Windows Subsystem for Linux is getting a major update with several new features

September 19, 2023

The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is getting a major update with several new features and bug fixes.

“To get access to this new version, just run this command in PowerShell: wsl –update; wsl –update –pre-release, or you can download it manually from the WSL GitHub repository,” says Microsoft in an updated entry on the devs’ blog.

Dubbed as v. 2.0, the new features include:

  • Automatic memory reclaim: This feature automatically reclaims cached memory when WSL is not in use, which can improve performance and reduce memory usage.
  • Sparse VHD: This feature automatically shrinks the size of WSL virtual hard disks (VHDs) as they are used, which can save disk space.
  • Mirrored networking mode: This new networking mode mirrors the network interfaces that you have on Windows into Linux, to add new networking features and improve compatibility.
  • DNS tunneling: This feature changes how DNS requests are proxied from WSL to Windows, which can improve network compatibility for users with VPNs, specific firewall setups, or other networking configurations.
  • Hyper-V Firewall: This feature allows you to apply Windows Firewall rules and rules specific to Hyper-V traffic to WSL network traffic.
  • AutoProxy: This feature automatically enforces WSL to use Windows’ HTTP proxy information, which can improve network compatibility when using an HTTP proxy.

In addition to these new features, the release also includes a number of bug fixes, such as fixing the issue where the Store WSL is not accessible from Session 0 and adding Windows snapping for WSL GUI apps.

You can read the official changelog from Microsoft on GitHub

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