At the recently held virtual BUILD 2020 conference, Microsoft announced many exciting updates for the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). The software giant promised to equip its Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) 2 with support for GPUs, Linux GUI apps, and a simplified install experience.
“Our goal is for you to be able to run Linux GUI apps on your desktop seamlessly alongside your Windows apps. This will enable you to use Linux apps to edit, build, and run your code, visualize data plots in Python, or even use applications that are optimized for a Linux environment,” Craig Loewen, Program Manager, Windows Developer Platform explained in a blog post.
For the uninitiated, WSL enables Windows users to run native, unmodified Linux command-line tools and apps directly in Windows, alongside all their favorite Windows apps and tools.
Microsoft also plans to start previewing GPU compute support for WSL in Windows 10 Insider builds within the next few months. Initially, the GPU compute capability will support two scenarios: NVIDIA CUDA with support for existing Linux tools & workflows used by professionals and DirectML, initially targeting beginners and students, leveraging DirectX 12 capable GPUs from several vendors.
Microsoft said that it is also introducing the change to make WSL 2 the new default distribution type when installing WSL for the first time.
Later this month, you can expect WSL 2 to arrive in the next major Windows 10 update, also called the Windows 10 May 2020 Update.