Featured - Install Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) in Windows 11

Microsoft is sending out a new preview for its Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) service that allows users to run Linux distros natively on Windows 10 and Windows 11. With the release of WSL Preview version 0.50.2. Microsoft is making some subtle but important changes.

First up is a new logo for Windows Subsystem for Linux, featuring the famous Linux Penguin symbol. Elsewhere, Microsoft is allowing hardware performance counters when supported by the device. Of course, this release also bumps the Linux kernel, moving it to version 5.10.74.3.

You can see the full changelog below:

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  • “Added new logo for Windows Subsystem for Linux
  • Enable hardware performance counters if the hardware supports them [GH 4678]
  • A USERPROFILE%\.wslconfig option has been added to opt-out:

[wsl2]

hardwarePerformanceCounters=false

  • Fix issue when printing system error messages that contain inserts.
  • Update the user tile to launch in the user’s home directory instead of C:\WINDOWS\System32
  • Restore default signal dispositions for /etc/wsl.conf boot.command process to prevent zombie processes [GH 7575]
  • Switch to using a static CRT for Windows binaries
  • Use store API to download distributions via wsl.exe –install
  • Add –no-launch option to wsl.exe –install
  • Many updates to localized strings.
  • Switch to an updated tar for importing / exporting WSL2 distributions.
  • Update to the official 22000 sdk
  • Strip Linux symbols for release builds
  • Update Linux kernel to 5.10.74.3
    • Update to upstream stable kernel release 5.10.74
    • Enable BPF Type Format (CONFIG_DEBUG_INFO_BTF) for use by eBPF tools [GH 7437]
    • Changed Dxgkrnl version to 2110
      • Implemented D3DKMTShareObjectWithHost
      • Fixed QueryStatistics VM bus alignment issue for the result
      • Implemented D3DKMTCreateSyncFile
      • Address upstream submission feedback
      • Moved d3dkmthk to include/uapi/misc
      • Replaces u32 by __u32 and u64 by __u64
      • Added “_” in front of the enumerator values to support including both WDK and Linux headers
      • Removed holes in the user mode visible structures to be compatible with 32 bit apps
      • Replaces pointer in the user mode visible structures with a define to be u64 for user mode apps
      • Fix build failure with GCC versions older than 8.1 [GH 7558]
  • Enable the Buffer Sharing and Sync File Frameworks (CONFIG_DMA_SHARED_BUFFER, CONFIG_SYNC_FILE) for Dxgkrnl usage”

Microsoft Store App

Last month, Microsoft revealed it will update WSL separately from the wider Windows platform. This means the subsystem is now available as a standalone application on the Microsoft Store. Microsoft says the WSL Windows 11 app will be serviced through the Store. Users will get updates separately from Windows. This essentially means that updates will come in-between major Windows feature upgrades.

According to the company, WSL users can “get the latest WSL updates and features faster, and without needing to modify your Windows version.”

Tip of the day: Did you know that Task Manager lets you set CPU affinity to claw back some resources from running apps and give selected apps higher priority. Our tutorial shows how you can use this helpful feature.

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