Microsoft will soon bring a full custom-built Linux kernel for Windows 10. This move looks to make Windows 10 more open-source friendly and improve the performance of Windows Subsystem for Linux. Now, let’s see some details about this Microsoft-built Linux kernel.

Microsoft Is Shipping the Linux Kernel

This is not the first time Microsoft is doing something incredible.

In recent years, Microsoft's support for the Linux developer community has surprised many, for example, bringing things like Bash shell to Windows or native OpenSSH in Windows 10, and even including Ubuntu, Fedora and SUSE Linux in the Windows Store.

Now, Microsoft is going even further, with a plan to ship a full Linux kernel directly in Windows 10 to underpin the newest version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and provide users with amazing Linux experience on Windows.

You Can Run Linux Distro Pengwin on Windows Subsystem for Linux
You Can Run Linux Distro Pengwin on Windows Subsystem for Linux

Now you can run Pengwin, a new Linux distro in Windows 10 thanks to Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). Read this post to learn more about the new system.

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Linux Kernel for Windows 10

This kernel will provide the underpinnings for Microsoft’s WSL 2.0 feature.

According to the announcement blog of Microsoft, WSL2 is a new version of the architecture that powers the Windows Subsystem for Linux to run ELF64 Linux binaries in Windows.

This new architecture changes the way that these Linux binaries interact with Windows and computer hardware but still has the same user experience as in WSL1. WSL2 runs its Linux kernel inside of a lightweight utility virtual machine using the latest and greatest in virtualization technology.

WSL2 won’t provide any userspace binaries, as is the case with WSL1. Instead, the kernel will interface with userspace that is selected by the user. Usually, the user can be able to choose the wanted Linux distribution available in the Microsoft store or sideloaded via the creation of a custom distribution package.

This is a big shift for Microsoft, which means the first time that Linux will be included as a component of Windows 10.

WSL 2 will roll out to Windows Insiders program by the end of June 2019.

According to Program Manager of Microsoft, Jack Hammons, Microsoft-built Linux kernel is based on version 4.19 initially, the latest long-term stable release of Linux. This is the same kernel used in the technology used by Azure.

Besides, the kernel will be rebased when specifying new long-term releases to make sure the WSL kernel always has the goodness of the latest Linux.

What’s more, users will see faster Linux boot time and more efficient memory use by using a built-in Linux kernel rather using emulation architecture it developed for Bash on Unbuntu on Windows with WSL1.

For developers, it should significantly improve the performance of Microsoft’s Linux subsystem in Windows. Besides, this company is promising to update this kernel via Windows Update and the kernel will be fully open-sourced with the ability for developers to create their own WSL kernel and contribute back all changes.

Further Reading: Windows Terminal

On the same day, Microsoft also introduced a new command line app for Windows, Windows Terminal for users, which gives a makeover to one of its longest-running and most familiar-looking tools.

The terminal includes features like multiple tab support, tear-away windows, shortcuts, emojis, and support for themes and extensions.

And it is designed to be the central location to access environments like PowerShell and CMD, as well as the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

The End

Now, most of information about Linux kernel for Windows 10 is introduced. If you are the users who want to experience Linux on Windows, just wait for a period of time since the Linux kernel integration will be available later this year, with a Windows 10 update that’s codenamed 19H2.

Note: You had better back up your important files before a Windows update with MiniTool ShadowMaker.
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