back to article Ubuntu Linux now on Windows Store (for Insiders)

Microsoft finally confirmed that Hell has indeed frozen over – Ubuntu is at long last available from the Windows Store. Canonical's Linux distro is now available for installation on Windows Store on Insider build 16215 and higher. Windows 10 already supports Ubuntu via the Windows Subsystem for Linux, rolled out in the …

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https://xkcd.com/925/

https://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/autism-and-vaccines

There's other examples. I laugh each and every time. :)

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What next? Oracle offering up licence fees based on location only? Office 365 actually being available for 365 days a year? I feel anything is now possible.

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Regarding your latter point, that'll be leap yes only...

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Whoops! Typo

Yes^hars.

Thank you for your forbearance.

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Linux

We've won.

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But will Redmond develop Unity?

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Anonymous Coward

Embrace, extend, extinguish.

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Linux

"Embrace, extend, extinguish."

If you can't beat them, join them.

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"Embrace, extend, extinguish."

If you can't beat them, join them.

Well - they've already managed to get Windows-lite[1] into Redhat and all it's little penguins..

[1] Systemd.

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Anonymous Coward

>But will Redmond develop Unity?

Perhaps Microsoft should focus on getting their own products in order first. The new Skype is interface will be coming to Windows, it suits their fanboys technical abilities

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"Well - they've already managed to get Windows-lite[1] into Redhat and all it's little penguins..

[1] Systemd."

Quite right. That is a problem, and it's being addressed within the community.

Systemd is to Linux what athletes foot is to humans. An irritant, but it can be killed off.

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what?

Is... is this still Earth? And we're in 2017? The sky is still blue etc?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: what?

> The sky is still blue?

Blue with white text.

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Re: what?

> The sky is still blue?

Blue with white text.

Not here - grey with grey text and grey dropshadows.

With a hint of rainy grey around the edges.

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Re: what?

Vista?

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Happy

Re: what?

> The sky is still blue?

Blue with white text.

Yup. And it reads:

Your planet has performed an illegal operation and needs to reboot.

Error Code: 6x9=42

Share and enjoy!

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Re: what?

Yup. And it reads:

Your planet has performed an illegal operation and needs to reboot.

Error Code: 6x9=42

--------------------------------------------

Why are you using base 13?

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Windows

But...

Please forgive my ignorance, but downloading another OS via the windows store! What kind of sorcery is this?

Does it install alongside windows as a dual boot (risking Grub destroying your RAID arrays; this happened to me last time I tried to set up a dual boot!) or does it run virtualised inside Windows?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But...

This is the new fangled Windows Subsystem for Linux. It allows linux binaries to natively call their expected APIs under a windows OS, through a very lightweight translation layer. "Installing ubuntu" in this context really means installing Ubuntu's userland features (including apt-get etc.) for use within Windows.

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/wsl/2016/04/22/windows-subsystem-for-linux-overview/

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Re: new fangled Windows Subsystem for Linux

Essentially 21st C version of the old MS Services For Unix, slightly updated.

if you want to dual boot, or run Ubuntu in a VM on Windows (the reverse is better), then get Ubuntu or any other Linux distro (or BSD etc) in the normal way.

Windows Store is like a copy of Nokia's pointless store for Symbian (which resulted in REDUCED functionality -- widgets killed -- and making it harder to download S60 apps from random websites. iTunes only worked because it existed before iOS and there wasn't a pre iTunes method. Practically the same exists for Android). Windows Store is a broken concept for x86 Desktop PCs. The phone and ARM Tablet MS OS should NEVER have been called Windows (It was Windows CE originally). MS attempt to take control of distribution sucks.

Their new EVERYTHING is 365 will piss people off too.

Absolute morons.

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Black Helicopters

Re: But...

Personally, I feel safer running windows inside Linux than the other way around... but that's just me.

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Re: But...

"It allows linux binaries to natively call their expected APIs under a windows OS, "

Oh, sort of Wine in reverse then?

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Linux

Re: But...

"It allows linux binaries to natively call their expected APIs under a windows OS, through a very lightweight translation layer."

So, like Wine in reverse? Eniw?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But...

"Installing ubuntu" in this context really means installing Ubuntu's userland features (including apt-get etc.) for use within Windows.

So it's not Ubuntu at all - in fact it's not even Linux, if you're not running a Linux kernel. Shouldn't Canonical object to this misuse of their trademark?

If it crashes, it's Windows' fault, not Linux.

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Re: new fangled Windows Subsystem for Linux

Mage, you've been reading too many of Bob's posts.

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Re: new fangled Windows Subsystem for Linux

Is there an actual Linux kernel running? If so it would be more like coLinux or UML than Wine.

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WTF?

Re: But...

"Shouldn't Canonical object to this misuse of their trademark?"

Yes.

But they won't.

Sometimes I wake up in a cold sweat with the idea that, with a few exceptions, Linux land has come to engage in some sort of Borg type 'partnership' with MS.

