Microsoft loves Linux

Microsoft has released a tool on Monday to help Linux aficionados in porting their favorite Linux distro to run on the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), a Windows 10 component that sideloads Linux distros on modern Windows 10 PCs.

Microsoft has already released official images for Ubuntu, SUSE, Kali Linux, and Debian, all of which are available via the official Windows Store.

But despite Microsoft's best efforts, the OS maker would never have enough time and resources to port all Linux distros to run on its WSL implementation. There are just too many Linux distros out there, most of which are niche distros created for specific purposes only.

WSL DistroLauncher Sample project available on GitHub

As such, Microsoft has decided to open source a project named "WSL DistroLauncher Sample" that contains a reference implementation of how Linux OS projects (or mundane Linux users alike) could port their favorite Linux distro to run inside the Windows 10 WSL component.

The end result of using WSL DistroLauncher Sample is a UWP application that sideloads the desired Linux distro via Windows 10's WSL component.

All the necessary instructions needed to use Microsoft's new tool are included in the WSL DistroLauncher's GitHub project README file.

Microsoft hopes for more Linux distros on the Windows Store

The project, open-sourced on GitHub, is for Linux distro teams, but also for lone developers.

Linux distro teams can create an official WSL package that they can distribute via the Windows Store, while developers can sideload custom Linux distros on their personal or work machines.

To avoid rogue or malicious users from creating and uploading a Linux distro they don't own on the Windows Store, Microsoft said it would only accept Windows Store submissions for Linux-flavored WSL images from each distro's official development teams only.

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