back to article Windows Subsystem for Linux to debut in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Microsoft's head-turning Windows Subsystem for Linux will emerge from beta to become a fully-fledged-and-supported feature of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Redmond's Rich Turner revealed the status change late last week, noting that the beta has already ended for users of Windows 10 Insider build 16251. In past looks …

Anonymous Coward

I get the feeling Rich Turner's intentions are good on this. Microsoft's? not so sure.

Worth a watch is the Windows Weekly episode 514 Bash on Windows.

https://twit.tv/shows/windows-weekly/episodes/514

I'm absolutely not a Microsoftie one bit. Make up your own mind regards Rich Turner, but he comes across as someone enthusiastic, doing good at Microsoft (and I really don't say that often, regards Microsoft). Whether Myerson has the same intentions, is another matter regards Linux. Not a fan of the latter.

Is Microsoft endorsing Linux such a bad thing? The endorsement certainly gives it "worthy contender" credibility, as a credible rival to Windows, Microsoft are taking the threat seriously, because Linux "is" a real threat to Windows, especially the Windows as a (seamless) Service , which is proving anything but seamless. Windows Update is still a bloated clunky bag of nails, it's really no better under Windows 10. Updating Linux is much easier and more consistent. It rarely fails.

I like Turner, he seems genuine and I'm normally pretty good on people. Still it's so easy to host Windows as a VM on Linux, is there any point to this?

Problem too, Bash on Windows can easily be dropped, like Windows Phone, if it needs be.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I get the feeling Rich Turner's intentions are good on this. Microsoft's? not so sure.

https://twit.tv/shows/windows-weekly/episodes/514

Meant to say watch it from 1hr02mins in. (and check out the blank faces either side, as talk WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) goes above their heads-quite funny (esp. Mary Jo Foley, she looks like she might drop off), but it's actually a really interesting (and fairly open) insight by Turner into Microsoft.

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Why?

What are they hoping to achieve with this?

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Re: Why?

The business case for it is to better support their Azure "cloud" efforts. It's intended for user by software developers working in a corporate environment on Windows PCs and deploying on Azure Linux cloud instances. Developers deploying to Linux servers in house could use it as well, but that use case doesn't seem to have provided enough motivation in the past to shift Microsoft into motion.

Developers would use this to build and test software on their own PCs using Linux build tools while having to deal with fewer cross platform headaches. The major issues here are probably more to do with meeting the build requirements of third party C libraries than with code the individual developer is writing. You could theoretically do this with Cygwin, but this method provides a more seamless and supported solution.

Microsoft is also putting a good deal of effort into supporting developing software for Linux by putting support for the languages and tools used in that environment into their own products such as for example adding Python support for Visual Studio (yes Python runs fine on Windows, but a lot of important third party libraries don't). Microsoft's own languages such as C#, F#, VB, etc. are stirring little to no interest in the Linux world, so they need to follow their customers if they want to stay relevant.

It's very doubtful that anyone will switch from a Linux desktop to Windows with WSUL, but quite a few pundits seem to think that Microsoft will steal some desktop market share from Apple. A lot of developers who use Apple Macs use them simply because they are a supported hardware configuration with a unixy OS, and so somewhat compatible with Linux. A Windows PC that can make the same claim and offers better library and developer tool access (via Ubuntus repos) undermines the case for buying Apple.

Taking market share from Apple would simply be a minor bonus however. The main reason is simply to provide better end to end support for developing for the "cloud" to try to keep people within the Microsoft environment so they can sell them other things which integrate with Azure and promote Azure in general.

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Re: Why?

"What are they hoping to achieve with this?"

It eliminates most requirements (commonly from developers) for native Linux on the desktop in a corporate environment. No need to worry about a desktop Linux build / security settings / patching / device lockdown, etc. etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why?

'It eliminates most requirements (commonly from developers) for native Linux on the desktop in a corporate environment. No need to worry about a desktop Linux build / security settings / patching / device lockdown, etc. etc."

Sadly there are a lot of orgs where the devs are fully cross-platform versed, but the corporate IT drones have never seen anything outside of the MS bubble.

On the flip side I'd say there will be many other others that, like us, provide Linux (Ubuntu) desktop builds anyway. They are walk in the park to patch and manage compared to watching the hoops the Windows team has to jump through. Linux desktops are much easier to tune for insane VDI performance too, so many of the non-tech users prefer them - two seconds to login to a complete working desktop versus half a minute for Windows.

