Windows Subsystem for Linux is now available to everyone

Windows Subsystem for Linux is now available to everyone

Microsoft has announced the general availability of Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), which is now fully available on the Microsoft Store.

Previously available in preview form, WSL allows developers to use their favorite laptop to program to run a GNU/Linux environment without the overhead of a traditional virtual machine or dual-boot setup, according to Microsoft.

“Our goal is to get as many people as possible to use the Store version of WSL because it provides the best experience with the latest features,” Craig Loewen, Developer Platform Windows Program Manager, wrote 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 contains "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 receive when they run "wsl --install" or "wsl --update" on the command line, and it also promises to provide faster and easier updates compared to when it was a 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 getting the latest backport, which will start being pushed to users automatically at the end of the year, Loewen says.

You'll also need to be running Windows 10 21H1, 21H2, or 22H2, or Windows 11 21H2 with all the November updates applied.

The fact that WSL is available in the Microsoft Store for Windows 10 users will be good news for many users who have decided not to upgrade to Windows 11.

The latest figures from StatCounter(opens in a new tab) suggest that 71% of Windows users prefer Windows 10. Windows 11 currently occupies 15% of the space, up from less than 3% in early 2022.