IT Engineering

The company has announced that it is bolstering the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) in a number of ways. This includes making it possible to run GUI Linux apps on Windows 10, complete with hardware acceleration where possible, without any major fuss.

“Soon you’ll be able to use your favorite Linux IDE or other GUI application alongside your other Windows applications on your Windows desktop,” Microsoft say.

The development, announced at the Build 2020 conference, signals the single biggest enhancement to WSL since WSL 2 was announced this time last year. While there’s no firm date for when users can expect to run GUI Linux apps on Windows 10 Microsoft say new capabilities will arrive via Windows 10 updates later this year, once WSL 2 is more widely available.

But why is Microsoft doing this?

Well, bizarre though the development may sound, it makes sense: WSL 2 uses a proper Linux kernel now, and the underlying WSL file system is accessible through the File Explorer. Adding support for launching and using full-fledged GUI apps like IDEs and text editors is the logical next step.

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