The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) has been one of Microsoft's great successes in recent years. Opening up Windows to run a proper GNU / Linux environment without the need for a virtual machine has made a huge difference to developers and occasional Linux dabblers around the world.
WSL was a popular addition to Windows 10 when the 2019 stable release came out. Now Microsoft is going one step further with Windows 11 and integrating WSL into the Microsoft Store as a regular store application for Windows 11 devices.
Why did Microsoft add WSL to the Microsoft Store?
Microsoft adds Windows Subsystem for Linux to Microsoft Store
It's something very official to be added to the Microsoft Store. Although the Windows subsystem for Linux has existed for over five years at this point, there has never been a simple Microsoft Store app that updates and updates like any other Store app.
So far it was an additional Windows function that was easy to install, but could break just as easily depending on the Windows version.
In short, it could be a spirited and sensitive kit. Now you don't have to worry about those pesky issues anymore as Microsoft is turning the Windows subsystem for Linux into a Microsoft Store app.
Traditionally, WSL was installed as an optional component in Windows. This means going to the Turn Windows Features On or Off dialog box to enable it and you will need to restart your computer. The actual binaries that make up the WSL logic in this optional component are part of the Windows image and are maintained and updated as part of Windows itself.
How to install the Windows Subsystem for Linux from the Microsoft Store
Before you go to the Microsoft Store to install WSL, make sure that:
You are using Windows 11 (Windows Build 22000 or higher) and
You have the Virtual machine platform optional component activated.
If the latter triggers you, as it does with some, you can enable the feature in PowerShell.
entry Power Shell In the Start menu's search bar, right-click and select Execute as administrator.
Enter the following command: dism.exe / online / enable-feature / featurename: VirtualMachinePlatform / all.
When you're done, go to the Windows Subsystem for Linux Microsoft Store page and select To install.
What's new in WSL?
Aside from being able to update WSL without worrying about breaking everything or losing your configuration, the new Windows 11 Microsoft Store version of the app also includes some upgrades.
The WSLg or Windows subsystem for Linux GUI is now integrated into the app
There are several new ones – mount characteristics
The WSL Linux kernel is updated to version 184.108.40.206
A new progress indicator
New –Execution Command displays version information
See the Microsoft Docs for WSL for a full list of updates.
WSL Microsoft Store app only available on Windows 11
The only downside is for users stuck on Windows 10 for whatever reason. At least for the time being, the new WSL Microsoft Store app won't be available for Windows 10 any time soon. It's a pure Windows 11 affair. Whether this situation will change in the future is not made clear on the Microsoft official blog announcing the new WSL app, but it doesn't even mention Windows 10, so don't expect a sudden change.
If you can upgrade to Windows 11 for free for the time being, check out the Windows Subsystem for Linux Microsoft Store app. Otherwise, you'll have to wait for Microsoft's minimum requirements for Windows 11 to change or for your free update to become available.
How to run a Linux desktop with the Windows Subsystem for Linux
Do you want to run Linux on your Windows PC? How to run a Linux desktop in Windows using the Windows Subsystem for Linux.
About the author
(966 published articles)
Gavin is the Junior Editor for Windows and Technology Explained, is a regular contributor to the Really Useful Podcast, and is a regular product reviewer. He has a BA (Hons) Contemporary Writing with Digital Art Practices Looted from the Devon Hills, as well as over a decade of professional writing experience. He enjoys plenty of tea, board games, and soccer.
By Gavin Phillips
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