back to article Windows Subsystem for Linux now packaged as a Microsoft Store app

Microsoft has made its Store the home of Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). "The Store version of WSL is now the default version of WSL" wrote Craig Loewen, a program manager for the Windows Developer Platform, in a Tuesday post. "The in-Windows version of WSL will still receive critical bug fixes, but the Store version of …

  1. Spaller

    Is there anyone else that thinks "weasel" upon seeing WSL?

    1. Falmari Silver badge

      Well I didn't but thanks to you weasel is what I think now when I see WSL. :)

    2. AnonEMusk Noel

      Weasel.......which led me to......We Sell!

  2. jake Silver badge

    My granddaughter received a talking-to by the school principal after informing the district sysadmin that it stood for Windows Sucks, Luser. She's 12 and has been a Slackware user her entire life.

    No, neither my daughter nor myself put her up to it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wow, I bet the whole school clapped when she said that. So brave!

      1. LybsterRoy Silver badge

        Don't be silly she'll have been reported for a "hate crime"

    2. oiseau
      Thumb Up

      She's 12 and has been a Slackware user her entire life.

      Good to see she has accrued three very important things at an early age:

      - common sense.

      - a good education.

      - sense of independence

      Maybe it would be a good thing for her parents to go and have a word or two with the dumb school principal.

      Kudos to her.

      O.

    3. First Light

      Sounds like a thin-skinned sysadmin to make such a big deal out of it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Nah, sounds more like a pie chart - half coloured blue, half yellow with the legend "didn't happen" and "didn't happen but in yellow"

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You should post that to r/ThatHappened. Because someone else will.

    5. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      "after informing the district sysadmin that it stood for Windows Sucks, Luser"

      Calling the sysadmin a Luser was perhaps a step too far.

    6. BillyMunny

      Good for your granddaughter; she seems sharp and witty. Doubly good for her that she can use Slackware. (grin) Someday she's going to find things like Void and Nix, and things are going to pop as though it is Guy Fawkes day.

      Some of my Linux bro's don't much like WSL. However, I see it as putting Linux before a vast audience of people who will find ways to solve problems with it - to make it work for them. Whether they adopt Linux as their daily driver matters far less than using it to do specific things they can't do as well in pure Windows.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simple workaround

    If you *really* want/need both Windows and Linux, might I suggest trying dual boot?

    Advantages :

    Windows only when you must

    Linux (with a possibility of systemd-free, snap/flatpack/whatever - free ) and most important Micro$oft-free, telemetry-free.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Simple workaround

      I think you've missed the point. Dual boot is so last decade, try out this new fangled virtualisation.

      1. Mike Pellatt

        Re: Simple workaround

        Virtualisation is so last-year.

        Try out this new-fangled containerisation. Or, as the marketdroids have renamed it, "serverless"

  4. FeepingCreature

    "Nothing says we love open source like serving updates from a closed store."

    Wise words. Hope you're listening, Ubuntu.

  5. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Meh

    So what's the improvement in the store version?

    Forcing devs to have an MS account?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Are you forced to have a M$ account to access Microsoft Store or is there a way around this?

      I wanted to get some critical software for my HP Laptop which only appears to be availble on Windows Store.

      This is a bit of a bummer as I don't want to have to be forced to have to use a M$ account to get hold of it.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Are you forced to have a M$ account to access Microsoft Store or is there a way around this?

        Previously, the HP laptop & printer updates I've accessed via the HP supplied MS Store URL, haven't required a MS account. Has something changed?

    2. loops

      Re: So what's the improvement in the store version?

      None. They keep pushing everything to the Windows store because Windows Package Manager can access the store and they're pushing the Package Manager.

      There's a major problem with this: any network administrator worth their salt will block the crappy Windows Store across their network.

      In their wisdom they recently pushed Quick Assist to the Windows Store and then obsoleted the old (freely available) app. Microsoft support are now having to use Teams or Teamviewer, because nobody in enterprise can access the Quick Assist app any more.

      And these people are supposed to be the intelligent ones.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        They're not pushing enough to the Store.

        I would like Windows Update to only make security updates.

        The rest of their bullshit I don't need, and would prefer it to be housed in the Store so as to not pollute my PC with stuff I don't want, don't need and couldn't care less for. Eh, Cortana ?

        1. Captain Scarlet
          Stop

          Hangon what about those of us who use a local account

        2. georgezilla

          " ... so as to not pollute my PC ... "

          Yet you still choose (?) to "pollute" it with Windows.

          Oh the irony.

      2. oiseau
        Facepalm

        Re: So what's the improvement in the store version?

        And these people are supposed to be the intelligent ones.

        Hmmm ...

        And just where/how did you acquire that specific notion?

        C'mon ...

        Stay off that stuff, it's getting to you.

        O.

      3. Gerlad Dreisewerd

        Re: So what's the improvement in the store version?

        Oh they're quite intelligently pushing all their software to the Microsoft store where they hope to charge for previously free software.

        Meanwhile intelligent computer users are learning Linux. M$ screwed up the drivers on my old HP 3830. The printer & scanner worked fine on Linux butI needed a printer on the M$ machine.

      4. Sudosu Bronze badge

        Re: So what's the improvement in the store version?

        Considering Kali Linux is also sitting in that store for the end users to install and play with...

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: So what's the improvement in the store version?

      Negative improvement: It is harder to create a standard build.

