David Butler

Get Ready for the Tech Preview of Docker Desktop for WSL 2

David Butler

Today at OSCON, Scott Hanselman, Kayla Cinnamon, and Yosef Durr of Microsoft demonstrated some of the new capabilities coming with Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) 2, including how it will be integrated with Docker Desktop. As part of this demonstration, we are excited to announce that users can now sign up for the end of July Docker Desktop Technical Preview of WSL 2. WSL 2 is the second generation of a compatibility layer for running Linux binary executables natively on Windows. Since it was announced at Microsoft Build, we have been working in partnership with Microsoft to deliver an improved Linux experience for Windows developers and invite everyone to sign up for the upcoming Technical Preview release.

Improving the Linux Experience on Windows

There are over half a million active users of Docker Desktop for Windows today and many of them are building Java and Node.js applications targeting Linux-based server environments. Leveraging WSL 2 will make the Docker developer experience more seamless no matter what operating system you’re running and what type of application you’re building. And the performance improvements will be immediately noticeable.

WSL 2 introduces a significant architectural change as it is a full Linux kernel built by Microsoft, allowing Linux containers to run natively without emulation. With the new WSL 2 Docker Desktop preview you will get access to Linux workspaces, removing the need to maintain both Linux and Windows build scripts. WSL 2 also supports dynamic memory and CPU allocation and an improved startup time down from 40 seconds to 2 seconds! 

Preview of Docker Desktop with WSL2

Thanks to our collaboration with Microsoft, we are already hard at work on getting this into your hands ahead of the WSL 2 full availability. We have written core functionalities to deploy an integration package, run the daemon and expose it to Windows processes, with support for bind mounts and port forwarding to simplify the experience.

For more details on the engineering work involved, read this engineering blog post.

The Tech Preview will be available shortly and we look forward to hearing your feedback.

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