What to Expect with Microsoft’s Windows Subsystem for Linux 2

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Microsoft announced that it would release the second generation of Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) by the end of June 2019. This week the company made good on that promise by announcing the release of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18917, which includes WSL 2, among other new features. In this article, I’ll first recap what the first generation of WSL (WSL 1) was and what it delivered, and then I’ll delve into the details and new features that WSL 2 is expected to bring to the table.

WSL 1 allowed Linux binary executables to run natively on Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019. WSL was designed to run inside a console on a Windows system; from this console, many popular Linux commands and programs could be run, and could also interact (albeit in a somewhat limited basis) with Windows files. For the first release of WSL, Microsoft wrote a Linux-compatible kernel interface that didn’t contain any Linux kernel code.

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