      With MSI's et al, it was relatively simple to build a set of laptops/systems with all applications available to current and future users of that computer.

      With Store app's, I've found they tend to only install correctly for the current logged on Windows user.

      1. Mowserx

        Re: So what's the improvement in the store version?

        WSL instances/VMs are tied to an individual user; you cannot create a system-wide WSL environment.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: So what's the improvement in the store version?

          There are two things here: firstly where the app is installed and secondly whether all users have correctly configured permissions to use that app.

          For example I can install a version of MS Office (standalone or 365) with company defaults and it is available to all users with no further support effort. Similarly with the Teams msi. With 365 and Teams a user need only to enter their MS login and they are free to create an instance.and personalise it.

          With WSL, I expect organisations will want to deploy standard VM's, whether the running versions are common to all users or dedicate (and thus stored in a users profile) is a slightly different problem.

    4. Shades

      Re: So what's the improvement in the store version?

      WTF are you on about?

      I don't have a MS account, never had an MS account, and yet, here I am looking at Windows Subsystem for Linux in the MS store app. The "Get" button is active and if I click on it it proceeds as expected. IIRC MS may have expected you to have an MS account for their store app under Windows 8 but they ditched that requirement ages ago.

  6. Paul Johnston

    This is good IMHO

    >> and the ability to run Linux GUI apps under Windows 10.

    1. oiseau
      Facepalm

      Re: This is good IMHO

      ... and the ability to run Linux GUI apps under Windows 10.

      Hmm ...

      And why on earth would you want to do things the wrong way around?

      Run a systemd-less Linux distribution and a VM with as much M$ stuff you want on it.

      You can then run M$ apps and also have a decent OS. 8^D

      O.

      1. Chappy

        Re: This is good IMHO

        > And why on earth would you want to do things the wrong way around?

        Because it is the only supported option in BigCorp environment in which I work,

        and this way I at least get the ability to run Linux GUI apps.

    2. Fred Goldstein

      Re: This is good IMHO

      Yes, it would be nice. But I'm using Windows 10 Pro (I do not trust Windows 11 at all; they alternate between usable and junk releases, and 11 is like 8 and Vista, likely junk) and the Store does not offer WSL2 to me. It only offers command-line mode WSL. So either the article is premature or wrong.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: This is good IMHO

        > (I do not trust Windows 11 at all; they alternate between usable and junk releases, and 11 is like 8 and Vista, likely junk)

        Nah, as far as I see it (not a pro mind you), Win11 is actually Win10 SE.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Big fan here

    Just popping open a WSL BASH terminal to SSH into a box is ridiculously pain-free. No need for Cywin etc.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Big fan here

      The benefits (or not) of WSL isn't the issue here. The issue is the way a user installs WSL on their computer and the functional difference between the non-store in-windows version and the store version of WSL.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Big fan here

      If that's all you want to do then just using ssh from a command prompt works for me. Why install WSL?

      1. ElPedro100

        Re: Big fan here

        And if you want it to be more bashy then simply install Git

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Already 4 flavours of WSL?

    Sounds like they have embraced the Linux philosophy of self-destruction through fragmentation perfectly!

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: Already 4 flavours of WSL?

      Embrace, extend and extingush?

  9. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Loewen admits that this is all a little confusing

    Of course it's confusing. If they made it easy, people might start using it.

  10. JohnTill123

    There's a better solution to WSL.

    Just run Linux on your own hardware. You get all the benefits of Linux with none of the drawbacks of Windows. No licenses, no M$ stealing your data and reselling it, no need for M$ accounts in the "cloud", no mandatory subscription payments.

    Just say NO to Windows!

    1. Captain Scarlet
      Windows

      Re: There's a better solution to WSL.

      I'm to lazy and people like me know Linux will run on almost anything that can read an ISO file (Although i use VirtualBox, I cannot be bothered to link my home computer to an online account).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There's a better solution to WSL.

      I can't run linux natively on the work machine - so WSL means I can get pretty good access to tools and decent performance (better than in native Windows for Java dev stuff) while still on the mandated machine.

      Is it perfect? No. Is it better than no alternative? Hell yes!!

  11. Long John Silver
    Pirate

    The other way about?

    From the viewpoint of computational efficiency - electricity use nowadays factoring in - is there difference between running Windows as VM on Linux, and Linux as VM on Windows?

    1. georgezilla

      Re: The other way about?

      Run Windows in a VM om Linux. That way when Microsoft fucks up Windows AGAIN and kills shit, you can still use your computer.

      And they WILL fuck it up again.

      Three things that you can't avoid in life ................

      Death.

      Taxes.

      And Windows breaking shit.

  12. DrSunshine0104

    Anyone else find the moniker for this feature a bit weird. I follow the phrasing, but still sits a bit odd with me.

    "Windows Subsystem For Linux"

    This sounds like someone describing Wine; sounds like a Windows compatibility layer running on Linux kernels. Add an apostrophe or something.

    1. nintendoeats Silver badge

      I have always thought this also.

  13. tojb
    Terminator

    Uninstalled wsl2 today

    Unlike wsl1, wsl2 doesn't give a consistent Mac address but creates a new one for your card every reboot. This plays hob with licence verification for paid software running on the Linux subsystem, as well as with per-device authentication for secured networks. Complete fail.

    1. Caesarius

      Re: Uninstalled wsl2 today

      Is there a way to force mac adresses? Obviously I can do this with VMs. (I will look this up, but an answer here may be quicker.)

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