Ubuntu on Windows Community Preview is a special sandboxed build for testing new features on Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

You can’t have failed to have noticed that Microsoft has been showing a lot of love to Linux in recent years, with the most obvious example being the inclusion of Windows Subsystem for Linux in Windows 10. The company has been improving this and adding new functionality regularly. Most recently it made it possible to use Windows Hello in WSL.

Today, Ubuntu Linux maker Canonical releases Ubuntu on Windows Community Preview which is a special build of its OS for WSL 2 that lets users experiment with new features and functionality in a sandbox environment.

According to Canonical’s Sohini Bianka Roy, the "new Ubuntu on Windows Community Preview is our way of thanking the community and providing a space for us to collectively shape the future of Ubuntu on WSL". It will make it possible to "match the speed of innovation in open-source" and allow for the testing of new features with the community "at a faster pace and shorter cadence".

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Highlights of the Windows Community Preview include:

  1. Ubuntu WSL Out-Of-Box experience: A user-friendly setup interface for the first run based on `subiquity`(the same installer used by Ubuntu server), that allows you to perform additional customization of your environment after your first run. 
  2. Ubuntu WSL commandline interface `ubuntuwsl`: A tool that allows you to readily configure your WSL distro.
  3. Windows Terminal Fragment Extension: A work-in-progress extension that provides an entry on Windows Terminal

The only way to get the new community preview is through this link to the Microsoft Store. Be warned, the new release isn’t for everyone. Canonical says it’s aimed at those who want to help "test and enhance new features coming to WSL", rather than for use as a daily driver.

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