Proof-Of-Concept Work Brings systemd To Ubuntu WSL

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 16 November 2021 at 05:24 AM EST. 25 Comments
Currently when running Linux distributions within Microsoft's Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), systemd isn't used but that could soon be changing at least for Ubuntu.

Canonical continues working heavily on enhancing the capabilities of Ubuntu within the Microsoft Windows confines of WSL. Each week as part of their weekly status reports continues to reflect a great deal of attention to WSL (as well as their ongoing new desktop installer, Snaps, and Flutter efforts from the desktop side, just as OpenZFS support used to receive a lot of attention too).

This week one of the more interesting WSL mentions is proof-of-concept work on using systemd within Windows Subsystem for Linux. Well known Ubuntu developers Didier Roche and Jean Baptiste Lallement of Canonical's desktop team mentioned among their WSL work recently was "PoC of systemd on WSL at startup of an instance."

WSL(2) at large has been growing in popularity for running Linux software on Windows 10/11 with ease, these days even having GPU acceleration and GUI app support.

Systemd to date hasn't been used by WSL instances. There has been this enhancement ticket that had been seeking systemd support for WSL. Getting systemd working well on WSL would address issues like systemctl not working on WSL and other differences for users/developers accustomed to the systemd ways.

It will be interesting to see where this proof-of-concept work leads. So far no systemd support changes have landed in the Ubuntu WSL Git repository.

Ubuntu developers have also been working on re-branded WSL applications, improving the install/setup process of Ubuntu on WSL(2), and other enhancements with WSL being increasingly used by Windows 10/11 users for those being stuck on Windows due to their jobs / IT requirements, easier development and testing, and similar factors that have found increasing popularity of Microsoft's Windows Subsystem for Linux.
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