Technology

Microsoft’s new open source tool lets you bring your own Linux distro to Windows

After starting with Ubuntu Microsoft added a number of Linux distributions to its Linux Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) runtime environment. A Windows machine can simultaneously offer Ubuntu, SUSE, Debian and Kali "personality", giving users the choice of preferences and package management for different distributions.

But if your distribution is not yet available or if you want a custom Linux installation as you like, there is now an answer: Microsoft has a open source tool to build your own Linux package. The tool is intended for two groups: distribution owners (so that they can produce a set to ship via the Microsoft Store) and developers (so that they can create custom distributions and the load on their development systems).

The Microsoft tool provides the basic link between Windows and the Linux distribution. It manages the distribution system and run the initial configuration, such as creating the user, and it can be customized to, for example, print a message from the day the distribution is started.

In theory, anyone can take a distribution of their choice and package it for the store, but Microsoft says that it will only accept such packages from distribution owners. No matter who hoping to stick Fedora in the store – he was promised last year but still has to appear – will not be able to do it. However, someone could build a Fedora, reload it, and even distribute the pieces to streamline that load. Those who like to unroll their loops can create a Gentoo version.

Microsoft continues to add new features to WSL. The next major Windows update, version 1803, will include limited support for back-end tasks (WSL installations do not yet use initd or systemd but will still be able to continue working even if all your windows WSL are closed). sockets (available for Windows and Linux applications) and better interoperability of file systems between Windows sides and Linux sides.