Microsoft has rolled out a new preview for Windows 10 on the Windows Insider Program. One of the main changes in Windows 10 Preview Build 19645 involves Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL2). Specifically, the company has removed the Linux kernel from Windows previews.
This is not as bad as it first seems. In fact, it means WSL2 on the Windows 10 preview branches are no in line with Windows 10 version 2004. That’s the Windows 10 May 2020 Update that is currently rolling out with a new Windows with Linux experience.
Microsoft is removing the Linux kernel to help improve serviceability for the platform. Instead of the kernel sending out updates, Windows will now take care of all updates. In other words, kernel updates will be handled in a similar way to how Windows deals with driver updates.
At Build 2020 last month, Microsoft announced some big changes for Windows Subsystem for Linux. Microsoft’s announcements regarding Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) 2. Leading the changes, Microsoft revealed hardware acceleration for WSL. This addition means users can now run Linux GUI applications on Windows 10.
Elsewhere, the update includes support for GPU compute workflows. Linux tools can now tap into GPUs on Windows PCs to allow the hardware acceleration when developing apps. Support for GUI applications also allows users to open a WSL instance and run it like a Linux app in Windows 10.
Windows 10 Preview Build 19645
It is worth noting Windows 10 Preview Build 19645 is a post May 2020 Update release. It is for the Windows 10 20H2 update that will arrive later this year. Other changes made in this preview was support for nested virtualization for AMD-powered PCs.
Microsoft explains the feature has been much requested by users:
“Not a week goes by where the team doesn’t get a request for Nested Virtualization support for AMD from our community or from within Microsoft. In fact, it is the number 1 ask on Windows Server’s uservoice page. At the time of this blog post, it was almost 5x more than the next feedback item.”