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Definition: Windows Subsystem for Linux

A software layer from Microsoft for executing Linux applications in Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019. Introduced in 2016, Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL 1) required a Linux version such as Ubuntu or openSUSE. In 2019, WSL 2 was a major change that included a Microsoft-created Linux kernel and a virtual machine environment. WSL 2 enables Linux I/O to run considerably faster than WSL 1, and WSL 2 supports ELF64 binaries to run.

Windows Subsystem for Linux provides interoperability between both platforms. Environment variables can be shared between, and Windows commands can be executed in Linux, while Linux commands can be executed in Windows. See Linux, ELF. See also Windows Subsystem for Android.