Microsoft today released a new Windows Server preview for PCs with Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) built in. This build also includes the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) packages, which allow Windows 10 client builds greater than 16250 to remotely manage and administer Insider builds of Windows Server via GUI tools.
Microsoft has been building Windows 10 as a service, meaning it is regularly updated with not just fixes, but new features, too. Last month, the company decided to do the same with Windows Server by letting users test upcoming features.
WSL is a compatibility layer for running Linux binary executables (in ELF format) natively on Windows; the functionality arrived with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update released in August 2016. Now it’s coming to Windows Server (installation guide), letting developers and application administrators run tools they use in Linux environments alongside Cmd and PowerShell.
Here is how Microsoft explains what you can and cannot do:
If you’re a server engineer that needs to run node.js, Ruby, Python, Perl, Bash scripts or other tools that expect Linux behaviors, environment or filesystem-layout, the ability to install and run Linux with WSL expands the tools at your disposal on Windows Server.
Just as with WSL on Windows Client, you can run daemons and jobs like MySQL, PostgreSQL, sshd, etc., via an interactive shell, but you cannot currently use WSL to run persistent Linux services, daemons, jobs, etc. as background tasks.
This build has five known issues, so make sure to check those before updating. To get it, register for the Windows Insiders for Business Program or the Windows Insider Program, and then head to the Windows Server Insider Preview download page. It expires on December 4, 2017.