Microsoft will launch WSL2, a real Linux kernel for Windows 10

Microsoft will start with the distribution of a specially-designed Linux kernel from the launch of Windows 10 Insider builds over the next summer, reported cyber forensics course specialists. This new kernel will be the cornerstone of WSL2, the new Windows Subsystem for Linux.

The main novelty is that WSL2 will use a completely new development open source kernel, unlike the first Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL1), which was only a kernel compatible with Linux, as reported by the company.

The source code for this development will be provided by Kernel.org, although Microsoft announced it is set to launch custom patches to reduce Kernel memory logging and improve hardware compatibility on Windows systems.

According to cyber forensics course specialists, in the implementation of WSL1 Microsoft had to translate the calls from Linux so that it could communicate with the Windows NT kernel; now, using the true Linux kernel eliminates the need for translation and applications have full access to conventional operating system calls. This improves compatibility for Linux applications as well as increasing system performance, as reported by the specialists.

“Intensive file operations such as git clone, npm install, apt update, APT upgrade and many others will be performed significantly faster; WSL2 runs about 20 times faster than the previous version” the cyber forensics course experts mentioned.

According to specialists from the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS), the administration of WSL2 becomes easier including the Linux kernel in Microsoft Update, so that security fixes are delivered automatically to the Windows 10 system.

Users who want to contribute to the development of the WSL2 kernel will be able to do so, by decision of Microsoft, it is an open source project that will be hosted on GitHub. The company will briefly make the compilation instructions known so that developers can create their completely custom kernels. 

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