Microsoft To Add Full Linux Kernel In Windows 10

Linux Kernel Windows 10
Image Source: Vikas Shukla / Valuewalk

It seems Microsoft wants to attract Linux developers to Windows 10. Over the last few years, Microsoft has announced several additions to Windows which appeal mostly to Linux developers, including support for Bash shell on Windows. Bash is a scripting language used for automation in operating systems. Microsoft also added native support for OpenSSH in Windows 10 and included Ubuntu, SUSE Linux and Fedora in the Microsoft Store. The company continues to target users and developers of the other operating system, now by adding Linux Kernel to Windows 10.

Microsoft said in a blog post that those who are coding and using a Linux-based distribution can utilize a Linux kernel in Microsoft’s OS, which sounds strange at first. The addition grants more flexibility to those who are used to working on Linux systems. According to the post, the feature will arrive in Windows Insiders builds in the summer and could be fully available later in the year. The addition will also introduce Windows users to Linux distributions.

“Beginning with Windows Insiders builds this Summer, we will include an in-house custom-built Linux kernel to underpin the newest version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL),” Microsoft Program Manager Jack Hammons explained in a blog post. “The kernel itself will initially be based on version 4.19, the latest long-term stable release of Linux. The kernel will be rebased at the designation of new long-term stable releases to ensure that the WSL kernel always has the latest Linux goodness.”

The integration of the Linux kernel in Windows 10 will work through a feature which can be installed through the Microsoft Store. This is a huge innovation for Microsoft. According to the blog post, the feature will be fully available on commercial Windows 10 systems in an update code-named 19H2.

This update will improve the performance of Microsoft’s Linux subsystem in Windows, so developers should be able to make the best use of it. According to Microsoft, the kernel will be updated via Windows Update and will be open-sourced, which will allow developers to create their own WSL kernel and make changes.

This is not the only addition to the system. Besides adding a Linux kernel to Windows 10, Microsoft also announced Windows Terminal, a new command line app designed to be the central location for access to environments including Power Shell, Cmd, and the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL.)