Microsoft has announced the general availability of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), which is now available in full form from the Microsoft Store.
Previously available as a preview, WSL allows developers to use their favorite development laptop to run a GNU/Linux environment without the overhead of a traditional VM or dual-boot setup, according to Microsoft.
“Our goal is to encourage as many people as possible to use the WSL Store version as it provides the best experience with the latest features,” wrote Craig Loewen, Windows Developer Platform Program Manager in a blog post (opens in a new tab) announcing the news.
WSL for Windows 10
Loewen added that the new version of WSL, which includes “hundreds” of bug fixes and improvements, will also be available on Windows 11 and Windows 10, meaning it will be available to around 87% of all Windows users.
The Microsoft Store version is what users will get when they run “wsl –install” or “wsl –update” on the command line, and it also promises to deliver faster and easier updates compared to the Windows component.
If you’re already using a version that wasn’t available in the Microsoft Store, you’ll probably want to upgrade. You can do this by downloading the latest backport, which will start rolling out to users automatically by the end of the year, says Loewen.
You will also need Windows 10 21H1, 21H2 or 22H2 or Windows 11 21H2 with all November updates applied.
The fact that WSL will be available in the Microsoft Store for Windows 10 users will be good news for many users who have chosen not to upgrade to Windows 11.
Latest statistics counter (opens in a new tab) data suggests that 71% of Windows users prefer Windows 10. Windows 11 now takes up 15% of the space, down from less than 3% in early 2022.