Microsoft has unveiled its latest preview update for the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) version 2.0.0. This update introduces multiple enhancements, including experimental features such as autoMemoryReclaim and Sparse VHD. These features are designed to optimize cache memory and disk space management.
As Microsoft says, the system will reclaim a portion of the VM's memory size, ensuring efficient memory usage. For instance, with a memory of 3000MB, the system will reclaim 100MB every minute.
WSL is a way to run Linux on Windows without having to reboot or use a separate program. It's like having a Linux computer inside your Windows computer. You can use it to run Linux commands and programs, and also access your Windows files and folders. It's very useful for developers who want to work with both Windows and Linux. There are two versions of WSL: one that uses a compatibility layer, and one that uses a virtual machine. The second one is faster and more compatible, but it needs more resources.
The update also brings forth significant networking improvements. A notable addition is the Mirrored mode, which offers IPv6 support, enhanced VPN compatibility, and more. This mode allows users to connect to Windows servers from within Linux using the localhost address and directly connect to WSL from their local area network (LAN).
Furthermore, DNS tunneling has been introduced to change how WSL resolves DNS requests, enhancing network compatibility. As Craig Loewen, Microsoft's WSL Program Manager, mentioned, this feature will “improve network compatibility, making it less likely for you to have no network connection inside of WSL.”
Firewall and Proxy Enhancements
WSL now incorporates a Hyper-V Firewall feature, applying Windows firewall rules to WSL and providing advanced firewall controls for the WSL VM. Additionally, the autoProxy feature ensures that WSL automatically uses proxy information from Windows, further bolstering network compatibility.
Access and Availability
These updates, especially experimental features like mirrored network mode and DNS tunneling, are currently rolling out to Windows Insiders in the Release Preview Channel running Windows 11 22H2. For those interested in accessing the new version, they can run specific commands in PowerShell or download it directly from the WSL GitHub repository.