As more corporate apps move to web UIs, there's almost nothing left that the Ubuntu desktops can't do.

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Re: Why?

Stop loosing developers.

Right now, most developers choose Mac because all those Linux tools that are fundamental in any bleeding each development are available.

The other option would be a full Linux Desktop, but without any big marketing muscle behind that option, it is a niche option at most.

With that solution you keep your cheaper and familiar Windows Laptop and have all those tools available.

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Has anyone commenting actually tried it?

It's actually pretty good.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Has anyone commenting actually tried it?

Have you tried Linux with WINE and also safer Windows in a VM on Linux?

Have you tried MS SFU on NT4.0?

Have you compared the increasing stupidity of ME, Vista, Win8.1, Win 10 with

1) WFW 3.11(with all 32bit extensions and TCP/IP), Win95x, Win98, Win98SE Versus Win ME

and

2) NT3.5, NT3.51, NT4.0, Win2k, XP (aka NT 5.1), Win7 Versus Win10 (or Win8)

I've also looked at Win2.x, Win286, Win3.0 (all rubbish, Win3.1 was first workable version).

I've used CP/M (on S100, Apple II Z80 card and Amstrad PCW) , CP/M86, PCDOS original, MSDOS 2.11 to 6.22, OS/2, VMS, Cromix, MS Xenix, Minix, DRMultiDos, DRDOS, Gem, Mac OS9, earlier Mac OS X versions, Linux since 1999. I've used MS SFU, Cygwin.

Win10 is pointless garbage, so why would I bother with a less functional MS Linux subsystem than OS/2 text mode on NT4.0 or MS SFU?

I used to support, sell and install MS products. No longer.

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Re: Has anyone commenting actually tried it?

Yes I use it quite frequently. It's great for when I am on my Windows laptop and want to use openssl for creating a .csr file for a certificate or quickly ssh into another box for example. I consider it a neat little tool that makes my day slightly more productive, but judging by some of the comments on here maybe I am missing the wider religious significance of this particular heresy.

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Re: Has anyone commenting actually tried it?

Great for data science work. You can run awk/grep/paste etc on Windows generated files without tying yourself in knots trying to get all the slashes and quote right

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Re: Has anyone commenting actually tried it?

"Have you tried Linux with WINE"
Yes, with no great deal of success. Even if I manage to get Adobe InDesign running (the subscription version works apparently) I won't be able to create PDF files to hand off to be printed.

"I've also looked at Win2.x, Win286, Win3.0 (all rubbish, Win3.1 was first workable version)."
Not true. Pagemaker ran fine on Windows 286. Indeed, it was the reason I ran Win286.

"Win10 is pointless garbage"
On that we are in agreement...

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Re: Has anyone commenting actually tried it?

Scribus is not too bad at all as a replacement for Quark/Indesign.

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grep and awk and redirection

Just having CLI access to grep and awk, and input/output redirection, on a Windows 10 machine makes a lot of tasks so much easier. Yes, there are other ways to do it, but having it neatly packaged up with a shell I'm used to working with them in is the way to go, as far as I'm concerned.

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Devil

Re: grep and awk and redirection

Yes, 'grep' and 'awk' and redirection. I get that with Cygwin on winders. Why do I need Micro-shaft's LAME ATTEMPT at copying Linux? Or rather, embracing, extending, and EXTINGUISHING Linux?

grep in SFU/SUA didn't work quite the same, nor did awk from what I remember (and there were other irritations and limitations as well). As such, I couldn't get a proper grep search to work the same way with THAT thing. So now round 2.

why not just install LINUX instead, if you need Linux?

/me been living in the FreeBSD desktop, day to day, for YEARS now. Since some time before 2005, in fact.

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Re: grep and awk and redirection

This is linux, it is installed from Ubuntu

It is merely running alongside Windows.

Modern operating systems allow you to run binaries for different subsystems at the same time. It's what happens when you have an OS descended from the proper OS created by the experts at DEC rather than one descended from a bodge cooked up by a couple of guys on their own DEC.

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Re: grep and awk and redirection

"Yes, 'grep' and 'awk' and redirection. I get that with Cygwin on winders. "

Why run a bunch of nearly-similar tools in the CMD.EXE shell when you could run Ubuntu with bash for the shell?

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Re: grep and awk and redirection

>I get that with Cygwin on winders

What was my option before as well,but the big difference was that you needed that the program you are looking for, was recompiled and included in Cygwin.

