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Microsoft To Release Major WSL Update Along With New Features

The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is now getting a major update. Microsoft has now made version 2.0.0 available as a preview for testers. During development, numerous adjustments were made and experimental features were added.

Memory freed up

One of the most important new features for some users is probably the automatic memory recovery. In the future, this will ensure dynamic memory allocation of the virtual machine in which the Linux environment runs internally. So far, storage space is not immediately freed up again when it is no longer needed for Linux applications with their data.

In addition, the current WSL update introduces “Mirrored Mode Networking”. This is a new network mode that not only offers various new features but also improves network compatibility. For example, IPv6 and multicast support, improved network compatibility for VPNs, and the ability to connect to the WSL VM from the local network and to Windows servers from the Linux VM are integrated here.

Craig Loewen, program manager for the Windows Developer Platform, further explained that DNS tunneling has also been integrated into WSL 2.0.0. “This feature should improve network compatibility so that you are less likely to have no network connection within WSL,” he explained.

A firewall for everyone

WSL also now has a Hyper-V Firewall feature that inherits Windows Firewall rules and provides advanced management options for the WSL VM. Additionally, the newly introduced “autoProxy” feature ensures that WSL seamlessly leverages proxy information from Windows, which should also further improve network compatibility.

Some of these new features, such as mirrored network mode, DNS tunneling, and Hyper-V Firewall, are only available to Windows Insiders in the Release Preview Channel with Windows 11 22H2 if they have at least Windows 11 build 22621.2359 installed.

Mark Goodman

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