Windows Subsystem for Linux can now launch Windows binaries in Windows 10 Insiders Fast Ring Build 14951

In the latest Fast Ring Insider build for Windows 10, Microsoft made various improvements for your average user – there’s a bunch of camera improvements, and a bunch of Windows Ink improvements, and even a new Photos app with a few Ink features of its own.

Bash for Windows executing Notepad

Microsoft, however, also packed some nice things for developers as well – one of the obvious ones is that you no longer have to reboot your PC after enabling Developer Mode in Windows 10. The other one, are these various improvements to the Windows Subsystem for Linux.

Xenial Xerus

The Windows Subsystem for Linux team has updated the version of Ubuntu – all new Bash on Windows installations will now use Ubuntu 16.04. This change was announced three weeks ago with Build 14936, but it is finally here today.

For users who already have Bash for Windows installed, the Ubuntu update will not be automatically downloaded. Insiders need to use the do-release-upgrade command to begin the update process manually.

With this, we must give a happy farewell to the Good Ol’ Trusty Tahr Ubuntu 14.04. It served us well.


This is the big one – with this update, the WSL team has made significant improvements that now result in one seamless environment. You can now execute Windows binaries via Bash for Windows.

This was the number one request at the WSL User Voice page, and the team acted upon the feedback; some great work here.

The WSL Team has written an extensive blog post going into every little detail about this newfound ability. They have even made a forty-five-minute video explaining how the interoperability works and what the benefits of it are.

The rest

There’s a whole lot more in Build 14951 – the advantage of being as big as Microsoft is that you can have multiple teams working on the same project, giving you an incredibly fast pace of updates.

The Insider program simply benefits this with a larger group to QA these builds, but that’s a conversation for a whole different post.

If you want to look at what else is in Build 14951, click over here to check out the full post.

Once again, you can visit the WSL Blog for more information about the update, WSL MSDN if you can handle the technicalities, and the WSL Release Notes if you want to know everything that’s new.

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