WLinux is the first commercial version of Linux, more precise the Windows Subssystem for Linux, on the Microsoft Store. It is advertised as a “fast Linux terminal environment for developers and pro-users built on Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) on Windows 10” and available for $19.99 on the Microsoft Store.
WLinux is not the first Linux-based application for Windows 10; users of the operating system can install Ubuntu, Debian GNU/Linux and other Linux versions for the Windows Subsystem for Linux as well from the Store.
The Windows Subsystem for Linux integrates Linux distributions into the Windows 10 operating system so that these become available. The implementation is fairly limited at this point in time as you are limited to running command line tools and some tools or applications even in the latest version of Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019.
Windows 10 version 1809 includes a new option to run a Linux shell from Explorer. You need to hold down the Shift-key before you right-click on a folder to use the “Open Linux shell here” option.
The installation of Linux on a Windows 10 PC does not provide full access to the desktop environment.
WLinux was optimized to run on the Windows Subsystem for Linux and that is probably the main reason why it is the first commercial Windows Subsystem for Linux application. The distribution uses Debian Gnu/Linux as its core.
The developers of WLinux removed some packages such as systemd from the image in an effort to reduce the overall size of the image and manageability.
The Linux environment for Windows 10 includes the setup tool wlinux-setup to customize environment-specific preferences using it.
It enables users to choose the default text editor, unpack development environments such as NodeJS, Python, Go or Ruby, or manage Windows and Azure deployments using PowerShell and azure-cli.
WLinux includes support for wslu, a tool collection for Linux on Windows 10 that includes five tools currently. The utilities may be used to redirect links to the default Windows web browser, convert Windows paths, or create shortcuts on the Windows desktop.
Support is not exclusive, however, as distributions such as Ubuntu, Debian, or Suse Linux Enterprise Server support it as well.
Other features of interest include:
- Support for graphical Linux applications.
- Apt package functionality to install open source packages from Debian repositories.
- Promise to patch Windows Subsystem for Linux bugs faster than any other Linux distribution available for Windows 10.
The money that is earned from sales flows directly into the project to finance development.
Purchases of WLinux in the Microsoft Store pay for a team of open source indie developers to add new features, test and release builds, evaluate WSL-related CVEs, and provide user support.
Additional information is available on the project’s official GitHub page.
Now You: What is your take on the Windows Subsystem for Linux?