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In the dynamic confluence of software ecosystems, where Windows and Linux not only coexist but complement each other, Microsoft continues its journey of innovation. Unveiling the latest iteration of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) version 2.0.0, the tech giant showcases a harmonious blend of power-packed features and fixes.


Designed with an aim to heighten the user experience, the new version is a testament to Microsoft's dedication to optimizing both platforms' capabilities. Dive in with us as we decode what WSL 2.0.0 brings to the table.


Microsoft Unveils Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) 2.0.0: A Deeper Dive into the Upgrades
Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) version 2.0.0


Opt-in for Experimental Features

Users now have the choice to opt into a range of new experimental features via %USERPROFILE%\.wslconfig. Microsoft's updated documentation provides a more in-depth understanding, accessible here. Here are the major experimental additions to the WSL:

  • Auto Memory Reclaim: Ensuring efficient memory usage, this feature allows the WSL Virtual Machine (VM) to shrink its memory footprint by reclaiming cached memory.
  • Enhanced Networking Mode: This mode offers an advanced networking experience for the WSL, introducing new capabilities and enhancing overall network compatibility.
  • DNS Tunneling: In a bid to improve network compatibility, the way WSL handles DNS requests has been changed.
  • Integrated Firewall: WSL now incorporates Windows firewall rules, introducing more sophisticated firewall controls for the WSL VM.
  • Auto Proxy: This feature enables WSL to utilize the proxy details from Windows automatically, further boosting network compatibility.



Salient Features and Fixes

Microsoft's new update has addressed several issues that users reported in the past. The "Store WSL" is now accessible from Session 0, effectively resolving issue #9231. Additionally, all binaries included in the WSL package are duly signed, guaranteeing their authenticity and integrity.


A significant enhancement is the experimental.autoMemoryReclaim setting addition to %USERPROFILE%\.wslconfig. Users will also be prompted to activate VMP if HNS is unavailable on their device.



Several fixes have been rolled out in this update:

  • Resolving the issue of localhost relay failure when IPv6 is disabled.
  • Enhancing the error message related to the WSL1 disabled policy to include upgrade instructions.
  • Addressing the microk8s scenario concerning mirrored networking.
  • Addressing the issue where the '.wslconfig' file could be wrongly translated.


Microsoft also introduced new features, such as creating shared mounts during the distro namespace's initialization, solving issue #10410, and adding logic to generate a system unit to safeguard the binfmt interpreter, addressing issue #8843.



Updates and Additions

With this new release, the Microsoft.WSL.Kernel version has been updated to For those unfamiliar with certain components, Microsoft will now display a notification to prompt the user to install the missing components.


Furthermore, the WSLg has been updated to version 1.0.57. A notable addition here is the integration of the Windows snapping feature with WSL GUI apps, allowing users to quickly snap windows using the WIN + arrow key combination.


Lastly, the MSRDC has been updated to 1.2.4485.



End Notes

Microsoft's WSL 2.0.0 is not just an upgrade; it's a transformative shift towards ensuring that developers and users get the best out of Windows and Linux's amalgamation. With a slew of new features, improvements, and fixes, Microsoft continues to fortify its commitment to providing top-notch user experiences.


As the tech community delves into these new offerings, the future of WSL looks promising, and its evolution will be worth watching.


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