The Windows Subsystem for Linux is a technology that is in its second iteration. WSL2, as it is known, has seen dramatic advancements in recent years. And in Windows 11, things are on the up still.
Microsoft developed the technology to allow people to use Linux distros and apps within Windows.
And with the Insider builds of Windows 11 now out in the open, the Linux community is interested in finding out if Redmond has made any further progress, or if more improvements remain to be made towards the ultimate goal of offering performance that is near bare metal.
Which is why folks over at Phoronix ran a test to see where things stand with this feature.
A system based on AMD Ryzen 9 5950X with 2 16GB DDR-3600 memory modules and a WD Black SN750 NVMe solid-state drive was loaded with the first Insider build. That being, Windows 11 22000.51. The benchmarks were run before the build was updated, but the results should broadly be the same.
And the results?
WSL2 was found to offer almost the same performance as native Ubuntu in many scenarios, though there were instances where the Windows 11 implementation of WSL2 could not even perform as well as in Windows 10.
That’s mostly got to do with the additional debug changes that are currently shipping with these builds.
A key observation is that WSL2 performance tends to be much slower than having a bare metal Linux installation when I/O is involved. But the second iteration is still improved then the original WSL, so Redmond is on the right track.
Performance of this feature is something that the Linux community is sure to keep an eye on as Windows 11 develops.
In the meantime, you can check out the full details and results of the benchmark at the link above.