Now, you just add the relevant PPA from launchpad.net :-)

>Why do I need Micro-shaft's LAME ATTEMPT at copying Linux?

You are missing the point.

MS is not coping Linux.

You are installing the "real Ubuntu" from Canonical servers

The bit that MS did was a "translation layer" that convert the Kernel calls from all that binary identically software, to the Window's relevant kernel call.

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I've actually used the "Windows Subsystem for Linux", in insider builds, for a while. And it's much more useful than this article implies. You can run pretty much any Linux software you want, provided it doesn't need hardware-accelerated X. You install a Windows X server and your application windows just show up like normal in your Windows session, and the terminal works exactly like it does on a Linux machine.

It's great for software devs, although I can't really see why anyone else would need it because you can do most things you'd want to on a server with native windows apps and scripting (PowerShell is a totally usable solution now) and Windows beats Linux handily for productivity apps and gaming.

To tell you the truth, I'd prefer a "Windows Subsystem for Linux" (Wine is not compatible enough, WSL is amazingly compatible), but at least this lets me use both OSs at the same time without the virtualization overhead.

And as for files not being available across systems, that's really not important at all. You can just set up network shares and then magically everything is shared. Wow, so hard.

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Coat

application windows just show up like normal in your Windows session

Just like we had in 1999.

Meanwhile Windows has moved backwards and Linux forwards.

You've be also able to dual boot NT & Linux since those days. A 64bit EFI is well supported, Debian does work with 32 bit EFI (some 64bit Atom Win 10 tablets only have 32 bit EFI and 32 bit Win10 as the CPUs are crippled to only support 2G of real RAM). If you copy the 32 EFI files to Linux Mint installer, it works too).

Most decent Windows machines use 64bit EFI.

The only advantage I see for this is weird corporate places not allowed to install Linux. If WINE can't run the handful of wiindows programs, a VM can. This might have made sense for XP or Win 7 to replace MS SFU, but it's over TEN years too late. MS has missed the bus on this.

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Unhappy

Re: application windows just show up like normal in your Windows session

"Meanwhile Windows has moved backwards and Linux forwards."

"MS has missed the bus"

For that I upvoted, but with a caveat about EFI: EFI just plain *SUCKS*. It's another MICRO-SHAFT SCAM to try and ELIMINATE LINUX and BSD, to "require" that for a windows-capable sticker on the hardware or something. (fortunately, many operating system distros have adapted, but they should NOT have had to do so in the FIRST place)

Let's not forget that the very existence of EFI is due to Micro-shaft's EVIL PLANS to DESTROY COMPETITION. They behave according to their nature, after all...

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Windows

Oh!

(Wine is not compatible enough, WSL is amazingly compatible).

Now I wonder why that is.

Could it be that one is open and the other closed? So that MS can see what Linux is doing but not the other way round?

Looks to me like that old Pirates of the Caribbean saying. "Take all you can, give nothing back."

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Re: application windows just show up like normal in your Windows session

EFI was developed by Intel to do away with the limitations of BIOS for its Itanium CPUs; they found that they could not do the preboot things they wanted to do within BIOS. BIOS is limited to 16-bit processor mode, with a maximum addressable space of 1MB. There are a lot of things it cannot do, which isn't surprising when we're using 286-level technology. BIOS' MBR partition system is unnecessarily fragile, is limited to maximum 2TB partitions, and the extended partition containing logical partitions schema is a kludge at best. GPT does away with these, and it's a part of the EFI standard. There are hacks to get GPT bootable disks with MBR, but they're just that. UEFI was designed with them as part of the standard. BIOS is simply obsolete-- it works, but it is far more restricted than makes sense with modern hardware.

Intel still owns the rights to EFI, but its successor, UEFI, is in the public domain. It is not owned by Microsoft, and Microsoft can't unilaterally dictate changes for UEFI. What MS is able to do is to demand that OEMs who wish to receive Windows to sell with their new PCs configure that PC in a certain way, but that's not an indictment of the technology itself, but in a monopolist behaving as such (with governments that have made quite a hobby out of looking the other way at each and every opportunity). This configuration is, of course, "secure boot."

UEFI is not the same as secure boot. The PC I am using now uses UEFI, and it doesn't have the ability to perform a secure boot. The concept of letting Microsoft have the keys that decide if a PC may boot with a given bootloader is, of course, insane, but that's a deal between the BIOS makers/motherboard OEMs and Microsoft, not a predefined part of UEFI. UEFI contains the tools for secure boot, but there's no inherent requirement that MS have any say in the matter.

