Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) 2 type distros are now fully supported on Windows Server 2022.
Released in May 2019, WSL 2 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 inside of a lightweight utility virtual machine (VM), without using a separate Linux distro.
Windows initially teased WSL support for users of its servers in May 2022, however it was only available for 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 machine to update to the latest version and you’ll get support for WSL 2 distros.
To make sure you have the right update, you’ll need to check that you have the latest KB 5014678 (opens in new tab) update installed.
If you’re a Windows Server User already and you’d like to start using WSl for the first time, you can check out the guide which Microsoft has pulled together here (opens in new tab).
But luckily for users the process is simple and consists of entering “WSL –install” in an administrator PowerShell or Windows Command Prompt and then restarting your machine.
Got a problem?
Microsoft invited any users experiencing technical difficulties to head to the WSL repository (opens in new tab).
Alternatively, if you’d like to go via the social media route you can get in touch with Craig Loewen Program Manager II, Windows Developer Platform on Twitter here (opens in new tab), or with any of the other WSL team members via this list. (opens in new tab)
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