"The existing Linux distros and a lot of mainstream companies approach WSL as kind of a novelty."
I'm not sure about novelty but it's a rather excessive overhead just to run Linux.
Microsoft Windows 10 users are spoiled for choice when it comes to Linux these days, and now open-source startup Whitewater Foundry has added yet another option for penguinistas living in a Windows world. Ubuntu, SUSE and Debian are all available for use under Microsoft's Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). However, the line-up …
You're kinda making his point stronger. I've not checked in a while (I've weaned myself off the notepad++ .... just the deprecated since 2010(?) MySQL GUI tools to go) but somehow Wine runs stuff faster than Windows when running windows benchmarks that hammer the OS. By "windows benchmarks" I mean benchmarks compiled as an exe or in many cases "natural to windows" that are not like "how fast can we write a file?" or things no OS bothers to optimise because they're so rare.
If anyone cares I'll go on. You have no idea how much work is behind paging working fast.
ANYWAY what he's saying is the stacked interfaces there converting between one another. Having however many layers less can only be a good thing. It depends how they've built it TBH (like Wine-type thing to having kernel support to support Linux "native" (there are loads of types) syscalls ect and being able to understand them without a trip back into userspace and back out)
... Who is this kind of thing aimed at? Why would I want all the headaches that Redmond brings to the table added to a Linux distribution? Shirley running your distro of choice on bare iron is cheaper/easier/faster/cleaner with far, far fewer security and update problems?
Sounds like nothing more than a novelty to me. I'm probably wrong.
"Agree. What's the benefit of this over native, or even Fedora in a VM?"
A few years back, MS told the world how much they loved open source (and by extension, Linux).
Windows now "supports" the most popular Linux distributions by letting them "run" on Windows.
Try to get Linux users to see the advantage of having both OS "seamlessly integrated" then
drop support, or break the APIs, or something.
I imagine it's aimed at servers where Linux has been the default for eons now (is it still?) there are a lot of installations of one moderate to large servers as single computers management tends to want windows, they know it (even the name) and this can tip the constant battle in their favour if the grumbled "technically yes" to "can we run that shit on it?" is extracted.
People who want to have access to Linux command line (and many GUI) apps on Windows. Developers, sysadmins, and pro users mostly. We also see interest from people taking their first steps into Linux and front-end devs who are branching out into more server-side.
They use WSL because they have to use Windows for some reason-either some piece of hardware or software they need, it's easier to start working in than a VM or dual booting, they already work in a cross-platform environment and want to leverage tools in both (sysadmins), or-and I know it's hard for Linux desktop users to believe-some users just like Windows.
I myself was a macOS user for 15+ years. I liked power and versatility of having mainstream consumer apps and a *Nix terminal. I stopped waiting around for Apple to make a laptop with real ports and a decent keyboard and bought a ThinkPad instead, which I love. Windows + WSL gives me what macOS did before. I think WSL is a far greater threat to developer draw to macOS than it is to Linux desktop. Linux desktop is not going anywhere.
And don't call me Shirley!
>"Linux desktop is not going anywhere."
I know the year of the Linux desktop has become a joke and when I suggest it's still on I have been utterly FLAMED by ***Linux users***, many of whom do not want Linux to be mainstream.
However, it hold Linux desktop IS still on for a mass of reasons:
1) I am actually seeing Linux here in ***Indonesia.***
Indonesia???!! Land of (pirate) Windows???
Because POS system are often DOS and DOS no longer runs natively on modern hardware (let's not talk FreeDOS, mind) I am seeing POS system at stores here using DOSBOX under Ubuntu! I am seeing Ubuntu everywhere here suddenly! I had to buy a new printer by credit in November. The girl arranging the loan was running Ubuntu as well as the rest of the staff even while all the laptop being sold run Windows 10.
If this is happening in Indonesia where legal software is unusual and everyone just pirates cracked Windows, something is afoot!
