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Microsoft Adds Support for WSL2 Distros on Windows Server 2022

Microsoft Adds Support for WSL2 Distros on Windows Server 2022

Microsoft has announced that Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL 2) distros are now supported on Windows Server 2022 after installing this week’s cumulative update previews.

To install the Windows Server 2022 KB5014021 update, you must go to Settings > Windows Update and manually ‘Check for updates.’ 

Windows will not install it until you click the ‘Download now’ button because this is an optional update. You can also manually download and install this cumulative update from the Microsoft Update Catalog.

The announcement was made by Windows Developer Platform Program Manager Craig Loewen, on GitHub, in reply to a WSL issue from December 2020 about WSL 2 being broken on Windows Server Preview.

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“Hi folks, we’ve added support for WSL 2 distros on Windows Server 2022! This is available right now by installing KB5014021,” Loewen said.

“Currently this update is only available for seekers, and next month it will be pushed by default. Going forwards, WSL will be supported both on Windows server and Windows desktop SKUs.”

Short WSL history

Microsoft released WSL in 2018 as a compatibility layer that makes it possible for Windows 10 users to run Linux binaries in ELF format natively on their computers, using a PowerShell or Windows 10 command prompt.

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WSL 2 was pushed in May 2019 as a major upgrade to the initial release, increasing file system performance, adding support for full system call compatibility, and using virtualization tech to run a Linux kernel inside a lightweight virtual machine (VM).

Microsoft provides step-by-step guidance on installing and launching Linux GUI apps on your PC. Once installed, these Linux apps can be launched from the Start menu or a Command Prompt window.

WSL 2 also comes with support for using GUI-based Linux apps since the introduction of WSLg (short for Windows Subsystem for Linux GUI) when rolling out Windows 10 Insiders in May 2021.



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