Microsoft Announces First Paid-For $20 Linux Distro for Windows 10 October 2018 Update


Microsoft has announced two new Linux distributions for Windows 10 Subsystem for Linux (WSL), including the first paid-for Linux distro called WLinux. WLinux is a Debian-based distro available for $19.99 from Microsoft Store. The company also announced Ubuntu 18.04, which will be available through the Microsoft Store, as well.

While Windows 10 October 2018 Update is still to recover from the data loss bugs and its rollout process is yet to be restarted, Microsoft has today shared how the latest Windows 10 version 1809 will bring more support for Linux distros through the WSL. WSL enables Windows 10 to run various GNU/Linux distros inside the operating system as apps, offering access to Ubuntu, openSUSE, Debian, Kali Linux, and others.

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"WLinux is a custom Linux distro built from Debian specifically for use on WSL," the company said. "While other distros are available for WSL, WLinux is the first optimized for use by users of WSL." WLinux, built by Whitewater Foundry and being promoted as a "fast Linux terminal environment for developers," can be downloaded from Microsoft Store for $9.99 for the first 7 days.

As for Ubuntu 18.04 (download link), it can now be run on Windows 10 ARM-based machines. If the distro is downloaded from the Microsoft Store, it will check whether the user has an ARM-based device to pull the right version.

Microsoft improves WSL and offers convenience with Windows 10 version 1809

While WSL isn't new, with the release of Windows 10 October 2018 Update, users will be able to launch Linux using Windows File Explorer. Microsoft has added a new “Open Linux shell here” context menu entry to the shell. Users can do this in the file explorer by selecting a folder and then clicking Shift+Right to see the new context menu. Clicking on “Open Linux shell here” option will launch the default WSL distribution directly in that path.

Microsoft has also shared a long list of bugs and improvements to WSL that will be made available with the release of Windows 10 1809.

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As for that release, the company is yet to update on when the Windows 10 October 2018 Update is going to be made available to the users again. Although it is estimated that a few million users managed to get their hands on the latest Windows version, the official re-release is yet to begin since its initial rollout process was put to a pause in October.

- More details on the latest updates for WSL in October 2018 Update are available here.