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Microsoft brings Linux even to Windows Server

Linux on Microsoft's Windows Server

Microsoft has released its second Insider preview build for Windows Server 2016. The new version, debuted as Windows Server Insider Build 16257, enables Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) to offer distributions such as Ubuntu and OpenSUSE to the proprietary server platform.

The WSL is a compatibility layer to natively run Linux binary executives (in EFL format) natively on Windows. Microsoft originally introduced its WSL functionality with Windows 10 Anniversary Update back in August 2016. And now, it is bringing the same experience to Windows Server. The new move also allows you to run open source developments such as Node.js, Ruby, Python, Perl and Bash scripts.

However, Microsoft has not provided native support for persistent Linux services like daemons and jobs as background tasks. You also need to enable the WSL and install a Linux distribution to begin with the advanced operations on Windows Server.

Remote Server Administration Tools on board

The new Windows Server test build comes with Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) packages. Users can install Windows 10 builds greater than 16250 to manage and administer insider builds using GUI tools with the help of RSAT packages.

You can additionally find new container images, optimised Nano Server base image, latest previews of .Net Core 2.0 and PowerShell 6.0 and a tweaked Server Core version. Also, the new release comes with various networking enhancements for Kubernetes integration and pipe mapping support.

You need to register for Windows Insiders for Business Program or Windows Insider Program to get your hands on the latest build of Windows Server. It includes various bug fixes and performance enhancements over the first preview build that was released last month.