Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) 2 distros are now fully supported on Windows Server 2022.
WSL 2, released in May 2019, is a compatibility layer that allows Windows Server users to run Linux binary executables (in ELF format) natively, using virtualization technology to run an open source Linux kernel in a lightweight virtual utility machine (VM), without using a separate Linux distro.
Windows initially teased WSL support for users of its servers in May 2022, but it was only available to those who downloaded the optional Windows Server 2022 KB5014021 (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab) update.
Want to get started?
To get the update, users need to click “Check for Updates” on your Windows Server computer to update to the latest version and you will get support for WSL 2 distributions.
To make sure you have the correct update, make sure you have the latest . features KB 5014678 (opens in new tab) update installed.
If you are already a Windows Server user and want to start using WSL for the first time, check out the guide that Microsoft has put together here (opens in new tab)†
But luckily for users, the process is simple and involves entering “WSL -install” in an administrator PowerShell or Windows Command Prompt and then rebooting your machine.
Have a problem?
Microsoft invited users with technical difficulties to visit the WSL repository (opens in new tab)†
Alternatively, if you want to go the social media route, you can contact Craig Loewen Program Manager II, Windows Developer Platform on Twitter here (opens in new tab)or with one of the other WSL team members via this list. (opens in new tab)
If you’re happy with your Linux experience, you’re not alone.
Linux founder Linus Torvalds said after 15 years at the most recent Open Source Summit, he was still “surprised and delighted” at the amount of innovation coming to the platform.