Windows 11 takes a big step forward with full release of Windows Subsystem for Linux app

Windows 11 Linux app
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Windows 11 users can now grab the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) app directly from the Microsoft Store, the software giant announced at Build 2022.

For the uninitiated, WSL is a compatibility layer that allows Windows 11 to run Linux and its related apps as if they were native software (with a bit of performance overhead, as you might imagine – but impressively very little headwind).

Whereas previously WSL could be downloaded from the Microsoft Store by testers in the form of a preview version, with its official release, any Windows 11 user can now install the fully finished incarnation which should be polished and have any major bugs fixed.

Analysis: Getting the good stuff more quickly with WSL

So, what’s the advantage of having WSL installed from the Microsoft Store, anyway? Well, this way users receive updates as and when they are applied via the Store, rather than having to wait for a big feature update for Windows 11 to bring in improvements to WSL which are made down the line. That’s very good news for those who want access to the latest developments with WSL as soon as possible, of course.

Do bear in mind that WSL is not the kind of thing that less tech-savvy types are likely to find themselves playing around with. However, if you fancy having a crack at using it under Windows 11, we’ve got a full guide already out there on setting up a Linux distro via WSL (with Ubuntu used as our example, one of the most popular choices among Linux distros, of course).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).