With the release of Windows 10 Insider Build 16215, Microsoft has announced that now users no longer have to enable Developer Mode in order to run Bash on Ubuntu on Windows.
Basically, WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) is a tool that lets you run a Linux-based operating system such as Ubuntu within Windows. Up until now the only way to do that was to enable Developer Mode from the Windows settings (Settings > Update & Security > For Developers).
This restriction was first put in place to safeguard non-technical users from inadvertently using a feature that was, at the time, very new and not yet widely exercised. Over the last year, two major releases, and many updates later, Microsoft is now much more confident of WSL’s safety and utility and want to enable more users to take advantage of this valuable toolset (Read Microsoft announcement).
So, starting with the new Windows 10 preview build that launched this week, you don’t need to toggle Developer Mode on your Windows device to run WSL.
However, this change still keeps Linux an optional component and the users manually need to enable Windows Subsystem for Linux.
Even though you won’t be needing to enable Developer Mode via Settings, WSL remains turned off by default. Now, you’ll just need to search ‘Turn Windows features on or off’ in the Start Menu and tick on the ‘Windows Subsystem for Linux.’
“You will still need to manually enable the Windows Subsystem for Linux optional component (via “Turn Windows features on or off”), in order to install WSL & its tools, but once installed and you’ve rebooted, you’ll be able to install & run an Ubuntu instance without first enabling Developer Mode.”
In a related development, at its 2017 Build developer conference, Microsoft announced that it will be adding Linux distros to Windows Store itself to make the whole process easier. Microsoft also announced that it will soon broaden the list of supported Linux-based operating systems to include SUSE and Fedora as well as Ubuntu.
So, what do you think about this update? Share your views in the comment box below.