Upcoming Windows 10 'Redstone 5' Insider Build will allow launching a Linux terminal directly from File Explorer
Microsoft has announced a few noteworthy improvements to the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) in Windows 10 'Redstone 5' — the upcoming feature update to Windows 10. The most notable of them is finally the ability to directly invoke a Linux terminal from the working File Explorer window. Till now, users have had the option of seeing 'Open a Command Prompt window here' or 'Open a PowerShell window here' options upon right clicking in a folder while holding down the Shift key. Now, there will be an additional option 'Open Linux shell here' in addition to the choices above for those who have WSL installed and configured.
WSL is a native Linux environment in Windows 10 that developers can use to run their Windows and Linux development workflows without having to switch VMs or install separate OSs. Microsoft has been improving WSL in every feature update to Windows 10 with the latest April 2018 update adding native support for popular commands such as curl and tar and better interop between Windows and Linux apps.
Apart from the ability to open the Bash shell directly from within File Explorer, Microsoft has also announced a few other updates related to WSL. Ubuntu 18.04 is now available from the Microsoft Store. The older Ubuntu 16.04 is also being offered alongside 18.04 as Canonical is still supporting the older version. Thanks to Canonical working some magic, those on Windows on ARM devices can now install Ubuntu 18.04. Also, Microsoft is offering the ability to install WSL distros from the Command Prompt/PowerShell instead of having to go to the Store.
Finally, Notepad in 'Redstone 5' will be getting support for Linux Line Endings. As seen in the images below, this is a huge relief for developers as Notepad will now finally display contents correctly even if the file is created in Linux or macOS. Of course, users can toggle the feature off via the Registry if they don't need it.