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Microsoft's 'Windows Subsystem For Linux' Finally Leaves Beta (microsoft.com) 163

An anonymous reader quotes Microsoft's Developer blog: Early adopters on the Windows Insider program will notice that Windows Subsystem for Linux is no longer marked as a beta feature as of Insider build 16251. This will be great news for those who've held-back from employing WSL as a mainline toolset: You'll now be able to leverage WSL as a day-to-day developer toolset, and become ever more productive when building, testing, deploying, and managing your apps and systems on Windows 10... What will change is that you will gain the added advantage of being able to file issues on WSL and its Windows tooling via our normal support mechanisms if you want/need to follow a more formal issue resolution process. You can also provide feedback via Windows 10 Feedback Hub app, which delivers feedback directly to the team.
Microsoft points out that distro-publishers are still responsible for supporting and fixing the internals of their distros -- and they have no plans to support X/GUI apps or desktops. And of course, Linux files are not currently accessible from Windows -- though Microsoft says they're working on a fix.
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Microsoft's 'Windows Subsystem For Linux' Finally Leaves Beta

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  • Summary full of shit (Score:4, Informative)

    by dnaumov ( 453672 ) on Saturday July 29, 2017 @09:41AM (#54903749)

    "Linux files are not currently accessible from Windows"

    Except they are.

    • Exactly. Just because the AppData folder doesn't show up by default when you browse to your profile directory doesn't mean it's not there and inaccessible.

    • Mis-moderated.
    • They are accessible... At the risk of corrupting your data if anything is saved to that location without using the WSL.

      It would be foolish of them to stand behind the statement that it is accessible when it would be so easy to lose data by accident.

      • by Megol ( 3135005 )

        Citation needed!

          • by Megol ( 3135005 )

            IMHO that doesn't say what was stated above. That there are problems due to file system differences should be obvious for people who are familiar with both Windows and Unix on a lower level. But saying that one simply shouldn't do that ignores the fact that one can do it in a safe manner* by just following a restriction to just use compatible features. Lusers perhaps should avoid the problem entirely but then they aren't likely to use the "Linux subsystem"...

            (* unless MS have really fucked things up - I hop

            • As the Linux metadata isn't written without going to the WSL subsystem, there is really no safe way to edit a file in the Linux directories using Windows tools.

              I agree that it seems crazy that a POSIX type system wouldn't support this, but I imagine it had a lot to do with supporting Linux binaries directly. Cygwin, for example, doesn't have this limitation.

  • Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Misagon ( 1135 ) on Saturday July 29, 2017 @09:52AM (#54903793)

    Shouldn't it be called "Linux Subsystem for Windows", because it is running under Windows and not the other way around?

    • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 29, 2017 @10:05AM (#54903841)

      you must be new to Microsoft's way of thinking. Windows is the center of the universe and all else is subservient to it. So this addon to MS Windows is a subsystem FOR Linux. ie it is a subsystem for Linux to help it run on Windows so in Microserf speak it's a Windows subsystem for Linux.

      Reminds me of what Bill Gates said in a product development meeting discussing the integration of Java and Java products into/on Windows. He had to yell out "Does anyone remember Windows?"

    • It's a subsystem inside Windows (a Windows subsystem) for running applications that use the Linux ABI. Perhaps "Windows Subsystem for Linux Apps" would have been more honest

    • Shouldn't it be called "Linux Subsystem for Windows", because it is running under Windows and not the other way around?

      No. There's no Microsoft programs titled like that. It's the Subsystem for running Linux that runs under Windows, Hence Windows Subsystem for Linux. Quite consistent with Windows Defender, Windows Explorer, or Windows Media Player.

    • It is best understood as a subsystem which emulates Linux from the point of view of software running on top of it. As for X support, what would be interesting is a naive Windows compositor for Wayland.

  • This looks like a container implementation rather than a VM. Anyone know? If so are they doing their own containers or is this Docker or Kubernetes?
  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Saturday July 29, 2017 @10:48AM (#54904035)

    Finally, now you can run all your favorite Linux server applications on an OS that will run them a bit slower, could BSOD at any moment, needs significant patching regularly which could nuke the whole box! All that uptime with Linux is really boring for the guys in IT! ;)

    • by Megol ( 3135005 )

      Last time I had a BSOD was ages ago, probably at least 10 years. Caused by a driver that didn't like flaky hardware. Never tried Linux on that machine but I don't think it would be better unless it just didn't use the flaky hardware bits.

