Windows Subsystem for Linux is an optional feature for running Linux applications on Windows PCs, thanks to a lightweight virtual machine. It will soon work with even more Linux software, thanks to newly added systemd support.
Microsoft introduced a revamped Windows subsystem for Linux in 2019, known as WSL2, which runs the Linux kernel and other system functions on top of a minimal virtual machine (a specialized Hyper-V container, to be specific). It’s fast and has full access to your Windows files, but it lacks support for systemd, a collection of services and utilities in most Linux distributions that handle devices, registry, networking, and other functions. That means software that requires systemd doesn’t work or has more limits in WSL2, such as Docker containers and applications distributed as ‘Snap’ packages.
Canonical (the developer of Ubuntu Linux) and Microsoft have been working together to fix the problem and now systemd is available in WSL2. It’s limited to the preview version of WSL for now, and you need to activate it by modifying a configuration file; full instructions are in the source link below. Once this is done, restarting WSL will enable systemd.
The main benefit of the new feature (and probably the reason Canonical was helping) is that you can now install packages from Canonical’s Snap store. Snap is a common method of distributing Linux software, and while the technology isn’t popular with many people, some applications are only officially available as Snap packs.
Best of all, the new feature is available in WSL2 on both Windows 10 and 11. If you’re still waiting for Windows 11, you don’t have to miss out on expanded software support.
Via: The Registry