Microsoft Publishes WSL Preview Inside the Windows 11 Store

Written by Michael Larabel in Microsoft on 11 October 2021 at 03:21 PM EDT. 22 Comments
Those running Microsoft's recently released Windows 11 will now be able to find the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) available from within the Microsoft Store for easier setting up of this Linux-based environment.

Microsoft is now making WSL itself available within the Microsoft Store rather than through the existing approach of needing to enable the optional component within the "Turn Windows Features On/Off" area.

As for shifting around of WSL in making it available from the Microsoft Store, Craig Loewen commented, "This change moves those binaries from being part of the Windows image, to instead being part of an application that you install from the Store. This decouples WSL from your Windows version, allowing you to update through the Microsoft Store instead. So now once new features like GUI app support, GPU compute, and Linux file system drive mounting are developed, tested and ready for a release you will get access to it right away on your machine without needing to update your entire Windows OS, or going to Windows Insider preview builds."

For now this WSL in the Microsoft Store is being treated as a "preview" but in going for this version WSLg is now bundled inside for graphics support, the wsl.exe command has new mount features, it's leveraging a Linux 5.10.60 LTS based kernel, and various other enhancements.

More details on these changes to WSL in Windows 11 via the Microsoft Store can be found via this Microsoft developer blog post.

In case you missed it from the end of September, there are some fresh Windows 11 WSL2 benchmarks against bare metal Ubuntu Linux.
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