Fortunately, there's Devuan.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But...

"So it's not Ubuntu at all - in fact it's not even Linux, if you're not running a Linux kernel. Shouldn't Canonical object to this misuse of their trademark?"

Correct, it's not running a Linux kernel but it is presenting most of a Linux API. Whether that constitutes infringement of the Linux name is a fair argument. As to whether it's infringement on the name "Ubuntu" - it ain't; Canonical are maintaining the "image" that's installed.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Windows

Re: Oh, sort of Wine in reverse then?

Backwards. Backwards is much more appropriate to all things Microsoft.

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Re: But...

Slime

Some Linux in Microsoft's Emulator

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Re: But...

This is the new fangled Windows Subsystem for Linux. It allows linux binaries to natively call their expected APIs under a windows OS, through a very lightweight translation layer.

To add to that excellent post, it's basically the same trick that Solaris, FreeBSD and QNX also do to support Linux binaries.

It works so long as the Linux binary is compiled for the same CPU that the OS is running on. So Solaris x86 can support Linux binaries so long as they were also compiled for x86. QNX can do it on ARMs.

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Re: new fangled Windows Subsystem for Linux

Essentially 21st C version of the old MS Services For Unix, slightly updated.

It's not even remotely close to being that.

if you want to dual boot, or run Ubuntu in a VM on Windows (the reverse is better), then get Ubuntu or any other Linux distro (or BSD etc) in the normal way.

Why bother? If an Ubuntu user land installation cannot tell the difference, why both dual booting or going the whole VM route?

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Re: But...

Oh, sort of Wine in reverse then?

Not really. WINE emulates win32.dll, and other high level dlls. These are exclusively used by Windows binaries to access kernel services. The reverse of WINE would be sort of like a reimplemented glibc.so for Windows.

This is a Linux kernel system call shim for Windows. So a real Linux binary calls a function in the real glibc, which in turn makes Linux kernel calls just as if it were really running on Linux. And the shim translates that into the equivalent windows kernel call(s).

Reasons

The reason why Wine does what it does is because the Windows kernel system call interface has never been published. So they had to emulate the next layer up (win32.dll).

Because the Windows kernel system call interface is not public, no one can do a windows kernel shim layer for Linux. Apart from Microsoft.

Which is exactly what they're doing with their port of SQL Server to Linux. Instead of using Wine or doing an actual source code port, they're emulating the Windows kernel on Linux.

Consequences

Ultimately this kind of abstraction of kernels will mean that people will stop caring about which kernel they're running. In theory you could construct an OS that looks like Ubuntu, smells like Ubuntu, feels like Ubuntu, but just happens to have a Windows kernel and Windows drivers instead of the Linux kernel and it's lesser set of drivers.

If MS were giving the kernel away for free so that the Linux Distro companies could do this if they wanted to, such frankenOSes could be quite useful. All the same freedoms as commonly enjoyed now (who ever really does their own kernel hacking? Not many...), but with rock solid driver support. The Linux kernel community might care for GPL2 and open source purity, but quite a lot of people just want an OS that works on their hardware for free.

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Re: But...

Shouldn't Canonical object to this misuse of their trademark?

Apparently they gave it their blessing. But as their stuff is open source and freely available, fork-able, etc there is nothing they could do to stop it anyway. Bit like CentOS vs RedHat.

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Re: But...

Correct, it's not running a Linux kernel but it is presenting most of a Linux API. Whether that constitutes infringement of the Linux name is a fair argument.

If it's Oracle vs Google, yes...

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Re: new fangled Windows Subsystem for Linux

I don't think Nokia's Store ever prevented you from installing your own stuff from elsewhere. They were very aware that a lot of people wanted that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But...

"Correct, it's not running a Linux kernel but it is presenting most of a Linux API."

So Linux with a modern hybrid microkernel! I guess the shimming looses the performance advantages of Windows though :-(

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Nokia's Store and non-Store apps (Was Re: new fangled Windows Subsystem for Linux)

Nokia's app store was never exclusive. Symbian still allowed you to install anything you wanted, from anywhere you wanted. All you got was a warning dialog saying "This isn't from a verified publisher. Do you still want to install it?"

This made it very easy to send beta-test or distribute review copies of paid apps - just email your .sis file to the relevant people, and have them install it directly by tapping the file attachment in their email.

Back on topic, the reason MS has put this into Windows Store is the same reason that their other built-in apps are kept in the Windows Store: it puts all the non-OS parts under the same distribution and update infrastructure.

The product is called "Ubuntu on Windows" (although the technology that allows it is called the "Windows Subsystem for Linux"). Canonical are 100% involved in this, which is why the "Ubuntu" name can be used. The confusion is that people use "Linux" to describe the kernel as well as the kernel plus various GNU-based userspace tools that make a usable system, of which Ubuntu is one.

For "Ubuntu on Windows", WSL plus NT is the "kernel", Ubuntu's set of tools is the userspace.

