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Microsoft has a Linux-flavored treat in store for Windows Server users

Linux
(Image credit: Linux Foundation)

Microsoft has announced that Windows Server 2022 now supports Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL2), giving users access to more of the capabilities of Linux distros.

The company has been offering a degree of Linux support for over ten years, but the newest announcement, which went against the pessimistic predictions of many GitHub users, seems to be a touch of good fortune for users of Windows servers.   

WSL 2, which was originally released in May 2019 (opens in new tab), uses virtualization technology to run an open source Linux kernel inside of a lightweight utility virtual machine (VM). This empowers Windows users to run popular Linux apps such as Docker.

Microsoft claims that unlike a traditional VM experience, which it says can be slow to boot up, is isolated, consumes a lot of resources, and requires your time to manage it, WSL 2 does not have these attributes.           

Where can I get the update?

Users who want to install the upgrade can head here (opens in new tab), as its included in the latest Windows Server 2022 KB5014021 (opens in new tab) update. The update is currently optional, but will be automatically rolled out to users next month.

Users who want to better understand how to install Linux GUI apps from their command prompt can head here. (opens in new tab)

Windows Server updates have not been without issues in recent months, however, with Microsoft having to address various problems caused by the January 2021 Patch Tuesday updates.

The company issued an emergency out-of-band (OOB) update to address bugs that forced domain controllers to reboot endlessly, broke Hyper-V, and rendered ReFS volumes inaccessible while showing them as RAW file systems.

Will McCurdy has been writing about technology for over five years. He has a wide range of specialities including cybersecurity, fintech, cryptocurrency, blockchain, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, payments, retail technology, and venture capital investment. He has previously written for FStech, Retail Systems, and National Technology News and is an experienced podcast and webinar host, as well as an avid long form feature writer.