WLinux & WLinux Enterprise Benchmarks, The Linux Distributions Built For Windows 10 WSL
Making the news rounds a few months back was "WLinux", which was the first Linux distribution designed for Microsoft's Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) on Windows 10. But is this pay-to-play Linux distribution any faster than the likes of Ubuntu, openSUSE, and Debian already available from the Microsoft Store? Here are some benchmarks of these different Linux distribution options with WSL.
WLinux is a Linux distribution derived from Debian that is focused on offering an optimal WSL experience. This distribution isn't spun by Microsoft but a startup called Whitewater Foundry. WLinux focuses on providing good defaults for WSL with the catering of its default package set while the Debian archive via APT is still accessible. There is also support for graphical applications when paired with a Windows-based X client. For this easy-setup, quick-to-get-going Linux distribution on WSL, it retails for $19.99 USD from the Microsoft Store though often sells for $9.99 USD.
Whitewater Foundry also offers WLinux Enterprise. Rather than being a Debian-based WSL operating system, WLinux Enterprise is derived from the EL7 / Scientific Linux 7 package set. WLinux Enterprise is also available from the Microsoft Store where it has a listed retail price of $99.99 USD though is on sale for $5.99.
Whitewater Foundry had sent over some review keys for WLinux a while back so I decided to do some WSL options currently on Windows 10: Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, openSUSE Leap 42.3, and Debian Stretch. There has been indications of Intel engineers exploring WSL support for Clear Linux, which would be quite interesting given its performance focus, but so far we haven't seen that offering premiere yet via the Microsoft Store.
The same system was used for all of this benchmarking, which consisted of an Intel Core i9 7980XE, ASUS PRIME X299-A motherboard, 4 x 4GB DDR4-3200MHz memory, Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSD, and GeForce GTX TITAN X. Windows 10 Pro x64 was running on the system with all available system updates as of Build 17763. For supported tests, besides the WSL Linux distributions tested there are also results from the bare metal Windows 10 installation. All of these Linux and Windows benchmarks were carried out using the Phoronix Test Suite.