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Dual Boot is Dead: Windows and Linux are now One.

posted Jun 20, 2020, 1:07 PM by Chris G   [ updated Jun 20, 2020, 1:07 PM ]

Dual Boot is Dead: Windows and Linux are now One.

Turn your Windows machine into a developer workstation with WSL 2.

I started building a machine learning workstation; a great CPU, lots of RAM, and a competent GPU, among others. My OS of choice for almost anything was Ubuntu, except I needed Microsoft Office for proposal writing. Office online is just not there yet and, let’s face it, LibreOffice is a disaster. So, the solution was to dual boot Ubuntu and Windows 10. The freedom you experience moving from Apple to Ubuntu is unparalleled, and the options you have building your own PC are almost infinite.

Dual boot was the answer for a long time. One million of context switches later, WSL came. Thus, I started moving a portion of my workflow to Windows. But still, there were many things missing. However, WSL 2 seems to be a game-changer. In this story, I will show you how to move your development workflow to Windows 10 and WSL 2, its new features, and what to expect in the near future.

What is WSL 2

WSL 2 is the new version of the architecture in WSL. This version comes with several changes that dictate how Linux distributions interact with Windows.

With this release, you get increased file system performance and a full system call compatibility. Of course, you can choose to run your Linux distribution as either WSL 1 or WSL 2, and, moreover, you can switch between those versions at any time. WSL 2 is a major overhaul of the underlying architecture and uses virtualization technology and a Linux kernel to enable its new features. But Microsoft handles the nitty-gritty details so you can focus on what matters.


Microsoft promises a smooth installation experience in the near future for WSL 2 and the ability to update the Linux kernel via Windows updates. For now, the installation process is a bit more involved but nothing scary.