2) Asus is THE go-to brand here. Generally speaking, Asus works and in a land where everyone is out to get "The Money" and dishonesty is expected nobody trusts any other make here at the budget end of the market. I also had to buy a new laptop this money - yeah, my business i kinda burning through tech, aaaannnnndddd I bought Asus. Acer turned out to be garbage. I learned the hard way why the locals ONLY by Asus. Any other make is too much of a quality risk.
Asus do supply Windows 10 and if you buy at the local Hartono they will only supply Windows 10. But go to the local 'Hi tech mall' here and you can buy a 'No OS' laptop that runs EndlessOS and I have bought such laptops. Yes, plural. I get through a lot of tech! [And why I buy small, cheap, run free Linux and go with relatively 'disposable.']
3) Linux is taking off on Chromebooks. Now, I know ChromeOS is not exactly a full OS and not exactly a full on Linux distro though it uses the Linux kernel which, technically is all Linux is. But... I predicted with the rise of the "internet only" laptop the arrival of the successful Pinebook64 cheapo Arm Laptop that someone somewhere would eventually build a cheap Arm Chromebook killer that would also allow the installation and running of Linux, not just Android, apps. What I had not figured on was Google doing it. ChromeOS now allows for the installation and running of Linux apps making ChromeOS a full on Linux distro and Chromebooks are the world's number 1 selling laptop! In many different forms, mind, but still number 1 seller and has been for many years! The appliance laptop is where "it's at!" So Linux is already taking over via Chromebooks. Indonesia does not do Chromebooks much (though the International standard schools do!) bu they do buy cheap laptops just for Facebook and watching online movies. Not even email now as everything has gone whatsapp. I am sure I could see Pinebooks here as cheap internet laptops! [But import tariffs would make such impractical, alas. Indonesia is going all-in Nationalist again.]
4) Frankly all Mac and Windows have are legacy Industry standard apps. They will dominate for a long time as standards are hard to shift. Adobe will be king of graphics for decades, ditto AutoCAD for CAD. VB macros mean Office will hang on for decades (as has COBOL) in blue chip businesses. BUT... that's a tiny segment of the market. Joe Public needs far less. What Joe public now wants is the internet and long battery life. People do buy power machines but it's gamers, developers and graphical artists that do such. Most people are fine with a dual core celeron and why the low end of the market remains pretty static in terms of spec. As long as Youtube videos play the locals are happy enough.
Since it is now battery life that counts over apps Arm is where it is at because x86 cannot by it's legacy deliver the same battery life as Arm. That's where Windows 10S comes in, meant to run on Arm. Except Windows 10S is kinda broken and will not run the essential legacy apps except via emulation which makes it the same running Office under WINE in Linux! But the real problem for Windows 10S is that the x86 code cannot be ported over to Arm easily. But the Linux apps... the MAJORITY have already been ported.. You only have one browser for Windows 10S. Just.. one - Edge. So, you want to run an Arm laptop and have fast, usable apps? You kinda need to go Linux. Windows 10S the OS is native Arm but the apps are not and let's not mention the "You can only install from the app store" element of the cut back OS. This is all kinda broken.
Soooo... In order to adapt to Arm Microsoft have gone Windows 10S but it is very late to the party and the big names do not want to port to Arm! The likes of Adobe take the view that to run their apps you are going to run with X86 - period. Which is fine for business but Joe Public is moving on.
5) Almost an extension of 4... the other desktop player outside of Chromebooks is the Raspberry Pi which has become a massive hit and one of the world's best selling computers ever!
So Windows for Arm was offered FREE to Pi's and clones.
Everyone ignored it.
The Pi is Linux. Arm is Linux and Linux is Arm and the world is pivoting towards Arm. Even Intel can see that and are now fabricating Arm chips.
Kids are growing up in school with Chromebooks and Pi's. I know. I work in education now and I get...
"So it's like Google Docs then?"
"Yes, let me introduce you to offline apps."
"What are those?"
Trying to introduce the concept of storing data on a hard disk and not the cloud has been painful of late.
