MICROSOFT HAS TAKEN another step in its embracing of once sworn enemy Linux with news that there are plans for a full Linux kernel to be rolled into Windows 10.
The company has been embracing Linux users for a few years now, with the Bash Shell incorporated and a range of Linux flavours including Ubuntu and Mint being released on the Microsoft Store. In the most recent update, Linux instances were enabled to access Windows files.
Now, it appears that the company is going the whole hog: "Beginning with Windows Insiders builds this Summer, we will include an in-house custom-built Linux kernel to underpin the newest version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)," Microsoft said.
"This marks the first time that the Linux kernel will be included as a component in Windows. This is an exciting day for all of us on the Linux team at Microsoft and we are thrilled to be able to tell you a little bit about it."
Anyone looking for the latest kernel will be disappointed as Microsoft has opted for Long Term Support for now.
"The kernel itself will initially be based on version 4.19, the latest long-term stable release of Linux. The kernel will be rebased at the designation of new long-term stable releases to ensure that the WSL kernel always has the latest Linux goodness."
Microsoft has confirmed that there are a few patches that have been added to the kernel which are designed to reduce memory footprint and speed up launch times - an example of Microsoft contributing in a very open-source-type way, rather than just taking all the time.
Canonical is the first to announce that it will be supporting the new kernel for Ubuntu: "Extending enterprise support for Ubuntu from Azure to Windows workstations and servers creates a seamless operating environment for Ubuntu in the Microsoft environment," said Stephan Fabel, Director of Product at Canonical.
"Collaboration with Microsoft enables us to certify Ubuntu on WSL, including Docker containers, Kubernetes, and snaps".
The Linux kernel is set to roll out with the 19H2 update to Windows-as-a-Service, due in the autumn. μ
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