Latest Windows 10 April 2019 Update Preview Build Brings Linux To File Explorer, Gaming Improvements

Windows 10
Following up on Microsoft's previous announcement that it was adding the ability to access Linux files inside of File Explorer in Windows 10, the Redmond software giant is now testing the feature in the latest Preview build (18342), which is available to Windows Insiders who are subscribed in the Fast ring. If all goes to plan, this will be added to the next major version of Windows (19H1).

Microsoft has committed to rolling out major updates to Windows 10 twice a year. The most recent of those was the October 2018 Update, which suffered numerous issues and did not actually roll out en masse until November. Hopefully the 19H1 roll out goes much smoother—that is the whole purpose of the Windows Insider program, after all.

As it pertains to Linux, Microsoft added the ability for users to access Linux files in a WSL distro from Windows.

Windows 10 Linux Support

"These files can be accessed through the command line, and also Windows apps, like File Explorer, VSCode, etc. can interact with these files. Access your files by navigating to \\wsl$\, or see a list of running distributions by navigating to \\wsl$," Microsoft says.

As our own venerable Rob Williams pointed out last week, this feature does not permit access to Linux partitions from within Windows 10. While that is one of the biggest requests Microsoft has fielded over the years, it is simply not safe to manage and change Linux partitions (eg: ext4) from within Windows. Nevertheless, it is nice to see Microsoft offering better Linux integration.

Microsoft is also working to improve gaming in Windows 10. For this test build, Microsoft included a couple of fixes. One is that State of Decay should now run correctly with parental controls enabled, and secondly, the install process is more stable.

Of course, no test build would be complete with the usual round of general changes, improvements, and fixes, and this one is no exception. The release notes references more than 50 general fixes, compared to less than 10 known issues.