While in the past kids were taught Office and Photoshop they are now running Libreoffice, GIMP and Raspian and not recognising their 'need' to run Photoshop. Schools have JUNKED expensive Mac (not helped by very dodgy hardware manufacturing methods that border on the criminal as well) and Microsoft and, instead, embraced, cheap, disposable, easy to maintain Chrome and Pi.
Which only leaves the 'Blue chip' legacy apps for Mac and Windows. The desktop is moving on to Arm and Linux just be default. I am not saying people are rushing to buy Linux laptops - they aren't, kinda because there aren't any. Dell have released ONE very exesnive Arm laptop as proof of concept, mind. Joe Public still believes that Linux is really hard to use, you have to type in lots of CLU stuff, it's really hard to install software in Linux, etc, etc - none of which is true now - BUT... at the same time lots of kids are growing up with ChromeOS and Raspian and it's the parents who are running Windows. We have a generation difference now.
Oh, also note that because both Mac and Windows are now so tied to the hardware and require activation and various hoops to be jumped through to install, that it is now ipso facto impossible to teach a student how to install an operating system and configure it without using Linux! So, if you want to learn technology you now have to go Linux. I speak from experience.
It's a slow shift and it's kind of invisible as people are shifting to Linux without knowing it is Linux! But the move is there and the rise of Arm virtually requires Linux means Linux IS moving on the desktop. For various reasons Windows 10S will get some traction (Microsoft pay sellers to push Windows) and you will not see Linux Arm laptops in stores.. perhaps ever. But online, at the hi-tech mall, you will. And the next generation are going to be looking for Raspian laptops.
"So it's like Google Docs then?"
"Yes, let me introduce you to offline apps."
"What are those?"
Thank you for an interesting view on the IT situation in a large and important country that we in the cold North don't always hear a lot about.
I work in education in the UK. I was wondering about how students in Indonesia keep track of their 'stuff' as they move through the educational system. Do they have a unique ID that their goog account is tied to so when they change school/college their things just follow them? Or do they have to basically start over? Or do they use a personal account? If personal account, famously the goog algos could just can it if some kind of activity triggers an action.
The UK govt is part way through rolling out a unique learner number  for every student above 13 years old (and eventually over 11 years old I think). At present, this is used just to allow colleges and universities access to qualification history but it strikes me that in the future, it could act as an ID for online storage.
Then no more stressed students and days spent with recovery software :-)
Icon: meant as token of gratitude, not necessarily endorsement of alcohol use.
>"I work in education in the UK."
You poor fellow. My deepest condolences to you and your family.
>"I was wondering about how students in Indonesia keep track of their 'stuff' as they move through the educational system."
OK, let me clarify... while Indonesia is quietly rising (and it is and I am glad to be here) it is starting from a VERY low position. The education system was a deliberatly dumbed down rote learning system that focused on blind, mechanical obedience under the dictator Surharto who wanted generations of military men who would obey without question and NOT have any upsetting thoughts about democracy or free speech. Students would even be taught marching on the National program and put on military style parades. The question "Why?" was literally forbidden and would result in disiplinary action.
As such the National education prgram is still mired not so much in the old military thinking but the old rote learning, and even though the current Government recognises critical reasoning and skills learning is required for Indonesia's development, nobody really knows how to implement it across the National program plus the TEACHERS here are all old school and have thrown the idea out!
"Rote learning was good enough for me and so it' good enough for them" is a feature here! The department of education here has tried to bring in numerous reforms and the teachers have just ignored them and carried on as before.
As such, there is very little in terms real IT skills taught on the National program. [School leavers here often have to go through further voctional training outside of classes to be employable and with unemployment stil high here a master degree is required to get any half decent work... Result of which is over 50% of emplloyment here is people setting up microbusinesses to employ themselves which... actually has some advantages as it means the GOvernment has t go 'softly, softly' when it comes to regulations for small businesses or they wipe out the single biggest 'employer' of all. That works in my favour, in fact!
As it is, I was only talking of the big, hideously expensive International schools that only the ethnic Chinese go to. Some of those schools have standardised on Chromebooks. The National schools are all still running pirate Windows 7 on Pentium 4's!
Indonesia is growing and devloping but the historical drag on education here is going to make critical reasoning and skills based learning a looooonnnnng time in coming. [And why I can rn my own private tuition business here and suffer due to the overwork!]
As such, there is no National IT program here and no IT ID system. Any centralised system would doubtless work with local National ID cards/numbers. Note that while ID cards have been controversial in the old country... I can see how they are essential here given how dishonest the locals can be when it comes to money!!! Nobody believes you unless there is some hard core ID. I have foundout the hard way why that is. Not too hard but enough to realise you have to be VERY careful here it comes to anything to do with money here. To Indonesians' credit, mind, I have found the locals actually very friendly, helpful and if you are kind, generous and CONTRIBUTE they LOVE you! The local teens are not insulting or threatening you on the streets either which is rather refreshing after experiences in the UK.... But the local village dwellers can be the sort to smile at you, appear to fawn over you and then steal your gold fillings in the night! Family is actually the worst of the lot and you are MORE likely to be cheated by your brother here than a stranger!
So, I don't want to overstate the use of Chromebooks here. Infrastructure problems as well prevent a National standarised Chromebook system anywhere. Again, in the villages, where trading in cows remains common, your house might be able ot run Air Conditioning but not a hair dryer at the same time and the only internet is 56K USB 'dial up' modem with no real wifi. The rural villages are a whole other world.
[Conversely, the current President; "Jokowi" who is a businessman has nearly completely the essential across the country roads need to turn Indonesia into the trade route it should have been decades ago. That alone, forget the rest, is going to drive the country's finances forward.]
It's just the International standard schools going that way and Raspberry Pi is literally unheard of here! My point is, therefore, not that Indonesia is going all Chromebook (it isn't and you cannot buy a Chromebook at the local 'hi-tech' mall either as no understanding and no demand) but that EVEN HERE, in the land of pirate Windows, Linux is taking off and schools that have the funds and wifi are going Chrome and cloud. And it's maddening because I then have students who think that technology is the cloud and the cloud is technology. The rest think it's all smartphone.
I hope that clarifies! I'm not trying to sell a false impression here!
> Why? Windows runs on Arm too.
Yes, on Windows Phone 8, Windows Mobile 10, Windows IOT, Windows RT.
All have which have been dumped due to lack of interest.
The problem isn't whether [a subset of] Windows runs on ARM, the problem is that people don't buy computers to run an operating system, they buy it to run applications. With Linux on ARM they get the full stack because applications were developed to be platform independent. With Windows almost all software is x86 (and most x86-64) and where there are ARM ports these lack features.
Even where Microsoft is trying to save their ARM presence by trying an ARM CPU that does x86 emulation this only does x86 32 bit and so is useless for modern software.
>"The problem isn't whether [a subset of] Windows runs on ARM, the problem is that people don't buy computers to run an operating system, they buy it to run applications. With Linux on ARM they get the full stack because applications were developed to be platform independent. With Windows almost all software is x86 (and most x86-64) and where there are ARM ports these lack features."
Exactly. And what I was saying/
As it stands, Windows 10S will run the critical legacy apps but only be emulation and I read that those apps run BETTER in WINE under Linux! (Dunno about WINE under Linux on Arm mind, but that's because the full Arm laptop with proper HDD is not really with us... not at an affordable price anyway.)
Just a correction/query. tho. My understanding with Linux apps is NOT that they were designed as platform independent - if that were the case Kdenlive would be running under Windows already and it isn't - but that the open source nature of Linux apps made porting and optimising for Arm much less grief and why the Big names like Adobe just do not want to do it and expect x86... and I suspect always will do... given Adobe have pretty much said they hate Linux and will NEVER port Photoshop to the OS, ever! But at least Krita has arrived; be it early days!
> Adobe have pretty much said they hate Linux and will NEVER port Photoshop
I wouldn't say that's entirely true - never say never!
I'll grant that a new CE might, once day, change track but to date Adobe have had a real downer on not just Linux but the whole open source concept. I have the read the on your link and it's interesting comment but given Adobe's history I'm putting this under "Sooooo likely!" :-)
I won't say never but I will add, "Better to see Krita develop instead regardless!"
Oh, I dunno. MeDearOldMum picked up on using Gimp quite easily (colo(u)r correcting and generally "cleaning up" old family photos, mainly). Perhaps you've been corrupted by Adobe, if you find Gimp difficult to use?
Keep in mind that Mom is a techno-phobe; it took Dad & I almost fifteen years to convince her that she can use a scanner without any danger to herself or the system ...
As I read it, folk in Indonesia. Which is a populous country. And maybe by extension, folk in other 3rd world countries. Who again account for a large slice of the world's population.
Yes, I can see how that goes - who cares, they're shit poor.
And if they adopt low cost, ARM-based computing running Linux to make themselves sufficiently not shit-poor then maybe we'll find that a new dominant mode of computing has crept in under the MS radar.
Hmmmm... Indonesia is not poor.
It's certainly NOT a third world country. It is ranked a 2nd world country but it is also leaping up the GDP stakes. Wages are low but increasing and the middle class expanding like crazy. Indonesia is also a huge user of social media - the 3rd or 5th int he world depending on which study you believe.
I am actually happy to being a developing country that is, in fact, developing.
I agree with you 100%.
Is especially usefull in an enterprise environment where you can't always convince your "average sales person" to use Linux..
I've been interested in WSL since the beginning and enjoy it a lot. Leveraging the whole power of Linux (with GNU core utils and what not) is amazing. You can even get X running if you start your own X server in win, like Xming.
Call me heretic but I got my linux home folder as shortcut on my desktop.
And of course I have a symlink to my (mounted) windows desktop folder in my linux home folder.
Sounds complicated? It really isn't.
There are some minor details every now and then i.e. having to change user rights after copying a file form win to linux or files that you delete in linux but appear on win until you restart your computer. But nothing to really worry about.
Couple of things I've done recently:
- Getting a CSV file with a strange encoding, using file/iconv in linux and then using Excel for further processing
- Writing a web crawler in python in linux - vim for the win! (no pun intended) - and using the result in windows for various tasks
- Scripting in Bash/Python/Perl/Ruby vs. scripting in Batch/Powershell (eww)
"Who is this kind of thing aimed at?"
Poeple who need to run legacy *nix stuff in a Windows environment. You get all the security, integration, perfomance and management advantages of Windows as a front end to run your *nix based cruft on.
Quite a few enterprises i have worked with are looking at it - as it means they can avoid the pain of native Linux on a desktop or having to manage it under a VDI environment and they can eliminate an entire team that used to manage this crap in large organisations.
"That's because they need to run 3 Windows servers to keep up to one *nix server."
If that was the case then companies would be migrating on premises servers to Linux. In fact most legacy midrange migrations go to Windows Server (particualrly to SQL server).
Whilst you might not like the fact, Windows Server tends to scale better than Linux for many uses. Similar to the Desktop where Windows 10 is often faster and gives longer battery life than Linux.
"Windows Server tends to scale better than Linux for many uses."
Windows isn't made to scale; it does desktop and laptop PCs and enterprise servers that mainly exist to provide services for those Windows PCs, traditionally so that businesses can maintain the same staff and training for both. Even that's being eroded in this day and age however.
Meanwhile most devices in the average household don't run Windows. Sure the family PC or laptops are likely does, everything else - phones, tablets, WiFi kit, router, printers, TVs, STBs, any other appliances, and even the cars do not. Many run Linux, but there's also plenty of VxWorks, QNX and others.
At the other end of the spectrum all of the largest technology companies (incidentally except one) underpin their massive services with Linux. Most supercomputers run Linux. Most cloud services run on Linux, hosting mostly more Linux. Even the only large cloud that runs on Hyper-V still mainly hosts Linux.
If Windows were really more scalable than all that then it would be far more popular.
>"Windows runs >90% of desktops and >75% of on premises servers, so nope."
Hmmm... not quite.
Stats on desktop usage are notoriously hard to get especially worldwide but it is now acknowledged that Windows on the Desktop has slipped back dramatically, now below 90%. Last exact figure I could find was 82%.
"In July 2018, the market share of the Windows operating system range stood at 82.88 percent."
If, by, premises servers you meant on site, local servers, you could well be correct. It is true that CEOs that grew up with Windows think OS=Windows and anything else is suspect. But in terms of shared servers and 'big iron' including supercomputers, Linux (and BSD) dominate!
As I point out to students considering going into coding.... "IoT pretty much equals Linux. Android pretty much equals Linux. Servers and, by extension, webapps equals Linux, Arm equals Linux and contributing to open source Linux equals valuable experience before graduating... you really want to take a look at Linux!"
Windows will be with us for a very long time as COBOL remains with us. Legacy hangs around for a very, very long time and why stores till use DOS POS systems. But the future apps are likely to be much more Arm/Linux.
"Windows runs >90% of desktops and >75% of on premises servers, so nope."
Windows runs on 35% on user-facing endpoint computers, having slipped from >90% 15-20 years ago. It's a significant minority in every other technology category, plus in all cloud hosting environments, and within even Azure itself: https://www.zdnet.com/article/linux-now-dominates-azure/.
Sorry, but Windows is indeed more 'legacy' than Linux.
>"Latest stats say over 90% of PCs and laptops still run Windows. So nope."
I provided the latest stats and they return 83% which is a massive DROP.
And, as has been noted, that ignores mobile devices like smartphones which, I accept, are today's personal computers and used in preference to laptops, particularly in places like Indonesia where I now live.
However, if the Windows fanboys want to believe Windows is still the present and the future then fine with me. The more Microsoft stays in x86 and desktop Windows the more Arm and Linux/BSD can take over quietly. As it stands, however, Microsoft are smarter than the fanboys and making their money more and more form the cloud using... Linux. Windows 10S is probably going to be, will, around but not very popular.
"and within even Azure itself: "
Bearing in mind that the first things that people generally migrate to the cloud is legacy crap that they dont care too much about and want to dump somewhere, that makes perfect sense. That on premises is >75% Windows Servers makes it clear what actually matters.
"Bearing in mind that the first things that people generally migrate to the cloud is legacy crap that they dont care too much about and want to dump somewhere, that makes perfect sense. That on premises is >75% Windows Servers makes it clear what actually matters."
Just, no. Every org I've dealt with and every colleague I know of, all choose to leave the legacy stuff behind and use the cloud for new builds. So if Windows usage is really that high on-prem where things are being left behind but not in cloud where the future is, than that further reinforces the fact that Windows is indeed a legacy option.
I think Microsoft are just going where the market is, like linux workloads on Azure.
A little part of me is just wondering if one day Windows 13++ might actually be some kind of customised kernel, a gnu userland with compatibility libraries for legacy applications. Just in terms of managing what must now be a colossal code base with a new generation of programmers turning over again into a third generation.
funny timing. I'm am doing some Django + Vue development at the mo. Doing it on my win10 desktop, and it's all fine except when it came time to get redis running today as I learn how to use Celery.
I tried WSL with Ubuntu and I had redis running there in 15 mins.
I will be running the finished system from a Linux box anyway, usually fedora + nginx, but WSL proved handy today. I was stingy and went with free Ubuntu instead of fedora though.
Hmm, maybe not one of the best Reg clever headlines: before reading the article, I thought it meant that they were dropping (dumping) Fedora support as it was too "ill", no, I mean "bad", no, I mean in a negative way, to be worth the hassle of trying to port...
I assume "sick" as in "that's one sick club mix", was what was intended. Perhaps too clever for its own good on this occasion!
Nothing good can ever come from this whole approach. The whole point is to eliminate all dependencies on Windows, not to give people a reason to abandon bare metal Linux.
If you can get things like WPF to work on Linux+Mono, then you will have a good story. This whole "Linux subsystem" nonsense is the most depressing tech story imagineable.
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