps directly on Windows 10 and Windows Server. When Microsoft first introduced WSL in Windows 10 in 2016 WSL was more of a Linux interface at that point designed in partnership with Canonical. But Microsoft has been busy rearchitecting WSL with WSL 2 so that it actually will provide a Microsoft-written Linux kernel running in a lightweight virtual machine that’s based on the subset of Hyper V. Users can put any Linux distribution of their choice on that kernel.

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