Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

The Windows Subsystem for Linux lets developers run a GNU/Linux environment – including most command-line tools, utilities, and applications – directly on Windows, unmodified, without the overhead of a traditional virtual machine or dualboot setup.

Snippet from Wikipedia: Windows Subsystem for Linux

Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is a feature of Microsoft Windows that allows developers to run a Linux environment without the need for a separate virtual machine or dual booting. There are two versions of WSL: WSL 1 and WSL 2. WSL is not available to all Windows 10 users by default. It can be installed either by joining the Windows Insider program or manually via Microsoft Store or Winget.

WSL 1 was first released on August 2, 2016, and acts as a compatibility layer for running Linux binary executables (in ELF format) by implementing Linux system calls on the Windows kernel. It is available on Windows 10, Windows 10 LTSB/LTSC, Windows 11, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019 and Windows Server 2022.

In May 2019, WSL 2 was announced, introducing important changes such as a real Linux kernel, through a subset of Hyper-V features. WSL 2 differs from WSL 1 in that WSL 2 runs inside a managed virtual machine that implements the full Linux kernel. As a result, WSL 2 is compatible with more Linux binaries than WSL 1, as not all system calls were implemented in WSL 1. Since June 2019, WSL 2 is available to Windows 10 customers through the Windows Insider program, including the Home edition.


External links:

  • kb/windows_subsystem_for_linux_wsl.txt
  • Last modified: 2022/08/19 13:00
  • by Henrik Yllemo