Canonical, Microsoft cancels onsite WSLConf, will now be online

Concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak have compelled the event's sponsor, Canonical, and host, Microsoft, to cancel the onsite event and instead hold the event as a virtual event. Read on for more details.

FOSS Linux shared news of the first-ever Windows Subsystem for Linux Conference, or WSLConf, with our readers September last year. However, concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak have compelled the event’s sponsor, Canonical, and host, Microsoft, to cancel the onsite event and instead hold the event as a virtual event.

On Monday, Canonical released a statement informing the public and attendees of the change:

“Due to the rapidly evolving situation within the Seattle area and Washington state, we have decided to turn WSLConf into a virtual event, with the welfare of all attendees, speakers, and employees being our primary concern.”

The two-day WSLConf event initially scheduled as an onsite event on March 11-12 at the Main Microsoft Campus, Building 20 in Redmond, WA, will now live stream only. There will be no onsite. The original date of the event, March 11-12, remains the same.  The agenda, however, has changed due to the revised WSLConf format.

What is WSLConf?

WSLConf is the first-ever community-initiated event sponsored by Canonical and hosted by Microsoft.  The conference centers on “all things Windows Subsystem for Linux and WSL-related.”

There will be three separate types of presentations presented by many prominent players in the WSL, FOSS, Linux, and Microsoft Windows communities, including Canonical, Microsoft, Pengwin, Kali, Ubuntu, Docker, and others.  These three types of presentation are:

  • Updates – 15-30-minute quick sessions from software teams
  • Sessions – 30-60-minute deep-dives on topics
  • Devs In Action – 30-60-minute sessions with developers using WSL in real-world workflows

Although subject to change, expected WSLConf events/topics include:

  • WSL Team Update (Update)
  • New Windows Terminal Team Update (Update)
  • WSL Distro Updates (Update)
  • How We Use WSL at Kali (Devs In Action)
  • Inside Docker Desktop with WSL 2 (Session)
  • Scripting with WSL Interoperability: Tips & Tricks (Session)
  • Sysinternals for Linux Update (Update)
  • C++ Cross-Platform Development with Visual Studio and WSL (Session)
  • microk8s on WSL (Session)
  • NIFS Update (Update)
  • Avoiding Default Passwords and Secrets Breaches Using WSL2 and Open Source (Session)
  • WSL for Unix Systems Engineers (Session)
  • WSL2 Deep Dive, History, and Q&A (Session)
  • Developing Web Apps with WSL (Devs In Action)
  • Ansible DevOps on WSL (Devs In Action)
  • Investigating WSL Endpoints (Session)
  • Unleash your IoT development tools with WSL (Session)
  • PowerShell 7 (Update)
  • K3s and WSL2: Getting up and running with Kubernetes on WSL2 (Session)
  • Cross-platform GUI applications with JetBrains Tools on WSL (Devs In Action)
  • Sharing and growing your OSS Project on Live Streaming Platforms (Session)

For the most up-to-date WSLConf schedule, click here.

Registering for WSLConf

Registration to WSLConf is free and open to all.  The silver lining in the change is that many more Linux and WSL enthusiasts can now register and “virtually” attend the event (the onsite event sold out months ago).  This includes you, FOSS Linux readers.  Interested participants can register for the live stream of WSLConf at the WSLConf Registration page on

Register for the livestream of WSLConf at the WSLConf Registration page on

Coronavirus Outbreak effect on the Tech Industry

Late last month, we reported on the effect that the coronavirus outbreak is having on the tech industry and other industries.  Since our article, things have gotten worse.  This includes delays in computer equipment and components and even FOSS and Linux distros.  Deepin v20, the China-based Linux distro known for its gorgeous desktop environment, for example, has postponed its v20 released until March 2020.  January 2020 was the original release date.

As the number of coronavirus cases increases, many tech events are not as fortunate as WSLConf and are being outright canceled.  The latest casualty is the Google Annual Developer Conference 2020, Google I/O 2020.  Scheduled for May 12-14 2020, Google canceled the event earlier this month.

Let’s hope that the Google Summer of Code, GSoC, scheduled from April 28 to August 26, 2020, does not suffer the same fate.  There are sure to be some talented, deserving, promising students sorely disappointed.

The coronavirus outbreak is worsening.
The coronavirus outbreak is worsening

As of this writing, there are over 95,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, with close to 3,300 deaths.  The coronavirus shows no signs of letting up.  As the coronavirus outbreak worsens and spreads worldwide, expect things to get worse before they get better.


While it’s unfortunate that they had to cancel the onsite WSLConf, kudos to Canonical, Microsoft, and the WSLConf presenters for forging ahead with the highly anticipated Windows Subsystem for Linux Conference without exposing attendees to unnecessary risk.

FOSS Linux readers who wish to familiarize themselves with Windows Subsystem for Linux should read our how-to article, How to run Ubuntu using the Windows Subsystem for Linux.

Travis Rose
Hi, I'm M Travis Rose, a contributor to FOSS Linux. I have over thirty years of experience in the IT arena, at least fifteen of which has been working with Linux. I enjoy converting existing Windows users to the wonderful world of Linux. I guess you could call me a Linux-evangelist. Long live Linux!


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