Windows 10 users will be able to access files in the Linux subsystem


With the release of Windows 10 April 2019 Update (version 1903), Microsoft is going to improve interaction with the Linux subsystem. Details of future changes were published in the official blog of the company.

One of the most notable changes is the addition of support for accessing Linux files through Windows Explorer, the standard system file manager in Windows 10.

At the moment, the new feature is already available in the test build of Windows 10 Insider Preview build 18836, which is a pre-release version of the 2020 spring feature update. However, Microsoft promises that this feature will appear in version 1903 this spring.

The implementation of the new function looks as simple as possible. Just enter explorer.exe in the console for the preferred Linux distribution installed in the Windows 10 subsystem – WSL. This command opens the Explorer window in which Linux files will be available in the allocated disk space.

Windows 10 users will be able to access files in the Linux subsystem

Other design improvements

Users will be able to perform the same operations with Linux files as with files on a Windows 10 device.

Microsoft explains:

Using Windows Explorer, you can access the required Linux files and perform standard operations on them: dragging files to other locations, copying and pasting. Other interesting scenarios will also be available – for example, using the context menu to launch VSCode in the WSL environment.

Microsoft notes that this feature is at an early stage of development and is waiting for several improvements that should be ready before the release of Windows 10 version 1903 in April.

The company reports:

When using this function, you will notice that the distribution files open in the path \wsl$\{distro name}\. This is due to the peculiarities of access to the files of each distribution from the Windows side. The WSL development team is actively exploring ways to improve the detection of Linux files in Explorer.

Windows 10 users will be able to access files in the Linux subsystem

The development of Windows 10 April 2019 Update (version 1903) should be completed next month. First of all, the RTM build will be available to insiders. The public launch of the feature update will take place in April. As usual, users from all over the world will receive a new version in several stages.


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