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Windows Subsystem for Linux is coming to Windows Server

CMD, PowerShell and Bash. Three command line interfaces should be enough for anyone?

By Simon Sharwood, 9 Aug 2017

Microsoft has announced that Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is coming to Windows Server.

Microsoft's adding it to Windows Server for the same reasons it added it to Windows: it wants developers to have whatever tools they prefer at their disposal.

Sysadmins are also on Redmond's mind, it says. “If you’re a server engineer that needs to run node.js, Ruby, Python, Perl, Bash scripts or other tools that expect Linux behaviors, environment or filesystem-layout, the ability to install and run Linux with WSL expands the tools at your disposal on Windows Server.”

Redmond snuck WSL into Windows Server Insider Build 16237 without including it in the announcement. It's now issued instructions on how to install it. If you'd rather not click, it's just a single line of PowerShell fun if you're logged in with administrator rights:

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux

Microsoft warns: “You cannot currently use WSL to run persistent Linux services, daemons, jobs, etc as background tasks.”

Note that word “currently.” It could be loose language or it could be a clue to future developments. ®

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