If you search the Microsoft Store and can’t find your favorite distribution in the Windows Subsystem for Linux , a new program called EasyWSL can convert almost any Linux Docker image to a WSL distribution.
The Microsoft digital store has been adding Linux distributions to this subsystem since Microsoft reached an agreement with Canonical to deliver Ubuntu in the Microsoft Store and later did the same with others such as Fedora and SuSE. Today there are many, but the Linux spectrum is immense and some are missing.
There is also concern that some of the WSL distributions were not created by the original maintainers but by third parties, raising concerns that they could potentially be tampered with.
To make it easier to find Linux distributions that are not available in the Microsoft Store, cybersecurity company Red Code Labs has created an open source project called ‘ EasyWSL ‘ that converts almost any Docker Linux image (the open source project that automates the deployment of applications within software containers) in WSL.
Even better, since these distributions are managed in Docker by the original maintainers, the user is assured that the builds have not been modified in any way to include malicious or other code.
How to convert layouts with EasyWSL
EasyWSL offers a wide range of distributions, superior to those available in the Microsoft Store , in a simple way.
To install a custom image, just select the option ‘Specify a docker image’, and when requesting a container enter the name of the distribution and the tag to install using the syntax “image: tag”.
New distributions added using EasyWSL will not appear in the Start menu like those installed from the Microsoft Store, although their execution is simple using the command “wsl -d [linux_distro]”.
An interesting tool to use any distribution in this subsystem that Microsoft has been improving since five years ago it released what was a real bombshell: A “Linux within Windows”. Although it arrived timidly, since it only allowed to use Bash (the command interpreter that is installed by default in most GNU / Linux distributions) today it fulfills its objective, the one that Microsoft wanted: that developers who need to use Linux it do, but without exiting Windows.
In case you are not up-to-date with this subsystem dedicated mainly to developers and advanced users ( Microsoft is preparing another one for Android in Windows 11 , similar although this one for the bulk of consumers), the second version of this tool (WSL 2) improved the performance, added a full Linux kernel, as well as other new features such as support for DirectX 12 and graphics applications.
And other interesting new features are underway, such as the ability to use custom kernels, connect Linux applications from Windows using localhost and not only through remote IP addresses as was the case until now, kernel update from Windows Update and also the ability to run applications Full Linux (in graphical mode) .