Microsoft Introduces Sudo for Windows

This week's release of Windows 11 Insider Program preview build 26052 is bringing Sudo for Windows.

Microsoft seems to have built Sudo for Windows mainly to add convenience. Users can run "elevated commands directly from an unelevated console session," the announcement explained.

Sudo ("Super User Do) is the command-line interface typically found on Linux systems. Microsoft didn't fork the Linux Sudo project. "Instead, Sudo for Windows is a Windows-specific implementation of the sudo concept," Microsoft's GitHub page explained. The Windows version doesn't have the same Sudo experience in some instances, and some Linux Sudo scripts "may not be able to be used directly with Sudo for Windows without some modification."

Sudo for Windows Security
Sudo for Windows needs to be turned on in Windows 11 preview build 26052 using the "For developers" setting. That setting offers three options for how Sudo for Windows opens, namely "In a new window," "input closed" and "inline." The inline option is described as affording the most familiar interface, but it maybe has less security controls than the other two options. All three options will elevate to admin privileges for the Sudo process (via User Account Control), though. Microsoft offered this cautionary note in its Sudo for Windows document:

Sudo for Windows can be used as a potential escalation of privilege vector when enabled in certain configurations. You should make sure to be aware of the security considerations when enabling the sudo command on your machine.

Right now, Sudo for Windows is just available on Windows 11 preview build 26052 (and higher). However, it may become available on Windows 10, the document indicated. Microsoft doesn't have plans to include it on Windows Server. Microsoft also is working to make Sudo for Windows an open source project on GitHub.

The 'Windows 11 version 24H2' Preview
Microsoft this week announced the release of the preview build 26052 of Windows 11 for its Canary and Dev Channel Windows Insider participants. This build is actually "Windows 11 version 24H2," the expected fall commercial-release version of the product.

The Windows 11 build 26052 preview has some notable features, although they are not guaranteed to get implement in a commercial release. Microsoft is trialing "opening Copilot [in Windows] automatically when Windows starts on widescreen devices." Copilot in Windows also will start after dragging an image file "onto the Copilot icon in the taskbar."

The Registry Editor in this build has an option to limit a search "to the currently selected key and its descendants." App developers are getting access to a Power Grid Forecast API, which lets them optimize local power-grid costs for app users for certain background tasks. Microsoft also is permitting developers to "secure Windows keys with virtualization-based security" via a Cryptography API.

The Control Panel has a new Color Management screen, which lets users set up color profiles for connected display screens. Microsoft also will enable users to join Wi-Fi networks by scanning QR codes.

This build is getting more nuanced controls to its Low Energy Audio capability, which lets users pair Windows audio streaming with supported hearing aids. Also, a Voice Clarity feature will let users see how applications are leveraging audio processing modes.

Microsoft is also deprecating some features with this preview build. For instance, the Windows Mixed Reality app has been deprecated, and "a Windows Mixed Reality headset will not work starting with this build," although HoloLens, Microsoft's mixed reality headset, isn't affected. Microsoft also axed the use of Microsoft Defender Application Guard as a "feature on demand" option with this build release. Microsoft Edge for Business, called a "secure enterprise browser" (PDF), is Microsoft's substitute for this feature.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.