The Windows Subsystem for Linux has graduated from beta status, Microsoft announced this weekend.
In a blog post Microsoft’s Rich Turner says the developer-orientated feature will become ‘fully supported Windows feature’ in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, which is due to be released in the autumn.
The Windows Subsystem for Linux allows developers to access, manage and run their favourite command line Linux tools natively on Windows.
Until now the feature had been considered somewhat experimental — but not any longer.
“Early adopters on the Windows Insider program will notice that WSL is no longer marked as a beta feature as of Insider build 16251,” Turner says.
Although not a a user-facing feature, the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) has proven popular with developers. 3 major Linux distros are available on the Windows Store, including Ubuntu.
What “Fully Supported” Means
As a ‘fully supported’ feature in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update users will be free to hassle Microsoft with support queries, provide feedback on the feature via the official Feedback Hub, and expect to receive timely fixes and security updates to the feature.
“We’ll still do our best to remain as responsive as ever to the bugs and issues you post to the WSL issues GitHub repo and we’ll remain just as engaged, seeking and responding to your questions, etc., on Twitter and will continue monitor and contribute to discussions and answer questions on forums and [other] sites,” they explain.
But there are also some areas and scenarios that Microsoft says it will not be responsible for, like the actual tools, support and contents (or lack thereof) within Linux distros.
Microsoft also add that (emphasis theirs):
- Linux distros running atop WSL are for interactive user scenarios, NOT for running production workloads on Apache/nginx/MySQL/MongoDB/etc.
- Linux files are NOT accessible from Windows (we’re working to improve this scenario over time)
- NO current plans to support X/GUI apps, desktops, servers, etc. at this time
P.S. Don’t Panic
Microsoft’s love affair with Linux both unnerves and amuses in equal measure.
But it’s important to remember that while the WSL is big news to those of us who run Linux as our primary platform of choice the feature is just one of many other initiatives Microsoft has in play to try attract developers to its platform.
The WSL isn’t there to convert ardent FOSS enthusiasts in to Windows loving fans, rather serve as a simple sweetener to cross-platform developers and those whose Linux needs don’t require a full-blown set-up.