Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) leaves beta, brings one small change

The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is a feature Microsoft implemented to allow users' of Windows 10 to easily run Linux environments on their Windows 10 machines. Until now, the feature has been in beta.

Starting with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, WSL will lose its beta tag in the Windows Features list, as seen below. In fact, this will be the only noticeable change:

Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) leaves beta, brings one small change - - July 29, 2017

Outside of that, the real changes will involve support for the feature. As the feature leaves beta, users will be able to contact Microsoft Support for assistance, as well as file bugs and feedback via Feedback Hub, in addition to bug reports on the WSL GitHub repo.

While announcing that WSL is leaving its beta phase, Microsoft also took the opportunity to remind users of scenarios where WSL is expected to be used, and scenarios that WSL does not support. The company also stated that the Linux distro publishers are responsible for the internals of their distros, not Microsoft, and that Microsoft is only responsible for the WSL infrastructure and tooling.

Expected scenarios:

  • Run Linux Command-line tools for development and (basic) administration
  • Share and access files on the Windows filesystem from within Linux
  • Invoke Windows processes from Linux, e.g.
    ~$ cd /mnt/c/temp/ && echo "Hello" > hello.txt && notepad.exe hello.txt
  • Invoke Linux processes from Windows command-line, e.g.:
    C:\> bash -c "fortune | cowsay"

Unsupported uses:

  • Linux distro's running atop WSL are for interactive user scenarios, NOT for running production workloads on Apache/nginx/MySQL/MongoDB/etc.
  • Linux files are NOT accessible from Windows (we're working to improve this scenario over time)
  • NO current plans to support X/GUI apps, desktops, servers, etc. at this time

You can read the full announcement on the MSDN blog.

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