Microsoft's second Windows Server 2016 test build runs Linux distributions

Microsoft's second Windows Server 2016 test build, No. 16257, supports the Windows Subsystem for Linux plus several Linux distributions.

On Aug. 8, Microsoft began rolling out its second Insider test build for Windows Server 2016.

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Windows Server Insider Build 16257 for Windows Server 2016 makes Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), plus several Linux distributions -- Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, and SLES -- available on Windows Server. (According to Microsoft's documentation, WSL was available on Windows Server 2016 as of Insider build 16215 and higher, but today's post is the first time Microsoft highlighted its availability on Server.)

Testers can run node.js, Ruby, Python, Perl, Bash, and other related scripts and tools. Currently, however, WSL doesn't support persistent Linux services like daemons and jobs.

Today's Windows Server Insider build also includes the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) , which enable Windows 10 client users to remotely manage and administer Windows Server Insider builds. (Testers need Windows 10 Fall Creators Update build 16250 or higher to use RSAT.)

According to today's blog post about the new test build, Delivery Optimization is now the downloader used by Windows Update for Windows Server, the way that it is on Windows 10 client since the Anniversary Update. This optimization can provide peer-to-peer bandwidth optimization between Windows Server machines if users so desire.

A list of known issues for Build 16257 is included in Microsoft's blog post.

Microsoft released its first Windows Server Insider test build, Build 16237, in mid-July. Both Server Insider builds offer an early preview of the feature release to Windows Server 2016, which will likely be known as 1709, that's expected to begin rolling out this fall.

Microsoft officials said earlier this year that Windows Server was moving to a twice-yearly feature-update schedule, just like Windows 10 client and Office 365 ProPlus. Microsoft said at that time that its target release dates for feature updates for all three of these platforms would be March and June.

Insider testing for Server is available to those in the Windows Insider and Windows Insider for Business programs.

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