Windows Subsystem for Linux Bound for Microsoft Store

Windows 11 users soon can download WSL as an app with separate updates

Windows 11 users can soon download and install Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) as a separate app, available in the Microsoft Store.

Windows has long had the option to run Linux distributions as a virtual environment, but it's going to get a little easier because Microsoft is releasing WSL as a separate app, which you'll be able to download from the Microsoft Store. The WSL app that's currently available is intended as a "preview to help ensure quality," but a general release is planned for the future.

WSL Windows 11 app


Part of what makes this specific form of distribution stand out is not digging through menus to enable WSL in Windows 11. Also, since it's a separate app, you won't have to change your Windows version to run it, as it's more self-contained.

Microsoft also says WSL will be receiving its updates through the Microsoft Store, independent from Windows 11.

In the announcement blog post, Craig Loewen, program manager at Microsoft, said, "...once new features like GUI app support, GPU compute, and Linux file system drive mounting are developed, tested, and ready for a release, you will get access to it right away on your machine without needing to update your entire Windows OS, or going to Windows Insider preview builds."

WSL Windows 11

Craig Loewen / Microsoft

This preview version of WSL is available on the Microsoft Store right now.

You should be able to run it so long as you're using Windows 11 and have the Virtual Machine Platform enabled, even if you already have WSL installed.

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