Microsoft releases Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2) for Windows 10 version 1903 and 1909

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You can now download Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 aka WSL 2 for Windows 10 version 1903 and 1909

When Microsoft released the Windows Subsystem for Linux or WSL, it was made available for only the latest Windows 10 versions. The WSL made it possible for Windows 10 users to run Linux distros on their PC/laptops. Users had been demanding that Microsoft make the WSL available for all versions of Windows 10.

When Microsoft released the Windows 10 version 2004, or May 2020 mega-update it brought the second-generation Windows Subsystem for Linux, also known as WSL 2 to Windows 10 PC/laptops. But even now you can only run the WSL on selected Windows 10 computers that got the Windows 10 v2004 update.

Thankfully, Microsoft is correcting this anomaly.  Microsoft has now decided to release WSL 2 for all versions of Windows 10. In an announcement, Microsoft said that the second-generation release of Windows Subsystem for Linux will now be available for Windows 10 version 1903 and 1909 as well. In other words, Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 will be available on three different Windows 10 versions, namely 1903, 1909, 2004.

If you want the WSL 2 on your Windows 10 1903 and 1909 version, you should manually check for the WSL 2 update. At present only 64-bit Windows 10 versions can download and run WSL 2 on their computers. Microsoft has added that upgraded ARM64 run Windows 10 2004 PC/laptops will also get the WSL 2.

Microsoft has already said that all Windows 10 1903 and 1909 versions will get Windows 10 2004 in due time and this would automatically bring WSL 2 to your computers. However, this process could take months and if you don’t wish to wait that long, you can manually download the WSL 2 update for Windows 10 version 1903 and 1909.

How do I get it WSL 2 on my Windows 10 1903 and 1909 version?

Currently, this backport to 1903 and 1909 will only be for x64 systems. If you are using an ARM64 version, please upgrade to Windows 10 version 2004 and you’ll gain full access to WSL 2. To get this backport you just need to check for updates. First, open Windows Settings, navigate to ‘Update & Security’, and click Check for Updates.

Microsoft announcement says that :

You can check if you have this backport by verifying the minor build number of your Windows build. To do this, right click on the start menu, click ‘Run’ and then type in ‘winver’ and hit enter. The first number before the . is your major build number, so for version 1903 this will read 18362. The number after the . is your minor build number, and this will let you know whether you have the backport on your machine. This backport has the minor build number: 1049. To summarize, if your minor build number is 1049 or higher on Windows builds 18362 or 18363, then you have the backport and the ability to run WSL 2 distros.

Once you’ve verified that you have the correct version of Windows please follow the instructions here to install WSL, or simply update to use WSL 2. If you have technical questions please file them on the WSL Github repo.

You can visit the Microsoft support page here for further instructions

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