Earlier this year, Microsoft updated the original 4.19 branch kernel in WSL2 to the 5.4 LTS branch. This has now been bumped up again to support the latest LTS release.
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The release is notable for two reasons. First, it equips WSL2 with the latest mainline LTS kernel. Secondly, it brings a useful new feature to WSL2 users and resolves a long standing issue.
Bug fixes and more
Developers (opens in new tab) will appreciate the ability to use a kernel based on the latest LTS Linux kernel, especially after languishing on an old one for quite some time.
One of the new features of the latest 5.10-based WSL2 kernel is the ability to support Linux Unified Key Setup (LUKS) disk encryption (opens in new tab).
After installing the update, Windows Insider WSL2 users will be able to mount LUKS disks and access them from within their host Windows installation.
Another major change in the release is a fix for a notorious clock sync issue, which caused clocks inside WSL instances to lag behind that of the host machine.
In a joint post, Craig Loewen, Program Manager, Windows Developer Platform, and WSL developer Pierre Boulay note that the clock sync bug fixed itself because of the changes inside the 5.10 LTS kernel.
As per the usual timeline, changes introduced in the Windows Insider builds take a couple of months to make their way to all users, so general WSL users can expect the new kernel to be delivered to their installations towards the end of Q2 2021.
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Via The Register (opens in new tab)