      Safe mode worked fine on that machine but the graphics performance was quite a bit worse...

      • Considering the patch system reboots your computer at least once every two weeks, I'm not impressed. You can begin talking about stability when your desktop system has been running for at least six months. Today is literally my desktop's 300th day of uptime.

  • I was primarily an OSX user, but switched back to Windows earlier this year. I've been using WSL for a while now and it's working very well. I do all my Node/web dev/etc from the shell and use Visual Studio Code for editing. You can easily work with files under C:\ from WSL so basically it feels just like the dev I did on OSX.
  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Saturday July 29, 2017 @11:28AM (#54904239)

    You know, with the features that make Linux better, like stability, performance and security. This is just a crappy Windows kernel with a Linux interface. If I want that, Cygwin gives me that and (of course!) the ability to run X11 applications as well.

    • You know, with the features that make Linux better, like stability, performance and security. This is just a crappy Windows kernel with a Linux interface. If I want that, Cygwin gives me that and (of course!) the ability to run X11 applications as well.

      Cygwin is worse as it translates posix calls to win32 and last I looked was outdated. Part of the problem too is Windows is not text based as it is object based. What good will awk and sed do in Windows?

      You can run X11 on Windows. Google headless Xorg in Windows 10? In many ways WSL is better. For me I would just say run a damn VM if you need features of both platforms :-)

      KMS is free. Virtualbox is free. If you have Windows 10 pro or enterprise Hyper-V is free under add or remove features and is a solid typ

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        I agree to the VM approach. Although I will be virtualizing Windows, not Linux. May as well have the good infrastructure accessing the hardware directly.

    • In my personal experience, WSL is about an order or magnitude faster than Cygwin. If it weren't for 2 important things, we'd use WSL for everything that we used to use Cygwin for. Those 2 things are:
      1. Pathing. Cygwin still handles pathing better (e.g. WSL can't handle translating Windows path in commands like "cd c:\" and also can't handle native Windows apps using the WSL filesystem mounted at /mnt). This is pretty much a dealbreaker for us, since we need bash to script native Windows apps.
      2 GUI. WSL

      • "WSL has no GUI support": no advertised support, but in fact some Linux GUIs work just fine. You have to run Xming (I have it in my startup folder), and then install them using apt-get. I'm running both mupdf and the Linux version of jEdit that way; I suspect many (but not all) other Linux gui-based programs would run that way as well.

        • You can also use XRDP.

          • Interesting, I hadn't heard of that. What would be the advantages/ disadvantages vs. XMing? XMing is pretty transparent to me--as I say, I just have it in my startup folder. Would I use XRDP the same way? I have heard that there are Linux gui-based applications that don't play well with XMing (I think I had issues with other pdf viewers before I found mupdf), is XRDP more reliable?

            In partial answer to my own question, there's this: https://icesquare.com/wordpres... [icesquare.com]. I haven't tried it all yet, but it l

            • With Xrdp, you're using the usual Xorg X server, so any issues with incompatibilities of apps with Xming because the latter doesn't support some feature or the other go away. It also means that you can set up fonts etc in your Linux install as usual, FreeType settings are respected etc. Basically the output you get is a pixel-perfect match of what it would be for the same Linux setup running natively.

              Implementation-wise, IIRC it uses VNC as a backend, and then translates that to RDP, so you can use the usua

  • Even if it was just as an optional download. I know there are open source third party ones you can use but it's too much assle to configure.

  • can you add your own repos for an package manger or even let people put Linux software in the windows store?

  • There has been a 'Windows Subsystem for Linux' for years now, and we call it Wine (www.winehq.org)

    What Microsoft is providing is a Linux compatibility subsystem for Windows. Something Cygwin has been doing for decades, granted the Microsoft solution seems to be more polished.

  • The biggest problem with WSL is that the mount performance is unusable for every day web development.

    There's been a pending issue on GitHub for a year at https://github.com/Microsoft/B... [github.com].

    The TL;DR is, a real world web application might be able to load and get updated in 5 seconds in development on native Linux (imagine a large Rails app with hundreds of assets), but the same exact app ran through WSL takes 32 seconds before you can see your changes. That's straight up unusable.

    Personally, I just run VMWare

  • I have been running only Linux for the last 20 years. There are some media programs that only run in Windows. I do not trust Windows privacy at all. I would love to see Microsoft create a container that runs programs that Wine can not run.
  • Is it time to start calling this 'GNU/Windows' yet ?

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