Microsoft announced that the Store version of Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is now generally available for Windows 10 and 11 users. Aside from that, the company said that it is no longer a Windows component, making receiving WSL updates faster. The Store version of WSL is also now the default for new users who run wsl –install, while existing ones can easily upgrade their current WSL by running wsl –update.
“Today the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) in the Microsoft Store is dropping its ‘Preview’ label and becomes generally available with our latest release!” Announces Craig Loewen, Program Manager II at Windows Developer Platform. “wsl.exe –install will now automatically install the Store version of WSL, and will no longer enable the ‘Windows Subsystem for Linux’ optional component, or install the WSL kernel or WSLg MSI packages as they are no longer needed (The Virtual machine platform optional component will still be enabled, and by default Ubuntu will still be installed).”
To get the Store version, Windows 10 and Windows 11 users need to have the right versions for their systems. Specifically, Windows 10 requires version 21H1, 21H2, or 22H2, while Windows 11 needs 21H2 and later with all November updates applied.
“You will know you have this update when you check that KB5020030 is installed on Windows 10, or KB5019157 on Windows 11,” explains Loewen. “Once you have the right Windows version, if you’re a new user you can just run wsl –install and you will be set up right away to use WSL. If you’re an existing user run wsl –update to update to the latest Store version. You can always check if you’re on the Store version by running wsl –version which will show you the version number, and will fail if you’re using the in-Windows version of WSL.”
Aside from making the Store version available both for Windows 11 and 10, the latter OS users can now get access to Linux GUI apps that were only previously available on the former. The default WSL Store version also comes with a set of new features and delivers hundreds of bug fixes and improvements. Upon upgrading to the Store version, some of the biggest things users can expect are the systemd support option and improved error printing.
Here are the other significant highlights of the WSL’s Store version: