Windows Subsystem

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (FCU) is ready to deliver a large number of improvements and features in the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

If you have been following along the development of WSL over the past few months, Microsoft delivered a number of new features and improvements for a better user experience. With Fall Creators Update shipping on October 17th, 2017, it is vital to highlight these improvements in a single place.

Here’s the list of things leading up to the Fall Creators Update:

  1. WSL is no longer a Beta feature
  2. Install Linux distros via the Windows Store
  3. WSL now runs multiple Linux distros.
  4. Fedora and other distros coming to the store in the coming months.
  5. WSL no longer requires developer mode
  6. WSL comes to Windows Server &a Microsoft Azure VM’s!
  7. WSL now supports USB/serial comms
  8. WSL supports mounting of USB storage devices and network shares
  9. Deprecating the name “Bash on Windows”
  10. Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) to refer to the Microsoft-side of the technology stack, including the kernel and Windows tools that enable Linux binaries to run on Windows.

In Fall Creators Update (shipping 17th October 2017) WSL will become a fully supported OS feature.

In Fall Creators Update, Windows 10 users will have the freedom to install one or more Linux distros directly from the Windows Store. Currently, you can install Ubuntu, openSUSE and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES). Fedora and other distros will arrive in the store in the coming months.

WSL can now run multiple Linux distros, simultaneously. Users can install and run Ubuntu, openSUSE, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server alongside one another, and alongside all your favorite Windows tools, and shells including Cmd and PowerShell.

In Fall Creators Update, Developer Mode is no longer required to run WSL.

WSL is coming to Windows Server and to Microsoft Azure Windows VM instances.

In Fall Creators Update, Microsoft has added serial device support, more info in this post.

In Fall Creators Update, WSL will support mounting of USB storage devices and network shares.

Miscellaneous fixes and improvements

Along with the big-ticket improvements above, there were also many smaller fixes, improvements, many of which can be found in the WSL release notes for the builds from 1617016288.

Some of these improvements include:

  • Improved TCP socket options inc. IP_OPTIONS, IP_ADD_MEMBERSHIP, IP_MULTICAST, etc.
  • /etc/hosts will now inherit entries from the Windows hosts file
  • xattr related syscalls support
  • Fixed several filesystem features and capabilities
  • Improved PTRACE support
  • Improved FUTEX support
  • “chsh“ now works
    • This enables you to use your favorite shell directly. (This feature was not available in legacy instance.)
    • Shell startup file other than “.bashrc” will now execute.

Also, the following notable syscalls were added for the first time during the FCU cycle:

  • Prlimit64
  • getxattr, setxattr, listxattr, removexattr