Open Sourcing a WSL Sample for Linux Distribution Maintainers and Sideloading Custom Linux Distributions

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Steven P.

We are happy to announce that we have open sourced a WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) sample  for Linux distribution maintainers.  This sample allows distro maintainers to build WSL distro packages for the Microsoft Store and developers to create custom Linux distro packages for sideloading.  You can find the distro launcher repo on GitHub.


This project enables:

  • Linux distribution maintainers to package and submit a Linux distribution as an appx that runs on WSL
  • Developers to create custom Linux distributions that can be sideloaded onto their dev machine

We know that many Linux distros rely entirely on open source software, so we would like to bring WSL closer to the OSS community. We hope open sourcing this project will help increase community engagement and bring more of your favorite distros to the Microsoft Store.


First, a little background on how we distribute Linux distros for WSL. We distribute Linux distros for WSL as UWP applications through the Microsoft Store. You can install those applications that will then run on WSL - the subsystem that sits in the Windows kernel. This delivery mechanism has many benefits as discussed in an earlier blog post.

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