New distros coming to Bash/WSL via Windows Store

Rich Turner

We’re REALLY excited about this announcement and think many of you will be too 😉

On May 11th 2017, during Microsoft’s Build conference keynote, Terry Myerson (EVP for Windows & Devices Group) made several announcements about the Windows Subsystem for Linux:

  1. We continue our partnership with our friends at Canonical to bring Ubuntu to the Windows Store app
  2. We are also working with the great teams at SUSE and Fedora to bring their Linux distros to the Windows Store & Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)
  3. You will be able to download these distros from the store and install them side-by-side on your PC(s)
  4. You’ll be able to run one or more distros simultaneously if you wish

And at OSCON 2017 I delivered a talk on the architecture and history of Bash/WSL, and outlined these new features. Thanks to the great OSCON audience & attendees for all your great support & engagement 🙂

These new features deliver several key benefits including:

  • You’ll enjoy faster and more reliable downloads
  • You can run different distros aligned more closely with your production environments and/or personal preferences
  • You can run more than one distro at a time – great for when you need to work on systems that span different environments
  • You can install your distros to secondary fixed drives (i.e. not C:!) [Update 2017-07-24: Alas, this didn’t fit in the Fall Creators Update schedule; we’re looking into this feature for a future release]


WSL was always designed to be distro-agnostic and this is the first time we’re exercising this aspect of the system. As always, we greatly appreciate any testing you can help us with, and if you find problems, please file bugs in our GitHub issues repo. We can’t wait to hear how you get on installing via the store and running different and multiple distros!

These new features will arrive in an up-coming Windows Insider build. If you’d like to be among the first to try-out these new distros, be sure to sign-up for the Windows Insider program, and configure your Win10 machine to install fast-ring builds.

Rich Turner

1 comment

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  • Gregg Levine 1

    I’ve gotten SuSe SLES 12SP3 running on this system, because I know of it for System Z. But for Linux I got my start almost exclusively with Slackware Linux. It’s one of the oldest ones out there, even older than Debian or Red Hat. It’s ah just better. So why wasn’t it included? And I tried out the Windows Insider build cycle. I needed to leave it because it caused more problems then it was worth.

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