This year Microsoft adopted eBPF, debuted with CBL-Mariner, and continued with WSL functionality.


Each year, it is interesting to see how Microsoft’s use and contributions evolve around Linux and open source. In no time, they went from sponsoring coffee to LinuxTag to activating .NET and more on Linux until 2021 after they released their CBL-Mariner Linux distro, supporting more features like eBPF and IO_uring on Windows, and continue to invest heavily in the Windows Subsystem for Linux.

Every year, it’s interesting to see what’s new from Microsoft around open source and Linux. This year can be summed up by their many contributions to Mesa, with CBL-Mariner seeing monthly updates like their internally focused Linux distribution, and more features at least inspired by Linux / OSS projects from Windows. To browse through many of Microsoft’s wild actions this year, below is an overview of some of the most popular news on Phoronix regarding the Redmond company.

Microsoft announces Windows 11 – Benchmarks against Linux to begin soon
As expected this morning, Microsoft officially raised the curtain on Windows 11, the last step in the evolution of its operating system after Windows 10.

Better Microsoft Surface support is on the way with Linux 5.12
Further enhancements for Microsoft Surface laptops running Linux are planned for Linux 5.12.

Microsoft Releases WSLg Preview – GUI Application Support with Windows Subsystem for Linux
After announcing last year that they would support GUI applications with the Windows Subsystem for Linux, Microsoft today released its “WSLg” preview for this feature in order to run Linux GUI applications on Windows 10. .

LibreOffice Adds Contextual Control / HUD, Inspired by Half-Decade-Old Microsoft Office Functionality
In addition to the changes made to LibreOffice 7.2 before its debut in August, there is a “Command Popup” or some sort of heads-up display (HUD) for easily executing LibreOffice commands.

Microsoft security researcher offers unprivileged chroot for Linux
Microsoft security researcher and engineer Mickaël Salaün offers unprivileged chroot support for the Linux kernel.

Microsoft is working on Direct3D 12 video acceleration for Mesa
Microsoft’s latest work in open source graphics drivers with the Mesa stack is to add support for Direct3D 12 video acceleration.

Microsoft’s internal Linux distribution “CBL-Mariner” continues to mature
Besides Azure Cloud Switch as a Linux platform created by Microsoft, the Windows company has also developed CBL-Mariner (Common Base Linux) as its own internal Linux distribution, albeit public and open source.

Microsoft launches performance tools for Linux / Android
Microsoft introduced “Microsoft-Performance-Tools for Linux-Android” as a collection of open source tools for analyzing system performance on Linux and Android.

Microsoft and others form the eBPF Foundation
One of the most interesting Linux kernel innovations of recent years has been eBPF for a kernel-integrated virtual machine allowing sandboxed programs to run in the Linux kernel. The Linux Foundation along with Microsoft and other partners now form the eBPF Foundation.

Microsoft brings eBPF support to Windows
eBPF has been one of the biggest Linux kernel innovations of the last decade and now Microsoft has decided to bring this “breakthrough technology” to Windows Server and Windows 10.

Amazon Open-Sources Babelfish for PostgreSQL Easier to Move away from Microsoft SQL
Amazon Web Services today announced the Babelfish open source server project for PostgreSQL. Babelfish allows applications written on Microsoft SQL Server to work seamlessly with PostgreSQL.

Systemd / Microsoft Effort for a Global Counter on Upcoming Block / Disk Changes on Linux 5.15
Last month I wrote about a possible global block / disk change counter on Linux being discussed by Microsoft and the developers of systemd to better track changes through a monotonously increasing number system-wide. as an alternative to existing disk tracking. This functionality is now queued as part of the block subsystem changes ahead of the Linux 5.15 merge window in a few weeks.

Microsoft adds Linux support to Endpoint Manager
Microsoft’s latest surprise is to add native Linux support to their Endpoint Manager software.

Microsoft will make Windows terminal the default choice on Windows 11
In early 2019, Microsoft announced Windows Terminal as a new terminal for Windows that seemed rather inspired by Linux and supported tabs and other modern features. Starting in 2022, Microsoft will make Windows Terminal its default terminal program on Windows 11.

Intel + Microsoft bring oneAPI L0 and OpenCL to WSL2 with open source stack + DXGKRNL
As Intel Alder Lake dominates today’s news cycle, Intel and Microsoft also announced today that they have brought oneAPI Level Zero and Intel OpenCL support to the Windows Subsystem for Linux ( WSL2) while using Intel graphics hardware acceleration.

Microsoft makes the extensible storage engine open source
Microsoft’s extensible storage engine, used for over a quarter of a century and present since Windows NT 3.51 and Microsoft Exchange 4.0, is now open source.

Microsoft releases updated CBL-Mariner Linux distribution
In mid-December, Microsoft today released its November 2021 update to CBL-Mariner 1.0, its internal Linux distribution.

Improvements in laptops with Linux 5.14 benefit Lenovo, Dell and Microsoft surface devices
Driver updates for the x86 platform have been submitted for the Linux 5.14 kernel in development. This area of ​​the kernel mainly benefits the support for x86 laptops running Linux, but also has other drivers like Intel Speed ​​Select technology and more.

Microsoft releases August update for CBL-Mariner Linux distribution
In September, Microsoft just released its “August 2021” update to its CBL-Mariner Linux distribution with a variety of changes.

Microsoft Sends Patches for Hyper-V “Isolation VMs” with Linux
With the upcoming Linux 5.12 kernel, there is a big victory for Redmond with Linux being able to boot as a root partition on Microsoft’s hypervisor while moving forward, the company has even more in store for years to come. Linux’s continued efforts on Hyper-V.

What do you hope to see Microsoft release for Linux / open source in 2022? Let us know in the forums.


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