Windows 10 Build 20211 lets you access Linux filesystems in Windows and WSL 2

Dev Channel Insiders are in for a treat this week. Windows 10 Build 20211 introduces a number of new features, including adding Search to the Default Apps pages in Settings.

There’s a big new change for users of Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL 2) too -- you can now attach and mount a physical disk inside of a WSL 2 distro.

Why would you want to? Well, as Microsoft explains:

This enables you to access file systems that aren’t natively supported by Windows (such as ext4). So if you’re dual booting with Windows and Linux, and are using different disks, you can now access your Linux files from Windows! To learn more about this feature please read this blog post on the Windows Command Line blog.

Fixes in this new build include

  • Fixed an issue where certain 32-bit applications running on a 64-bit OS do not get properly promoted to the discrete GPU for hybrid configurations.
  • Fixed an issue that could result in Start menu tiles continuing to display an "app update in progress" progress bar after an app had already finished updating.
  • Fixed an issue that could result in some of the app icons in Start appearing unexpectedly tiny.
  • Fixed an issue on ARM64 devices resulting in Start crashing on launch the next time it was opened after launching certain apps from Start and then closing them.
  • Fixed an issue that could result in the lock screen hanging.
  • Fixed an issue that could result in ShellExperienceHost.exe hanging.
  • Fixed an issue where hero images weren’t showing up in notifications (for example, when taking a screenshot using WIN + Shift + S).
  • Fixed an issue from the last few flights that could result in Windows update getting stuck while downloading the update.

Known issues are:

  • Microsoft is looking into reports of the update process hanging for extended periods of time when attempting to install a new build.
  • Microsoft is working on a fix to enable live preview for pinned site tabs.
  • Microsoft is working on enabling the new taskbar experience for existing pinned sites. In the meantime, you can unpin the site from the taskbar, remove it from the edge://apps page, and then re-pin the site.
  • Microsoft is investigating reports of some Office applications crashing or missing after updating to a new build.
  • Microsoft is working on a fix for an issue resulting in Settings crashing for some Insiders when opening Manage Disks and Volumes.
  • Microsoft is working on a fix for the Linux kernel not being installed when using the `wsl -install` command in the Windows Subsystem for Linux. For an immediate workaround run `wsl -update` to get the latest kernel version.
  • Microsoft is investigating an issue affecting Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 distros where users can receive the error: "The remote procedure call failed" on startup.
  • Microsoft is working on an issue where on a small subset of devices the Start menu does not reflect when an update is pending restart and scheduled restarts are cancelled. To install the next update, you will need to update and restart through the Windows Update settings page, notification area (system tray) icon, or restart notification.
  • Microsoft is investigating reports of some devices experiencing a KMODE_EXCEPTION bugcheck when using certain virtualization technologies.
  • Microsoft is investigating a bug where the vEthernet adapter in Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 distros becomes disconnected after a period of use. For full details please follow this Github thread.
  • Microsoft is working on a fix for seeing generic errors when using `wsl –install` in the Windows Subsystem for Linux.

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