WSL2 will be on Windows 10, version 2004
The Microsoft blog announced that WSL2 will officially enter the generally available (GA) state in the Windows 10 version 2004.
WSL2 was announced by Microsoft last year at Build 2019. Compared with the first generation, the new WSL has redesigned the architecture, using the real Linux kernel, and can run ELF64 Linux binaries on Windows.
Linux binaries use system calls to perform many functions, such as accessing files, requesting memory, and creating processes. WSL1 created a translation layer that translates this system calls to allow them to work on the Windows NT kernel. However, implementing all of these system calls can be challenging, preventing some applications from running in WSL1. WSL now includes its own Linux kernel with full system call compatibility, which introduces a whole new set of applications that can run in WSL, such as the Linux version of Docker.
The blog also explained that “We’ve removed the Linux kernel from the Windows OS image and instead will be delivering it to your machine via Windows Update, the same way that 3rd party drivers (like graphics, or touchpad drivers) are installed and updated on your machine today. This change will give you more agility and flexibility over Linux kernel updates in WSL2.”
The Windows 10 version 2004 is expected to be released in May, and Windows Insider users can experience it first.