Windows Subsystem for Linux gets a new icon and updated Linux kernel in its latest update

Windows Subsystem for Linux gets a new icon and updated Linux kernel in its latest update

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 5.10.74.3 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:

Windows Subsystem for Linux 0.50.2 Changelog

  • Added new logo for Windows Subsystem for Linux
  • Enable hardware performance counters if the hardware supports them [GH 4678]
  • A USERPROFILE%\.wslconfig option has been added to opt-out:
    [wsl2]
    hardwarePerformanceCounters=false

  • Fix issue when printing system error messages that contain inserts.
  • Update the user tile to launch in the user's home directory instead of C:\WINDOWS\System32
  • Restore default signal dispositions for /etc/wsl.conf boot.command process to prevent zombie processes [GH 7575]
  • Switch to using a static CRT for Windows binaries
  • Use store API to download distributions via wsl.exe --install
  • Add --no-launch option to wsl.exe --install
  • Many updates to localized strings.
  • Update to the official 22000 sdk
  • Strip Linux symbols for release builds
  • Update Linux kernel to 5.10.74.3
    • Update to upstream stable kernel release 5.10.74
      • Enable BPF Type Format (CONFIG_DEBUG_INFO_BTF) for use by eBPF tools [GH 7437]
      • Changed Dxgkrnl version to 2110
      • Implemented D3DKMTShareObjectWithHost
      • Fixed QueryStatistics VM bus alignment issue for the result
      • Implemented D3DKMTCreateSyncFile
      • Address upstream submission feedback
      • Moved d3dkmthk to include/uapi/misc
      • Replaces u32 by __u32 and u64 by __u64
      • Added "_" in front of the enumerator values to support including both WDK and Linux headers
      • Removed holes in the user mode visible structures to be compatible with 32 bit apps
      • Replaces pointer in the user mode visible structures with a define to be u64 for user mode apps
      • Fix build failure with GCC versions older than 8.1 [GH 7558]
    • Enable the Buffer Sharing and Sync File Frameworks (CONFIG_DMA_SHARED_BUFFER, CONFIG_SYNC_FILE) for Dxgkrnl usage


Since this is a pre-release build, the update is rolling out in a staged fashion, which means it might take a few days for your device to receive it. If you don't want to wait, you can manually check for update by clicking on the Microsoft Store link below, or grab the MSIXBUNDLE corresponding to the new build from the Windows Subsystem for Linux GitHub repo's release section and install it on your own.

Windows Subsystem for Linux Preview
Windows Subsystem for Linux Preview
Developer: ‪Microsoft Corp.‬
Price: Free

About author

Skanda Hazarika
Skanda Hazarika

DIY enthusiast (i.e. salvager of old PC parts). An avid user of Android since the Eclair days, Skanda also likes to follow the recent development trends in the world of single-board computing.