You probably know already: recent Windows 10 builds allow you to run Linux applications in a much more integrated, native way than a typical virutalization environment like VirtualBox or VMware.
Linux on top of Windows OS is part of the Windows Subsystem for Linux – it's a feature that you install and update like any other native Windows OS component.
I've used WSL for basic things so far, mostly for light and quick automation: it's really cool that you can run a command line with native Linux features to use common tools like grep and awk or evern run Python 3 for text processing.
Microsoft have recently announced WSL 2, which sounds like a major improvement on top of the existing WSL technology:
- full Linux kernel (compiled for Windows compatibility) will be shipped – this means there will be complete syscall compatibility. In the current WSL 1 version of the technology, Windows is using kernel-like software element that emulates most frequently used system calls – but without achieving 100% syscall coverage
- seems WSL 1 and WSL 2 will be running side-by-side, at least initially
- there will be special management VM running in background and providing WSL 2 functionality. Wonder if this means it will have memory limitations like a typical VM?
I think WSL is a great way for Windows based users to get a taste of Linux OS without spending too much time installing or configuring it.
- Linux Kernel
- Red Hat Linux