And the reason that WINE emulates win32.dll rather than the "Windows Kernel" (a misnomer - the current kernel is called "NT"; "Windows 10" is the name of the current userspace) is that there wasn't just one "kernel" when WINE started: win32.dll is the abstraction layer that gave Windows NT and Windows 3.1/9x the same APIs, so that's the correct layer to intercept.

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Faster by using Windows download?

Ha!

I have found MS downloads very slow compared to the Linux distro mirrors.

I found that trying to install ANYTHING from Windows Store breaks the Store App -- and all other "metro/modern" apps on Win 10. Attempting to repair Store app: This app can't be repaired please download an updated version from Windows Store.

Sorry MS, but you are now rubbish. I prefer to install Wine, Mono, MS Fonts etc from LINUX distros on Linux for the legacy Windows Applications I still use.

Win 10 is a bad copy of Android now. At least with Vista you could customise it! ME was better than Win10 and Windows Store.

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Re: Faster by using Windows download?

@Mage - So just use a normal install. I agree the Windows store is a bit rubbish . . . . but as I have only ever used it to see what it did then decided it was an unnecessary obstacle its not an irritant.

Unlike the whole Linux equivalent which has caused me no end of pain.

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Re: Faster by using Windows download?

"I found that trying to install ANYTHING from Windows Store breaks the Store App -- and all other "metro/modern" apps on Win 10. Attempting to repair Store app: This app can't be repaired please download an updated version from Windows Store."

That's not normal behaviour obviously.

Firstly, make sure your time & date are set correctly and check that all pending Windows updates are installed. Then try opening an elevated command prompt and running WSRESET

If that doesn't help you can reinstall the Store and other preinstalled apps via Powershell - Instructions here: www.intowindows.com/how-to-reinstall-store-and-other-preinstalled-apps-in-windows-10

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Faster by using Windows download?

"I have found MS downloads very slow compared to the Linux distro mirrors."

I just installed the base Ubunto package onto Windows 10 (just under 200MB) and got well over 100mbit / second in the UK. I don't know what you get from the Linux distro mirrors, but the Windows Store seems pretty speedy here.

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SQL Server for Linux on Linux on Windows

This will finally let me install the version of SQL Server that is within a container run on an OS within a container within Windows.

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Re: SQL Server for Linux on Linux on Windows

Obligatory XKCD

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Re: SQL Server for Linux on Linux on Windows

Obligatory turnoff

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Anonymous Coward

Fast Startup, corrupt NTFS.

Have Microsoft have finally turned off Fast Startup, if you install Ubuntu? One of the problems with Microsoft Windows 10's hibernated fast startup mode, is the NTFS File System is unreadable by another OS (where you dual boot etc) while it's in this frozen state, it's effectively marked as 'dirty'.

Also, if you setup a hard disk in a GPT+Hybrid MBR Mode (using Apple's HFS to initially layout the disk, with 128MB blanks between partitions, then Ubuntu's Gdisk to add Hybrid), you still can't see partitions past the first 3, EFI+1,2,3 in Windows 10.

In this situation though, Ubuntu (and Macs to some extent using Paragon's UFSD) can see and read everything, NTFS, HFS+, EXT3/4, other GPT Partitions, past those in the first 4.

Microsoft really needs to start supporting GPT+Hybrid MBR disk layouts properly i.e by incorporating and licencing Paragon UFSD.

It's make Windows look so clunky regards it's objections to reading different disk formats/disk structures.

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Re: Fast Startup, corrupt NTFS.

Disable prefetch and fast startup if you can. Both evil, especially for SSD, Flash, SD cards etc, any system not using single OS and spinning disk. Even then your OS may be better without them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fast Startup, corrupt NTFS.

Yep, I always I do (first thing I do on any new install) because it's one less variable to deal with when working with multiple OS's. I just wondered if Microsoft had thought this through enough to actually do the same, i.e. switch off their own conflicting crud. I'm guessing not.

It's doesn't help that MS make it as difficult as possible to run Windows 10, Windows 7 side by side physically, in terms of the Microsoft Bootloader, and the limit on physical MBR partitions.

An example of this is where Windows 7 can see a Windows 10 partition as drive D. If Windows 7 forces a check disk on the visible Win10 NTFS partition, it will corrupt the Win10 system partition but the other way round it's fine, i.e Windows 10 checking the structure of Win7 System disk.

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Re: Fast Startup, corrupt NTFS.

"Have Microsoft have finally turned off Fast Startup, if you install Ubuntu? One of the problems with Microsoft Windows 10's hibernated fast startup mode, is the NTFS File System is unreadable by another OS"

This isn't a regular install of Ubuntu. This is the Ubuntu userland running under Windows with, as per other comments, a sort of Wine in reverse intercepting system calls and using Windows instead of the Linux kernel perform them. So Windows wouldn't be hibernating whilst running Ubuntu in this way.

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