The first time I read about the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) I ended up assuming something that, I admit, was hard for me, and it was nothing more than the 180 degree turn given by Microsoft with respect to Linux . Almost four years have passed since WSL came out of its beta phase and arrived with the Fall 2017 update , and although at that time more than one thought that things began and ended there, the successive steps by Microsoft, such as WSL 2’s announcement just 18 months later served as a sign that no, that Redmond’s commitment to Linux was serious .
One of the most exciting developments has undoubtedly been allowing users to use whatever “flavor” of Linux they prefer . And it is that the simplest thing would have been to choose a specific version, implement it and consider the tool complete. However, and as you may already know if you have used it, the Windows subsystem for Linux allows you to choose between the following, according to the latest installation guide published by Microsoft in June of this year:
- Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
- Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
- OpenSUSE Leap 15.1
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP1
- Kali Linux
- Debian GNU/Linux
- Fedora Remix for WSL
- Pengwin Enterprise
- Alpine WSL
To which we must add, of course, the possibility of installing a custom kernel .
However, the main problem is that its installation is somewhat complex . It is not a horror, and following a guide it can be done without problems, but it involves activating multiple configurations and installing multiple packages, which can be a deterrent for some users who want to have a first contact with the Linux ecosystem, but without leaving Windows.
However, this is about to change, since in the latest versions of Windows released in the channels for insiders, Microsoft has introduced changes in the installation, so that it is only necessary to use a single command , which will automatically start the installation complete of the entire subsystem. Thus, to install it, it will only be necessary to open the console and type wsl . exe – install and without further intervention the WSL installation will complete.
If we do not specify anything when using the command, the default distribution is Ubuntu and, after completing the installation and restarting the system, it will be available to start using it. Do you want to use another distribution? No problem, writes WSL -list for a list of available distros to install your choice, writes WSL -install -d NombreDeLaDistribución as appears in the list to choose and install . An important detail is that this command can be used for the first installation or to add additional distributions after you already have the subsystem installed with the default distribution.
Other very interesting commands have also been added:
- wsl –update to update the kernel.
- wsl –rollback to revert to a previous version of the kernel.
- wsl –status for general information about the current configuration.