Microsoft Enhances Windows Subsystem for Linux with User-Friendly Settings Interface

The Windows Subsystem for Linux is set to undergo a major upgrade with the introduction of a user interface for settings and management enhancements, aiming to make the platform more appealing to enterprise administrators.

While traditional Linux users may not mind tinkering with configuration files, the current method of editing global settings in the .wslconfig file may be off-putting for those accustomed to graphical user interfaces.

According to Craig Loewen, Microsoft’s Senior Product Manager for the Windows Developer Platform, a user-friendly interface is in the works to categorize settings in a familiar Windows format for users who find text-based configuration daunting.

The upcoming settings app will remain compatible with the .wslconfig file, allowing users to choose between a graphical interface or manual editing.

In addition to the settings interface, Microsoft has announced Entra ID integration, set to debut in a public preview by July or August 2024. This integration will enable secure communication between Microsoft’s Authentication Library and WSL, allowing automatic login using Entra Id credentials for various experiences in WSL.

Furthermore, integration with Dev Home is on the horizon, with recognition given to Carlos Ramirez from Whitewater Foundry for his contributions to the project.

The latest pre-release version of WSL includes updates that have been transitioned from experimental to default settings, such as improved networking and automatic memory release from WSL back to Windows.

Currently, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint’s WSL 2 support has been made generally available, with Intune integration allowing enforcement of conditional access scenarios based on the state of the Linux distribution in a public preview phase.

Looking ahead, the goal is to empower users to create custom Linux scripts for compliance purposes, further enhancing the functionality of the Windows Subsystem for Linux.