Hot on the heels of two SUSE-based Linux environments, Ubuntu is now available to those using newer builds of the Windows 10 Insider Preview as well.
As you may recall, the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is a relatively new subsystem for Windows 10 that allows developers and other power users to run native Linux utilities on top of 64-bit versions of Microsoft’s desktop OS. The software giant first announced WSL at Build 2016, and the technology was released in beta form as part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update in mid-2016, and then in shipping form in the Creators Update in March 2017. During this time, only Ubuntu Linux has been supported in WSL, but Microsoft noted it was open to adding other distributions.
At Build 2017 last month, Microsoft revealed that more Linux environments, from SUSE and RedHat, would be made available this year in the Fall Creators Update and that, going forward, these environments would be distributed through the Windows Store.
A few weeks ago, two Linux distributions, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 and openSUSE Leap 42, became available in the Windows Store for those running Windows 10 Insider Preview build 16190 or newer. And as of today, Ubuntu is available too. The version is billed as 18.104.22.168, or the 20170619.1 build of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.
Once the Fall Creators Update arrives, this is how WSL distributions will be distributed to users. We’re still waiting to see when a test version of Fedora hits the Store, and whether any other versions of Linux will appear in the future as well.