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March 24, 2024

Managing Linux Distributions on Windows 11 Through GUI: A New Feature by Microsoft


Microsoft has incorporated the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) to allow users to directly operate a Linux distro. In virtue of WSA, there is no need to dual-boot Linux or develop a virtual machine, though this feature is confined to Windows Terminal. Recognizing that some users may find the command line daunting, Microsoft is in the process of developing a GUI for Linux distro management.

Silently proposed on Github by Microsoft, the company requested suggestions on utilizing Dev Home for the management of all installed Linux distributions, according to Windows Latest. Microsoft also displayed a few screenshots depicting the possible appearances of Linux distro management GUI.

In the hopes of making WSL distro management simpler for users, Microsoft is developing a GUI. This will allow users to get an overall view of all the installed distros and manage or access them without difficulty. The screenshot below presents the current predicament that requires using Terminal to interact with a Linux distro on Windows.

For newcomers trying to master WSL and manage the operating system installed, this could prove challenging. However, the card layout interface of Dev Home allows the monitoring of every facet of the installed distributions.

The User Interface mockup illustrates a fresh tab in the Dev Home application known as Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). This section showcases all the installed distributions along with myriad customization possibilities. It enumerates the current system metrics for the distribution that’s active. A particular distribution can be launched, even as a distinct user.

There are moreover buttons to cease a distribution that’s currently active or start another one. A context menu permits the user to remove a particular distribution, designate it as the primary option, or transfer it to a different location.

It’s also feasible to add a fresh distribution by hitting the “+ Add” button located at the top right corner. Lastly, the option to power off WSL is also available on the top bar, making it effortless to deactivate the feature.

The novel WSL integration has been devised with care. The developers intend to bring in the option to mount a disk formatted for Linux and display the WSL VM’s hardware utilization for each distribution.

Furthermore, the ability to import and export distros is under consideration. We’re fans of this sketch because it eliminates the need for a level-two hypervisor to develop a virtual machine and install Linux.

At present, WSL doesn’t offer a GUI interface, but this potential update could assist users in getting comfortable with Linux and virtual machines.

About The Author

Abhishek Mishra

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Abhishek Mishra is a skilled news reporter working at Windows Latest, where he focuses on everything about computing and Windows. With a strong background in computer applications, thanks to his master’s degree, Abhishek knows his way around complex tech subjects.

His love for reading and his four years in journalism have sharpened his ability to explain tricky tech ideas in easy-to-understand ways. Over his career, he has crafted hundreds of detailed articles for publications like MakeUseof, Tom’s Hardware, and more in the pursuit of helping tech enthusiasts.

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