One of the most surprising things about Windows 10 is that it includes an option that lets you run Linux applications natively. It’s called Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), and it’s been available as a beta feature since Windows 10 first launched.

Now Microsoft is getting ready to bring WSL out of beta.

When the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update launches later this year, WSL will be an officially supported feature.

Microsoft has brought a number of improvements to WSL over the past few years. You don’t need to enable developer mode anymore. In addition to Ubuntu, you can choose to install Fedora, OpenSUSE or SUSE Enterprise Linux. And you can run Windows apps from a Bash terminal window or Linux apps from a Windows PowerShell window.

Officially, only command-line applications are supported. The Windows Subsystem for Linux feature is aimed at developers who want to get work done within a Windows environment, while still using Linux tool. But users have been finding unofficial ways to load a graphical user interface for a while.

While there are no major new features coming to WSL with the Fall Creators Update, now that the feature is coming out of beta, you’ll be able to file issues and feedback using the normal Windows support tools.

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7 replies on “Linux-on-Windows comes out of beta this fall”

  1. This pretty much puts an end to commercial Linux desktop dreams. Linux developer will now run Linux under windows. There is a good reason why Canonical gave up.

    1. Ex-OS/2 developer here…

      I’m really not seeing the connection. What killed OS/2 was that it couldn’t compete with Microsoft Windows. After Microsoft decided to break with IBM and back Windows instead of OS/2, IBM did try to encourage Windows users to switch to OS/2 by providing compatibility for Windows applications out of the box, but by then it was already too late.

      Linux is no threat to Windows, at least not in the non-mobile client space. Windows is providing Linux compatibility from a position of (extreme) strength as a convenience to power users and server developers. OS/2 was doing it out of desperation.

  2. I agree with Jeff, it would be nice to replace cygwin, as a network admin i use cygwin daily to do unixy things and in a larger company the desktop support folks dont like my cygwin use.
    Tho i wish it were the other way around. Microsoft should ditch the windows, become a linux vendor, and supply “windows” as a desktop manager 🙂

    1. But once you are running a good Linux desktop why would you settle for the Win10 Window Manager? If WINE can run the apps you need they will run under whatever WM you like. But yea, from Microsoft’s POV they should make a Linux distro with the Microsoft WM as the default and all their apps either running via WINE or native ported to Wayland / RH OS.

  3. This is nice. I’ve been hoping to eventually use this over Cygwin. Are you able to keep background processes running once all terminals have been closed (ie. SSH server, Cron, etc.)?

    I wonder if MS plans on supporting RHEL/CentOS since they’ve added SUSE Enterprise Linux support.

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