Did Microsoft secretly release its own Linux Distro

In its latest statements, Microsoft informed that it has developed its own Linux distro, CBL-Mariner, and released it under the open source MIT License.


CBL-Mariner is Microsoft’s internal Linux distro that’s specially tuned for use within its cloud infrastructure and edge products and services which is basically developed and maintained by the Linux System Group at Microsoft.

CBL-Mariner distro, isn’t designed to be used as a general purpose distro and doesn’t put out easy to use ISO images, hence it is better to gather relevant information before downloading it.

Though ZDNet was the first to report on CBL-Mariner’s existence in November 2020, but in the beginning of this month, Juan Rey- Microsoft engineer, curated an easy-to-follow instructions on how to install the distribution that makes it easy for anyone with a Linux to use it. This makes it quite clear that eventually Microsoft has truly started embracing Linux.

In 2011, Ballmer said that “Linux is a cancer”—but within a span of some years he took back his statement in 2016—and claimed that open source software shouldn’t receive public funding because licensing issues mean it “is not available to commercial companies.”

Apparently there have been some signs since the release of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update in August 2016 to the announcement that stated about WSL 2 allowing the use of graphical user interface (GUI) Linux apps. But the latest release of developing a distro is quite unique from that of assimilating Linux into Windows.

For majority of the users, the best way to bridge the gap between Windows and Linux is to use the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL2), which not is not only based on a release from the Long Term Support (LTS) Linux kernel 5.10 branch, but can now also run graphical Linux apps seamlessly on the Windows 10 desktop making our experience hassle-free.

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