For most PCs, if you don't like secure boot, you can turn it off. It does have a legitimate security use, though... rootkits do exist, they do overwrite the bootloader with their own code, and secure boot would prevent this from working. That's not a scam to let MS decide what OS gets to run-- that's a real security issue with real benefits to the user. Some Linux distros do have secure-boot functionality; I don't know about the other Unix-like OSes. Still, if you want to use a bootloader that isn't MS-approved, turn it off and be done with it.

On some devices, secure boot can't be turned off. You'll have to talk to the makers of those devices and ask them what kind of deal with Microsoft they made to block off a whole category of potential customers (those who wish to use another OS beside or instead of Windows). You can vote with your feet on these... just don't buy anything that has mandatory secure boot. It does mean more research before purchasing, but that's necessary anyway if you don't want to be unpleasantly surprised.

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Anonymous Coward

Personally I'm glad windows 10 can't read my linux files which makes it harder for shitty windows based viruses to get their paws on my data. Or for that matter their spyware windows 10. If they try to 'fix this' I sincerely hope the open source community breaks its functionality as soon as possible ! Its no more than Redmond deserves.

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Let your Linux system access Windows files then and transfer across what you need:

https://www.paragon-software.com/home/refs-linux

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Dunno what their long game for WSL is, but it seems like it might have potential to allow us freetards (I say that in the most loving manner possible) to co-opt their work for increasing people's acceptance of Linux as a viable Windows alternative for basic computing.

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Happy

The Story of the Penguin and the Trojan Horse

....or why penguins are now extinct in the Aegean Sea.

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Inside out.....

There's obviously some corporate dinosaur inside Microsoft that can't contemplate interaction between non-Microsoft filesystems and Windows, one that insists on the PR line that its really difficult and they're working on it. Total BS, of course. I can interact with NTFS from BASH without a problem. So why would I bother with their DiY shell? (Yes, I tried it, and was amazed at what it wouldn't do -- the most obvious problem for me is that I couldn't run Windows applications from a shell script.)

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Re: Inside out.....

I suppose that the big problem is that all the "kernel work" is done by the "Windows Kernel" that there isn't a ext4 driver for the Windows Kernel yet.

About running windows programs from WLS, look a the post:

>Invoke Windows processes from Linux, e.g.

> ~$ cd /mnt/c/temp/ && echo "Hello" > hello.txt && notepad.exe hello.txt

>Invoke Linux processes from Windows command-line, e.g.:

> C:\> bash -c "fortune | cowsay"

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Anonymous Coward

Credit to MSFT

Use it or don't use it, but don't bitch about how it's too terrible for you to use.

Long time cygwin user here. Yes, cygwin is a better UNIX environment on Windows. Yes, a VM is trivially easy to run, if you want the real deal. But this is Microsoft. Their whole model is to release something a bit feeble and then get better over time. Windows Server, I'm looking at you. It's pretty good now, innit? and used to be pretty feeble, yes?

So instead of bitching about it and making Nadella think that he should just give up trying to please the beards, how about you install it, use it and suggest improvements. And if that's not your bag, then don't use it. Anything else is just being an ass.

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Re: Credit to MSFT

Or just refusing to kiss MS a$$. After all, it's not like we actually need to tell them, this linux stuff has been around quite awhile, there's source code, and I hear they've even hired linux "experts" to help them.

Am I being an ass to refuse to be a negatively paid beta tester and bug reporter?

I can guess the color of the sky on your planet...and which outfit you work for.

Now, if they were giving away their stuff for free and asking for help, like some other systems do...it might be that they're worthy of a different attitude. But wait...they're not.

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Re: Credit to MSFT

sky = blue. employer != MSFT.

The point is not that everyone should be a free beta tester. My point is that those people who chose not to be should not complain endlessly about why they don't want to be one. It's no insult if you don't want o do it. Go and enjoy your (genuinely) superior environments. What depresses me is the tearing down of someone else's efforts.

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Holmes

I wouldnt be surprised...

if Windows didn't morph into a window manager, desktop apps and API running on Linux.

Microsoft has to decide where its future lies.

It's lost the home desktop to smart phones.

It's lost the smartphones to apple and android.

It's lost the servers to Linux.

What is left apart from legacy? The corporate workstation and its apps.

If those apps would run on a linux chassis, who cares about windows, per se?

I.e. a Microsoft supported version of WINE plus a Microsoft branded suite of desktop apps and window manager...

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