The Store version of the Windows subsystem for Linux is now generally available for Windows 10 and 11



The Windows Subsystem for Linux app on Microsoft Store hits the general availability for all Windows 10 and Windows 11 users, as the Redmond-based company removed the "Preview" label from the app name with the new version 1.0.0 released days ago.



The Microsoft Store version of WSL is part of Microsoft's efforts to separate Windows Subsystem for Linux from the Windows system components and make it a standalone application that receives updates directly from the Microsoft Store like Notepad and other Store applications. This will allow users to get new WSL updates much faster as soon as they are tested and ready, without needing to update their entire Windows OS, or go to Windows Insider preview builds.

Windows Subsystem for Linux is a compatibility layer for running Linux binaries on Windows. It was first announced in Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14316 and later officially released in Fall Creators Update (version 1709). The subsystem is primarily used to run Linux command-line utilities and "native" Linux applications, such as those written in C or Bash, then Microsoft added later support for running full Linux GUI apps natively on Windows using the wslg component (an abbreviation for Windows Subsystem for Linux GUI).

Running GUI Linux apps on Windows was exclusive to Windows 11 users as it used to require Windows 11 build 22000 or later, but now with this new Store version of Windows Subsystem for Linux, Windows 10 users will also be able to run Graphical Linux apps on Windows natively, and without having to rely on any third-party app to do so.


In addition, this new WSL Store version also brings "Systemd" support to Windows Subsystem for Linux ( which was introduced two months ago exclusively for Windows 11 users too) for Windows 10, enabling users of this previous Windows version to do greater things with WSL such as installing and running microk8s (an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications), and Ubuntu Snaps apps on Windows.

The Store version of WSL will be installed by default for new users who will try to install it for the first time via the "wsl --install" command, while existing users who installed WSL via the old "turn Windows features on or off" menu will be able to easily upgrade to the Store version by Run "wsl --update" in a PowerShell window as an administrator. During the installation of the store version of wsl, the Virtual machine platform optional component will still be enabled, and  Ubuntu will still be installed by default.

Last, the Store version  of  Windows Subsystem for Linux will be pushed automatically to all devices running Windows 10 version 21H1 or higher or  Windows 11 21H2 or higher with all of the November updates applied (KB5020030 for Windows 10, and KB5019157 for Windows 11), in mid-December.  Alternatively, you can also visit the WSL releases page on GitHub to see the latest WSL builds and install them manually.

Ahmed Bay

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