After the addition of Ubuntu and openSUSE to Microsoft Store in the recent past, we witnessed the addition of Kali Linux and Debian. While we don’t know Microsoft’s long-term strategy behind these developments, be ready to see more distros coming to the store.
To make this process easier, Microsoft has open sourced a crucial Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) component that’ll allow distro maintainers to create their own WSL packages for Microsoft Store.
For those who don’t know, the Linux distros available on the store are Universal Windows Platform (UWP) applications. These distros are then run on WSL, which is the subsystem in Windows kernel.
This WSL sample release will enable them to submit a distro as an “appx that runs on WSL.” Further, it’ll let one create custom distros for sideloading on their dev machines.
The developers will also be required to submit a distro maintainer to become eligible for listing on Windows Store. To sideload apps, they’ll need to enable this “For Developers” section of system settings.
The code for this open source release can be found here on GitHub under the name WSL-DistroLauncher.
Meanwhile, if you’re new to this feature of Windows 10, feel free to read our guide to install and run Linux distros on Windows. While this guide is primarily written for openSUSE and Ubuntu, the similar steps apply to Debian and Kali Linux.
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