WSL2 distros officially supported on Windows Server 2022 • The Register

Microsoft has made it official. Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 distributions are now supported on Windows Server 2022.

The tech appeared in preview form last month and was something of a volte-face from the Windows giant, whose employees had previously complained that while the tech was handy for desktop users, sticking it on a server could mean she’s getting used to things she wasn’t intended for.

(And Windows Server absolutely had to have the bloated UI of its desktop companion, right?)

The news of the official support was transmitted by Microsoft Program Manager Craig Loewen and it is indeed good for developers with a particular use case that requires them to run Linux on Windows Server 2022. No more need for full Hyper-V sessions – the considerably lighter WSL2 should do the trick well.

Unfortunately, not everything seems to be good news. Many organizations will run the Windows Server Long-Term Servicing Channel for stability. It’s currently Windows Server 2019 and Loewen told eager WSL2 fans that no, there were no plans to backport the change.

The lack of a backport means it’s the biannual channel who will get the goodies, although the two to three year gap between Long term service channel the release means another should arrive shortly.

As with Windows Server 2022, a simple check for updates is enough to update to the latest version with support for WSL2 distributions. Once done, turn on wsl --install from a PowerShell session with administrative privileges is required for the platform to be operational.

The arrival of WSL2 on Windows Server 2022 provides a considerably more usable experience for Linux fans. WSL1 used translation trickery, but WSL2 introduced a lightweight virtual machine and nearly full compatibility. However, it was largely a desktop-only system, much to the frustration of some users.

Its Windows Server 2022 debut should help keep developers who prefer a distinct Linux flavor to their server code. ®

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