You can now install WSL as a Microsoft Store App

Posted on Friday, Dec 2, 2022 by Ned Bellavance

Featured in this episode of Chaos Lever

Hooray? As someone who has been using the Windows Subsystem for Linux since its v1 days back in 2017, I wasn’t sure what all the brouhaha was about. Installing WSL, especially v2 was a tepid affair involving the command line and a handful of commands helpfully listed on the Microsoft Learn site. It was, easy? Yes, we’ll go with easy. I guess clicking on an install button from the Microsoft Store is technically easier, but why should I care?

Part of the release is to make the Microsoft Store version of WSL the default version regardless of how you install it. This helps rationalize the multiple installation options before, including WSLv1, WSLv2 as Linux VM, and WSLv2 as an optional Windows component. Now whether you go to the store or install at the command line, it will be the same bits coming from the Microsoft Store. That’s nice. It also removes the need for components like the aforementioned optional Windows component, the WSL kernel, and the WSLg MSI package. Now it’s one tidy MSIX file from the store.

The update also drops the Preview label from the store offering as its now GA for Windows 10 and 11. You can also opt in for systemd support and use Linux GUI apps on a Windows 10 device. If you’re already running WSL today, the update will be pushed via Windows Updates sometime in mid-December, after which you can simply running wsl --update to get on the latest version. If you’re starting from scratch, hit up the Microsoft Store now to get your copy.