Microsoft is shipping a full Linux kernel for Windows 10

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In a continuous effort to bring Windows closer to the open source community, Microsoft has announced that it will be shipping a full Linux kernel directly in Windows 10.

The new offering will reach Windows 10 users this summer, when Microsoft issues its next Windows Insiders build. Speaking about the new addition, Microsoft program manager Jack Hammons said the Linux kernel will underpin the latest version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

“The kernel itself will initially be based on version 4.19, the latest long-term stable release of Linux. The kernel will be rebased at the designation of new long-term stable releases to ensure that the WSL kernel always has the latest Linux goodness,” he said.

According to The Verge, this integration of Windows 10 with Linux will interface with a userspace installed through Windows Store, which the publication considers a ‘big shift’ for Microsoft.

This “marks the first time that the Linux kernel will be included as part of Windows,” it says.

Devs should expect considerable improvements in the performance of Microsoft’s Linux subsystem in Windows, once this implementation is complete. The company said it will regularly update this kernel.

It will be completely open source, allowing devs to create their own WSL kernel and add changes.

“This is the culmination of years of effort from the Linux Systems Group as well as multiple other teams across Microsoft,” Hammons concluded.

“We are excited to be able to share the result and look forward to the new and interesting ways in which you will use WSL.”

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