Microsoft is shipping the Linux kernel with Windows to create a developer-friendly OS

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Microsoft will soon include an entire custom-built Linux kernel (version 4.19) within Windows 10. The move may be surprising to many considering Microsoft’s rather tepid response to the open-source OS these past few years, but it’s now aiding and abetting the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and spurring on Linux use.

There’s a little bit of a controversy in Linux land regarding whether Linux OS systems should be called Linux or rather GNU/Linux. We won’t get into all that but take note that when Windows is adding the Linux kernel, it’s doing just that. Microsoft is adding in the bit of low-level software responsible for all of the core operations on Linux-based systems… but accessible from within Windows. You’ll still have to download a GNU (OS), such as Ubuntu, to run with the newly-available Linux kernel – available either through the Windows Store or distribution package.

“Beginning with Windows Insiders builds this Summer, we will include an in-house custom-built Linux kernel to underpin the newest version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL),” Jack Hammons, program manager for the Linux Systems Group, says within a blog post (via The Verge). “This marks the first time that the Linux kernel will be included as a component in Windows.”

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