Cutting edge Ubuntu on the Windows Subsystem for Linux • The Register


Canonical began offering daily releases from Ubuntu to Windows Subsystem for Linux. We reviewed non-production code.

Ubuntu has long been friends with the Windows Subsystem for Linux. If you jump wsl --install on a clean Windows 11 PC, chances are Canonical’s Linux distribution is installed by default.

There are many other options available – OpenSUSE and Debian come effortlessly to mind, and we recently noted the arrival of AlmaLinux for RHEL refuseniks, but all require manual specification.

However, since WSL is primarily aimed at developers wishing to launch their Linux applications from their Windows workstations, testing on the LTS stable branch may not be suitable for everyone.

While there are ways to get more state-of-the-art incarnations on WSL, Ubuntu’s announcement this week brings an easier method to get working previews through the Microsoft Store and Ubuntu Preview.

Describing the build as something “for thrill seekers”, the app provides daily builds (currently from Ubuntu 22.10 Kinetic Kudu) in WSL through a relatively friendly user interface. We say “relatively” because in our tests, the window committed the cardinal sin of always getting to the top and didn’t show errors by default.

Then again, if you’re not ready to live a little dangerously, you should probably steer clear – as Canonical says: “It’s do not recommended for production development. It can be unstable and it will be have bugs.”

That said, once we’ve ironed out the minor issues with the installer (again – be sure to expand the window to see any error messages), the Ubuntu Kinetic Kudu development branch will is triggered without any problem. A little of apt action culled the very last bits and, for today at least, we’ve found the experience to be stable.

If stability is what is desired, it probably won’t be a good idea. There are many more stable distros for WSL hiding in the Microsoft Store. However, if one wants to live on the cutting edge of technology (for Ubuntu in this case), the Ubuntu Preview app is an easy way to view the latest from Canonical from the convenience of WSL. ®


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