Microsoft’s Linux push in Windows 10 will continue with the release of the April 2019 update, also known as version 1903, and the company detailed some of the changes coming to users in a blog post.
One of the most important improvements is the addition of support for Linux files that can be accessed directly using File Explorer, which is the default file manager in Windows 10.
Right now, this option is part of Windows 10 build 18836, which is actually a preview build of the April 2020 Windows 10 feature update, but Microsoft says it’ll go live with version 1903 this spring.
Microsoft explains that the implementation is as simple as it could be. Just type explorer.exe in your favorite Linux distribution installed on Windows 10 with WSL and the command should open a File Explorer window with the Linux files available as part of a dedicated drive.
Users will be able to do pretty much anything with their Linux files, just like they can on a Windows 10 device.
“From here you can access whatever Linux files you would like, just like you would any other file through File explorer. This includes operations such as: dragging files back and forth to other locations, copy and paste, and even interesting scenarios like using the context menu to open VSCode in a WSL directory!” Microsoft explains.
Microsoft says the feature is still in its early days and several improvements are already in the works, so the experience should be much refined when Windows 10 version 1903 goes live in April.
“When using this feature you’ll notice the distro files are exposed through the path: \wsl$\. This is due to the way Windows accesses the files inside of each distro (which you can learn the details of in the following section!) The WSL team is actively investigating ways to improve the discoverability of your Linux files inside of File Explorer,” it says.
Windows 10 April 2019 Update, or version 1903, is due to be finalized next month, with insiders to be the first to receive the RTM build. The public rollout will begin in April and will take place in stages to computers across the world.