The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) compatibility layer needs no introduction when it comes to running Linux apps under Windows as natively as possible. Although Microsoft still ships WSL as an optional feature for Windows 10 and Windows 11, the company has gradually started decoupling it from the core OS. The first step towards the modular design was to wrap the whole Linux Subsystem as an app and distribute it through the Microsoft Store. To cement it further, Microsoft is now rolling out a new pre-release build of Windows Subsystem for Linux that brings a brand new icon, an updated Linux kernel, and a bunch of improvements.
The new release bumps the version number of the Windows Subsystem for Linux app to 0.50.2. The first thing you notice after the update is the new penguin logo, which replaces the generic app stub icon. Under the hood, you can find version 126.96.36.199 of the Linux kernel with a plethora of fixes related to the DirectX graphics kernel subsystem. Last but not least, if you search “Windows Subsystem for Linux” in your start menu and click on that, it will now start you in your Linux home directory instead of of the System32 folder of the Windows instance.
The full changelog of this release can be found below: