back to article The Year Of Linux On The Desktop – at last! Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 brings the Linux kernel into Windows

The biggest news of Microsoft's annual developer get-together, Build, this year was the arrival of the Linux kernel as part of Windows Subsystem for Linux 2. Oh, and a new tab-happy Windows Terminal? It's in GitHub. Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 The Windows Subsystem Linux (WSL), which lets you run Linux programs on a Windows …

  1. jake Silver badge

    But, but, but ...

    ... I've been using Linux (Slackware) as my main computing desktop since late 1993!

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: But, but, but ...

      Ah, but you didn't have support for Emoji in your terminal windows, ya loser, which is what all the cool kids are using now. Get with the times, Grandad.

      C:\> (smiling poop) (aubergine) (ghost)

      1. jake Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: But, but, but ...

        That's OK. I did not then, do not now, and never will give much of a shit about emojis. Total waste of bandwidth. Hell, I barely care(d) about emoticons.

        Beer, on the other hand ...

        1. Gene Cash Silver badge

          Re: But, but, but ...

          Somebody needs to send Jake a working sarcasm meter...

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: But, but, but ...

            I think we need a ::whooosh:: icon, Mr. Cash.

        2. Kiwi Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: But, but, but ...

          Hell, I barely care(d) about emoticons.

          Beer, on the other hand ...

          So that'd be a care beer then?

          I'm going I'm going.....

        3. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: But, but, but ...

          Eh, what about ASCII Art?

          I used to be much better at Fish

          <'))))))><

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: But, but, but ...

            "Kay-leeeeeeee! Is it tuh late tuh say ahm sorreee..."

      2. Malcolm 1

        Re: But, but, but ...

        Emoji are just the friendly face of full unicode support.

        For decades well-meaning people have tried and failed to get software to fully support multi-lingual script, turns out all they needed to do was add a range of faintly amusing pictograms.

        1. Notas Badoff

          Re: But, but, but ...

          My heart aches, my soul cries out "Noooo...", but ... this is so true.

          OTOH: is it possible Unicode.org had this in mind all along? Masters of social political technology then!

        2. jgarbo
          Pirate

          Re: But, but, but ...

          Yeah, an emoji is worth...two words. How did I live before...?

          1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: But, but, but ...

            > Yeah, an emoji is worth...two words. How did I live before...?

            Wingdings?

            1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: But, but, but ...

              Wingdings?

              There is no positive question that can be asked where an acceptable answer is "Wingdings". Go and wash your mouth out!

              1. AnotherBoringUsername

                Re: But, but, but ...

                What's a really stupid font?

                1. Notas Badoff

                  Re: But, but, but ...

                  Phags-Pa

                  Used for about 100 years over 600 years ago, created for the Mongol Yuan dynasty. But it falls under the remit of "a script with written literature of importance".

                  Sooo, a Unicode font. And every Windows box and many *nixen has this font installed. Over how many millions of boxes is that? A disk space tax for a font never used. Sigh

              2. coxm

                Re: But, but, but ...

                > There is no positive question that can be asked where an acceptable answer is "Wingdings". Go and wash your mouth out!

                "Which font shall I delete after Comic Sans?"

              3. Dacarlo

                Re: But, but, but ...

                ✡□◆ ♍❒□⧫♍♒♏⧫⍓ □●♎ ♌♋⬧⧫♋❒♎✏

                :P

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: But, but, but ...

                  Wow, it's been a while since I've seen any perl.

        3. poohbear

          Re: But, but, but ...

          Egyptians did that years ago.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: But, but, but ...

            Yeah, but it ain't being maintained...

      3. MacroRodent Silver badge

        Re: But, but, but ...

        As Linux terminal emulators have supported UTF-8 (i.e. Unicode) for a decade or more, emojis work just fine, provided you have installed and selected a font that includes them. (My Linux Mint installation appears to have that by default).

        Microsoft again playing catch-up...

        1. Kristian Walsh

          Re: But, but, but ...

          No. Encoding support isn't script support. Linux applications still have problems with contextual (Arabic), bi-directional (Arabic, Hebrew) or combining scripts (Thai, or the Brahmic scripts used to write Indian languages), despite the existence of very good libraries for supporting these things. (As with everything else UI-related on Linux, the lack of an agreed standard toolkit means there's a patchwork, with some applications offering very good support and some being very, very bad)

          Even with library support, developers can find themselves facing an uphill struggle, as these scripts break a lot of Latin-centric "rules" that they may have believed (particularly "one code-point is one glyph" and "glyphs are laid out in the same direction"). Brahmic scripts in particular break all of these rules: here's an example for the Devanagari script used to write the Hindi language among others - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devanagari#Compounds ...note how the following "vowel" moves around the preceding consonant*

          (Despite their "foreign-ness" to Westerners, Chinese/Japanese characters are actually the easiest of the non-European writing systems to support, as they behave pretty much the same as Latin letters.)

          __

          * in practice, this re-arrangement is somewhat simplified by the font: the font contains a definition of a finite-state-automaton which selects a pre-composed "cluster" glyph for a given sequence of input codepoints. The Unicode standard defines the rules for these combinations, but they're usually implemented in the font to allow greater stylistic variation (similarly to how some fonts create ligatures for "c t" when used with English text)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: But, but, but ...

            ...or the Brahmic scripts used to write Indian languages...

            And long may that remain true. The last thing we need is anything that encourages Indian coders to get more 'productive'...

          2. MacroRodent Silver badge

            Re: But, but, but ...

            @Kristian Walsh Yes, I do realise there is much more to rendering many scripts correctly than merely displaying the characters. But this discussion was more in the context of "can I show the poop emoji in a terminal window". But thanks for the lesson anyway. I wonder if there even can be such a thing as a Devanagari terminal window?

    2. jgarbo
      Devil

      Re: But, but, but ...

      Now you can have that shabby old LInux and a beautiful Blue Screen of Death, too. Co-operation offers many "opportunities".

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But, but, but ...

      I've been using Linux since Left 4 Dead 2 came out

  2. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
    Trollface

    I looked at the MS link provided

    ... and have two news for you. Here is good news:

    When the WSL kernel source becomes available it will consist of links to a set of patches in addition to the long-term stable source. Over time, we hope this list will shrink as patches make it upstream and grow as we add new local patches to support new WSL features.

    ... and here is bad news:

    The WSL kernel will be built using Microsoft’s world-class CI/CD systems and serviced through Windows Update in an operation transparent to the user

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I looked at the MS link provided

      Well they're right in saying it's world class, given that a large fraction of the world has been dragged down to that level...

      The propensity of Windows updates to bork machines causes me no end of grief, given that I seem to be the family's fixer. For a few Windows 7 years I had very little to do...

    2. Unicornpiss Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: I looked at the MS link provided

      "The WSL kernel will be built using Microsoft’s world-class CI/CD systems and serviced through Windows Update in an operation transparent to the user"

      I'll believe it's world class... if you can tell me the color of the sky in that world, and how many light years it is from ours. And Windows Updates.. if ever something needed to be taken out to the woods and shot.. I realize that the well-working beauty that is Linux's updating system is partially because of the file system(s) being superior in many ways to NTFS, but a little verbosity in the Windows Update process would be most welcome. With most newer machines not even having drive activity lights these days, it's hard to tell if it's stuck on something or actually updating much of the time.

      1. simonlb Silver badge

        Re: I looked at the MS link provided

        'With most newer machines not even having drive activity lights these days, it's hard to tell if it's stuck on something or actually updating much of the time.'

        It's getting to the point now where there should be both a HDD light and a LAN activity light on the front panel of any PC so you can see wtf Windows is doing - installing updates or just downloading a few gig of updates first.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: I looked at the MS link provided

          should be both a HDD light and a LAN activity

          On my Mac I have two little application that provide exactly that (albeit on the menu bar since the gods of style apparently don't allow anything as plebian as an LED in the case..).

          Yes, I'm old. Yes, I'm cranky. Dammit!

        2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: I looked at the MS link provided

          Or uploading your private data to whomever wants it at the current moment (MS, Google - All the usual culprits, plus whatever piece of malware users like to install on their systems).

      2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: drive activity

        watch cat /sys/class/block/sda*/stat

      3. Hans 1 Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: I looked at the MS link provided

        You have to congratulate Micorsoft for WIndows Update, that thing is really bad, it is severely over-engineered, eats resources like hell ... compared to Linux update mechanisms it is just brain-dead, like the rest of the OS.

        At least it looks like we are getting a half decent terminal ....

        1. teknopaul Silver badge

          Re: I looked at the MS link provided

          I think npm has just pipped windows update for most resource intensive update mechanism.

      4. LeahroyNake Silver badge

        Re: I looked at the MS link provided

        Mine has a lovely red LED on the front panel that used to flash when the HDD was being used. Upgraded to a 256GB NVME stick and the LED stays dark or is flashing so quickly that I can't see it.

        OMG it's soooooo fast though even windows 10 update restarts take seconds rather than several minutes.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: I looked at the MS link provided

          LED stays dark or is flashing so quickly that I can't see it

          Yeah. What would be more useful, for many recent systems, is an LED that's lit whenever one of the OS filesystem I/O queues grows beyond a certain size. It would probably still flash too rapidly to perceive individual flashes in some circumstances, but the perceived brightness would likely vary enough to convey some information to the user. Basically, an indicator for "I'm disk-I/O-bound at the moment, and that's why I'm running so slowly".

          Similar indicators for the run queue ("I'm CPU-bound at the moment") and network interfaces ("I'm network-I/O-bound") could also be handy.

          Related anecdote: When the IBM RS/6000s were first coming out - in fact, before they went GA, and were available to some VARs to get software ported to AIX 3 before the machines went on sale - I was working for IBM TCS in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and some of my coworkers were supporting those porting efforts. A developer at one of the VARs complained that the '6000 didn't have drive-activity lights. My friend pointed out that on a UNIX workstation with demand paging, particularly one like AIX where most of the kernel was pageable and the VMM was unified (so RAM could be used arbitrarily for text, data, and filesystem cache pages), the disks were pretty much always in use. But the developer remained unhappy.

          So my friend wrote a little daemon that periodically polled the disk I/O stats and updated the 2-digit LCD display on the front of the machine with the number with the queue length. That made the developer happy.

          A little later, I took my friend's idea and created a daemon that polled the run queue length and displayed that on the LCDs, since my machine was far more likely to be CPU-bound. That proved quite handy, particularly if I had a long build or test suite running on that box and I was working on another machine while I waited for it to finish.1

          One interesting quirk was that the RS/6000 LCDs displayed a two-digit hex code. For the hell of it, I decided to display the number in decimal instead, so I had to convert the value into the base-16 value with the same hex representation as the decimal value. (I.e., DecimalValue / 10 * 16 + DecimalValue % 10.)

          1The old UNIX trick of putting an "; echo ^G" or "; tput bel" at the end of the long-running command line, or queuing it up in the tty input buffer, was still a favorite too; but sometimes you want an interrupt, and sometimes you want persistent state you can poll.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I looked at the MS link provided

        "because of the file system(s) being superior in many ways to NTFS"

        You realise that is the old Windows filesystem and the current one is called ReFS - which is superior in many ways to the standard Linux ones?

    3. Reg Reader 1

      Re: I looked at the MS link provided

      The problem will now become Microsoft's increasing presence on the board of all things Linux. They will corrupt it from the inside because they want to control it and they have the money to buy the necessary influence, as we've already seen.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: I looked at the MS link provided

        The problem will now become Microsoft's increasing presence on the board of all things Linux. They will corrupt it from the inside because they want to control it and they have the money to buy the necessary influence, as we've already seen.

        Might not work out to be so bad.

        If we can just get Pottything and MS arguing over who is going to screw it up the most and the fastest, we may find they spend so much time trying to argue with each other that they leave the rest of us alone.

        Worth a shot. We've tried getting Pottything to listen to reason, mebbe he'll listen to utter insanity instead... Maybe some good will somehow come from it.

    4. phuzz Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: I looked at the MS link provided

      If you're worried about Microsoft code being used in the Linux kernel, you're a few years late.

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: I looked at the MS link provided

        Linus is a good gatekeeper, so ... no, not worried.

      2. Col_Panek

        Re: I looked at the MS link provided

        I'm more worried about NSA code being used in the Linux kernel.

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: I looked at the MS link provided

          If that's going to happen and it probably already has, it doesn't need Microsoft:

          https://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/15/openbsd_backdoor_claim/

          https://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/09/06/nsa_cryptobreaking_bullrun_analysis/

          etc. etc.

  3. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

    First they "generously" add Linux support to their OS. Then they extend it to include shit like Emoji, then they yank the rug out from under you & leave you flat on your arse.

    Why does anyone still trust MS as far as they could comfortably drop-kick MS off the roof of their own HQ?

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

      I don't really follow the logic here. Something is missing between collecting underpants and the profit...

      Sure, MS is a big & scary entity but how is MS extinguishing "Linux on Desktop"? Please explaing your train of thought. Just insinuating something-something-fishy is called FUD.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

        In full paranoid mode ?

        1, Azure only supports special-microsoft-version-Linux

        2, Somehow Azure becomes the leading cloud platform (don't laugh...)

        3 ....a miracle occurs

        4, Cloud computing is now Windows-Linux only

        I suspect Microsoft have now separated their plan for world domination from worship of the NT kernel. If adopting Linux is necessary to crush Amazon/IBM/Oracle then they will be prepared to hug penguins - doesn't mean that have suddenly become FOSS fans

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

          I suspect Microsoft have now separated their plan for world domination from worship of the NT kernel.

          It does seem so, given it's called WSL and not LSW.

          One day they're going to flick the switch and make the Win32 API interface to the Linux kernel. And on that glorious day, I still won't touch it with a bargepole because it'll still have a crappy UI and be full of telemetry.

          1. Updraft102 Silver badge

            Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

            One day they're going to flick the switch and make the Win32 API interface to the Linux kernel. And on that glorious day, I still won't touch it with a bargepole because it'll still have a crappy UI and be full of telemetry.

            Exactly. I didn't migrate to Linux (GNU/Linux, in context) because I thought that I simply must have all of that kernel goodness. I did it because Windows 10 was a piece of crap. Making Win32 programs run on a Linux kernel within Windows solves nothing... I didn't have any particular objection to the NT kernel either. It's all the higher level stuff on top of the kernel that I have a problem with, and that would all be the same. It's like the Monty Python "Spam" sketch... they're changing the wrong bit!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

            "One day they're going to flick the switch and make the Win32 API interface to the Linux kernel

            SQL Server on Linux thunks the Win32 API to Linux kernel calls so likely this solution already exists.

            The have also done it the other way round. The Windows kernel can thunk Linux kernel calls at close to native performance. That's how WSL works now.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

          1. Azure supports loads of different Linux versions. I don't think we have an issue there.

          2. No one is laughing. Azure is growing much faster than AWS and is rapidly catching up. Azure is after all a much more compelling environment for corporates that use Office 365 - which is lots of them.

          4. It already pretty much is Linux or Windows only. But yes if Windows runs everything, why both running Linux at all? That's probably Microsoft's aim here - run Linux under Windows better then native Linux. And with their fully modular kernel architecture and highly optimised drivers with features that Linux doesn't have like native hardware acceleration integration it is quite possible that they could succeed.

      2. georgezilla Bronze badge

        Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

        Well, some of us have been around for a while ( some for a very long while ).

        During that time we have seen Microsoft do many, many, things. So they have a history. And based on that history, do not see how this is anything but a bad thing.

        One of those things happened during the SCO affair. It included threatening anyone using Linux with lawsuits. Claimed that Linux was using it's IP without permission.

        Now they want to embrace it? And you are willing to allow them to weasel their way into it? Even deeper then they already are? That's naive, at the very least. Dangerous at best. And just an effing bad idea.

        Now if it turns out that I'm wrong, I will admit it. But if you are wrong ....

        ... well then Linux is just fucked.

        Personally I think that I will believe in what Microsoft's history has taught us. And seeing how badly they screw up their own OS, and how often they do screw it up, I really don't want them to screw up mine too.

        " ... Microsoft nearly wipe out WordPerfect, Lotus, Stac, Apple, Novell, Netscape, AOL and Sun just to name a few ... "

        From ...

        https://blog.axosoft.com/lessons-from-microsoft-innovation-and-competition/

        And then ....

        https://www.zdnet.com/pictures/in-memoriam-all-the-consumer-products-microsoft-has-killed-off/

        " ... something-something-fishy .... "

        It is history, not FUD. Fail to learn from history ......

        1. Sandtitz Silver badge

          Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

          "Well, some of us have been around for a while ( some for a very long while )."

          Yes, some of us have.

          "During that time we have seen Microsoft do many, many, things. So they have a history. And based on that history, do not see how this is anything but a bad thing."

          Look, I'm not saying MS is altruistic. They're a business set out to make profit.

          I'm just questioning how MS is supposedly extinguishing Linux with how they include this subsystem in Windows. Gimme something more concrete, a scenario how you think this may play out into Microsoft's hands.

          Is Gnome/KDE & X.org/Wayland devs already giving it up? Linux on Desktop has never been anything but niche, and will remain so. MS is probably way more concerned about Chromebooks, Macs, non-Windows tablets, phones and whatever that can bypass Windows desktop space and just work via browsers.

          Linux excels in the server space and this WSL thing has absolutely nothing that threatens it.

          "Now they want to embrace it? And you are willing to allow them to weasel their way into it?"

          I'm "allowing" this because this WSL is - AFAICS - not in breach of the GPL license. Are you trying to disallow GPL usage in some situations but granting usage for select companies like IBM/RedHat to freely monetize?

          " ... Microsoft nearly wipe out WordPerfect, Lotus, Stac, Apple, Novell, Netscape, AOL and Sun just to name a few..."

          Linux nearly wiped out Minix, would you agree?

          While MS has been a shrewd player, many of those companies have tried to obliterate themselves from the inside with either poor products and/or poor management. BTW, are you really crying over AOL or Lotus?

          "It is history, not FUD."

          Oh how people forget... 'FUD' was used to describe IBM before Microsoft existed, and they crushed competition left and right. Yet people here have championed them for their FOSS attitude and because they fought SCO well.

          1. Alistair Silver badge
            Windows

            Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

            @sandtitz:

            Minix was *never* a commercially viable operating system. It was and still is a teaching tool. An educational operating system if you will. It was meant to be simplistic, structured, organized and coded so that new coders could come along and comprehend the issues in coding an operating system.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

              And it does an excellent job of it, IMO.

              Oh, and BTW, it's actually a pretty good desktop OS these days. Don't believe me? Try it for yourself. http://www.minix3.org/ ... The usually unreliable Wiki has a fairly decent overview.

              1. georgezilla Bronze badge

                Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

                Thank you.

                Am downloading it right now. Will give it a try on my laptop later today.

          2. georgezilla Bronze badge

            Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

            Okay, okay, you like Microsoft, we get that. We also get that you can't see how this is a bad thing. Fine. And nothing anyone can say will change your mind ( because you don't want to. ). That's fine too.

            But let me ask you just one question ....

            "IF" I have a history of hitting you with a baseball bat. And you see me walking towards you with a bat in my hand. Are you going to assume that I am NOT going to hit you?

            But I AM going to hit you with it as long as you keep letting me.

            Microsoft has a history with a baseball bat. You like being hit with it, fine. You go right ahead and let them keep hitting you. Because sure as shit they are going to.

            As for me, no thank you. And stay the eff out of my yard!

      3. Shadow Systems Silver badge

        Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

        I'm one of the (Great?) Old Ones that remember all too well how MS has regularly, consistently, intentionally, willfully, & sometimes gleefully embraced $Thing, extended that $Thing to "make it compatible" (with Windows), & then took it out behind the barn to shoot it through the head.

        Devices, software, you name it - MS has screwed $Thing over time & time & time again.

        You would buy $Thing from the original company, MS would acquire it, & then the $Thing would no longer work as it once had. See Hotmail, Skype, MineCraft, et alia.

        As others have pointed out, MS can't even get it's own OS into a stable state, so letting them futz about with someone else's is just A Very Bad Idea(TM).

        How can MS make Linux interoperable with Windows when they can't even get *Windows* to be interoperable with itself?

        Don't even get me started on how MS is illegally blocking the use of older versions of Windows on any hardware newer than a 6th gen Intel. No drivers means the best you can hope for is basic functionality *if it functions at all*. Try to install Win7 on an 8th gen I7 & the installer shits itself because it can't find the DVD/USB device, the same device it used to launch the installer from in the first place. So you could find it to boot from, but not to finish loading from?

        Yes something is fishy, it's name is Microsoft.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

          Try to install Win7 on an 8th gen I7 & the installer shits itself because it can't find the DVD/USB device, the same device it used to launch the installer from in the first place. So you could find it to boot from, but not to finish loading from?

          It can be done, given enough effing about and swearing.

          1. Blitheringeejit
            Thumb Down

            @Dan 55

            Yes, but I found that even if you get it running, it won't update itself. Not even in a VM. So no real-world use at all really.

        2. Tridac

          Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

          > Don't even get me started on how MS is illegally blocking the use of older versions of Windows on any hardware newer than a 6th gen Intel. No drivers means the best you can hope for is basic functionality *if it functions at all*. Try to install Win7 on an 8th gen I7 & the installer shits itself because it can't find the DVD/USB device, the same device it used to launch the installer from in the first place. So you could find it to boot from, but not to finish loading from?

          Had fun and games trying to install server 2008 on a dl320 G8. Install ran fine, but then barfs on reboot telling me it can't find one of the raid driver files. Checked the directory and the file is there large as life. One would expect a proliant of any flavour to run win server out of the box, but no. Spent quite a bit of time on it, even put in a sas controller and drives, but still the same message. Eventually gave up and installed Windows 7, which runs fine other than for manual install of the network driver. Have heard that the G9 and later machines won't accept drives without an HP disk id, so a rerun of the ink business ?. That's before you even get to firmware update lockdown and as for "intelligent provisioning" ?, hah, you can keep that as well. Overcomplex, slow, buggy and not fit for purpose. Who knows how bad the G9 and G10 series are. HP used to be the pinnacle of tech prowess in the old days, but now ?.

          In comparison, FreeBSD 12 finds all the hardware, installs + a few packages, up and running in < 1 hour complete wih a mate desktop, no errors or fussy "I might condescend to run if I feel like it" BS. It just works and has the full range of packages. Have run Proliants for years, but will be looking elsewhere in future...

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

            Had fun and games trying to install server 2008 on a dl320 G8. Install ran fine, but then barfs on reboot telling me it can't find one of the raid driver files

            Did you use SmartStart ?

            1. Tridac

              Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

              In this case, no. Have used Smartstart on earlier generation Proliants, no issues, but if you are trying to bring a up a later s/h machine without the software support packs that came as new, good luck. There seems to be no smart start for >= G8 machines. To be fair, you can download the drivers from HP for free, but the install process has changed considerably and not for the better. It's slow, fussy, unhelpful and a pita in general. Finding anything relevant on the HP sites is a saga in itself, with broken links all over the place. Spent nearly a morning finding all the drivers and it still didn't install properly, though it goes through the whole process before reboot stops on the driver issue, rather than just continuing to fix after login. Win 7 install just needed the Broadcom net driver after reboot, so why can't server 2008 do the same, as it's the same vintage with much in common ?. Anyway, windows and HP here on sufferance only and will be looking at IBM or Dell in future, with the latter probably far more " industry standard".

              Perhaps we are spoiled these days with Linux and the BSD's, as they install out of the box with no issues normally. Having installed Vax VMS from magtape years ago, a typical install now no longer takes all day. Such is progress I guess...

          2. Sandtitz Silver badge

            Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. @Tridac

            "Had fun and games trying to install server 2008 on a dl320 G8...In comparison, FreeBSD 12 finds all the hardware"

            And what a moronic comparison that is.

            Server 2008 was released in 2008. (duh!)

            Gen8 Proliants were introduced in 2012.

            FreeBSD 12 was released <6 months ago.

            I dare you to download and try FreeBSD 6.3 in that server and report back how well it supports the then-unreleased hardware. In fact, I fucking double dare you!

            1. Tridac

              Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. @Tridac

              So ?. Server 2008 is a supported os for that model, so they say. Is it so unreasonable to expect it to work and simply install from the dvd ?. Win 7 finds most of the hardware and installs without complaint, same vintage, so why is server 2008 such a pita ?. Obstructive, opaque, total lack of serious tools. Just falls over and says "start again". Pathetic really...

              1. Sandtitz Silver badge

                Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. @Tridac

                "So ?. Server 2008 is a supported os for that model, so they say. Is it so unreasonable to expect it to work and simply install from the dvd ?"

                It is supported, but very likely requires the B120i raid driver from HPE. That's a cheapo SATA controller, not a proper CCISS Smart Array from the Compaq era.

                Similarly Windows 7 may be supported in many laptops or PC's but if they're equipped with e.g. NVMe SSD then you need a storage driver.

                "Win 7 finds most of the hardware and installs without complaint, same vintage, so why is server 2008 such a pita"

                Ahem... Server 2008 is based on the Vista codebase, not Windows 7.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

            "how MS is illegally blocking the use of older versions of Windows on any hardware newer than a 6th gen Intel"

            How is Microsoft "illegally blocking you" ? They are under no obligations I can see to write a specific driver to suit you. You are welcome to write your own.

            "So you could find it to boot from, but not to finish loading from?"

            Boot is from standard BIOS interface. To be able to fully access it from running OS requires a driver.

      4. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

        "how is MS extinguishing "Linux on Desktop"? "

        Well in most corporations there are relatively few users of Linux on the desktop - primarily developers and niche requirements. And maintaining those often dual systems for a subset of users is expensive both in using extra hardware / infrastructure and in having to support, maintain and patch 2 entirely different OSs.

        Now corporates are instead deploying WSL under Windows 10 and binning that parallel world. Happy bean counters. And in my experience mostly happy Linux users because it makes their life easier too.

        So you will now commonly not get the seed Linux environments that could potentially be pilots for wider Linux desktop usage cases. Chicken dinner for Microsoft.

    2. cyberdemon
      Devil

      Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

      Exactly.

      While conspiring with Intel to create a secure-boot spec that makes it very difficult in some/most cases (especially corporate environments) to run Linux natively, Microsoft have conveniently taken much of what makes Linux great and integrated it into their own paid-for shitty spyware OS. Great news, for Microsoft shareholders, but I can imagine a lot of the open-source devs who created the whole GNU/Linux ecosystem being a bit upset about this.

      The reason I and people like me use Linux is not about money, it's about control and a sense of (healthy, I say) paranoia. We have a massive distrust of software vendors like Microsoft, who with their inscrutable closed-source code, snoop and slurp, and push unknown updates onto you, all the while collecting a hefty tax. It really is not about the money, far from it: If there were an OS I could truly trust, I would happily pay for it. But as it happens, the only OS I can trust is free, in both senses.

      1. david 12 Silver badge

        Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

        Right. Windows used to have a sub-system for unix. Then that subsystem was made binary-compatible with linux. Then that subsystem was replaced with... linux running in a virtual machine. Thus giving MS more control? A tighter embrace? Giving linux more features?

        1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

          You guys are still forgetting it's now four 'E's

          Embrace

          Encapsulate

          Exetend

          Extinguish

          It's the second one that is most dangerous now.

          1. Scott 53
            Headmaster

            Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

            "You guys are still forgetting it's now four 'E's

            Embrace

            Encapsulate

            Exetend

            Extinguish"

            You have an extra E there

            1. dbtx Bronze badge

              the big picture

              embargo, embiggen, embolism

          2. jgarbo
            Windows

            Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

            Reminds me of that South American spider that devours beautiful little birds by sucking our their vital juices.

            1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

              spider that devours beautiful little birds by sucking our their vital juices

              Hey - spiders have to eat too! And (in our house) they help keep the population of clothes moths down..

      2. Yorick

        Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

        Alright I’ll bite. Let’s do a handwaved “fine” for the paranoia. I’m assuming you also avoid all things Google and Facebook, your phone is a flip phone or, if you’re in a trusting mood, Apple (maybe a custom Android build without anything Google?), etc. You browse through Tor from a Virtual machine running another copy of Linux. Anything telemetry is evil. Fair enough. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that THEY aren’t out to get you.

        Now, what I’m not comprehending is the “hefty tax” Microsoft collects on their OS. Tax presumably means ongoing, yearly. Unless we’re talking about the $40 that the Win8 upgrade cost, way back when. Since then upgrades have been free for consumers, and continue to be to this day. Win 7 to Win 10 - still free. Only as in beer though. As I say, paranoia I get.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

        "The reason I and people like me use Linux is not about money, it's about control"

        In my case it's because it runs a Unix-like user land. I really don't see the need to carry a Windows overburden to do that.

        I do remember that in the old days Microsoft actually had their own Unix port, Xenix, and at the time it was fine. There was no indication of Microsoft wanting to apply EEE. Possibly it was a matter of them wanting their own server OS at a time when Netware dominated the X86 server world. When it no longer suited them they turned it over to their major distributor, SCO. Inititally the SCO product was also fine. There was even a specialist market in PC boards to facilitate various aspects of running SCO such as multiple serial port boards for character terminals. It was much later when that went to pot.

        Often the case with big corporations is that the corporation itself isn't necessarily bad, it's the fact that they can change top management and be taken in totally different directions.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

          "Microsoft actually had their own Unix port, Xenix"

          Xenix was actually licensed by Microsoft from AT&T in 1979. It was the exact same bog standard PDP11 Version 7 Unix that I had access to at Berkeley. Microsoft never actually coded anything[0] for Xenix, rather they sub-licensed the AT&T source code to third parties, who did the actual coding and porting.

          For example, it was SCO[1] who ported it to the IBM PC's 8086/8088 architecture in roughly 1983. Yes, the very same machine that shipped with MS-DOS. Most of us yawned[2] ... although looking back, it was a pretty good hack by SCO![3] Hindsight's 20/20 ...

          The name Xenix came about because Ma Bell couldn't (or didn't want to) let them use the UNIX name. The claim for jealousy guarding the trademarked UNIX name was because MaBell was regulated and wasn't allowed to get into the retail trade, although that always rang a trifle hollow to me.

          Before SCO's port was released, there was a TRS-68000 version, a Zilog Z8001 port, and an Altos 8086 version (not necessarily in that order, my mind is concatenating time). There were several others. Microsoft didn't write any of them, rather the third-party companies in question did the coding.

          A version of SCO Xenix is available for the download here: ftp://www.tuhs.org/UnixArchive/Distributions/Other/Xenix/ ... Don't blame me for the www in that URL.

          [0] Unless you consider adding Redmond copyright crap to a few header files "coding".

          [1] No, not the SCO of insane litigation. Not really, anyway.

          [2] Those of us working on BSD at the time looked on Xenix as BSD's somewhat insane & slightly neurotic little brother.

          [3] Last time I posted something along these lines, I asked if anyone could remember who ported Xenix to Apple's Lisa. Turns out it was SCO ... I have a copy, my Lisa looks a lot happier running a un*x than the OS she came with. (Don't worry, all you purists, I have the stock software for her, too.)

          1. Down not across Silver badge

            Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

            The name Xenix came about because Ma Bell couldn't (or didn't want to) let them use the UNIX name. The claim for jealousy guarding the trademarked UNIX name was because MaBell was regulated and wasn't allowed to get into the retail trade, although that always rang a trifle hollow to me.

            I remember using Interactive UNIX V/386 (in addition to BSD I hasten to add) and recall it was very stable, My memory may bit bit hazy, but I thought it was was at least in some ways linked to AT&T (given they used name UNIX they must have been...) and they had earlier System III releases too for PDP, VAX. They had some dealings with IBM too as prior to V/386 the PC/ix that IBM offered was an Interactive product if my memory serves.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

              Interactive UNIX System V/386 was based on AT&Ts SysVR3.2 (and some bits & bobs from 4.3BSD), and was released in 1988, nearly a decade after most of my narrative. The UNIX Wars were in full swing by then, and AT&T had finally realized they had a name worth flogging.

              I'm pretty certain the Interactive PDP stuff was Version 6 in the late '70s, before Sys3 existed. They may have released a Sys3 version, but I can't remember (I would have been heavily involved with BSD at the time).

              Yes, Interactive produced the first version of AIX, for the IBM RT PC, released in 1986. It was a mix of SysV R1 and R2, with some 4.2BSD, and what looks like a couple bits of what would become 4.3BSD. I have an RT running AIX 1.0 down in my machineroom/museum/mausoleum/morgue ...

      4. Fungus Bob Silver badge

        Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

        "The reason I and people like me use Linux...."

        WSL was developed to entice Linux users who would switch to Windows in a heartbeat except for this *one* Linux program they can't live without.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

      and, I noticed the screenshot - looks NOTHING like my Mate desktop...

      it's still 2D FLATTY McFLATFACE Win-10-nic in other words.

      And from others' comments, still subject to forced updates, etc..

      How long before it's "Extinguish" phase? I say, not long at all...

    4. Crypto Monad

      Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

      "We're told people will eventually be given instructions and code on GitHub to roll their own WSL 2 kernels, if the supplied 4.19 one doesn't float your boat"

      Oh, how very magnanimous of them. But for some reason, the article doesn't mention that if Microsoft is distributing Linux kernel binaries in Windows today, without providing the corresponding buildable(*) source code, they are directly violating the GPL.

      Remember: Microsoft is a cancer on open source software.

      (*) "The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it. For an executable work, complete source code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to control compilation and installation of the executable."

    5. Peter X

      Re: MS SOP: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

      What's worse is they're also including bits of Plan 9!!!

  4. ashdav

    Hmm..

    Call me a cynic but maybe Microsoft have realised that their bloated OS has seen its day.

    They don't do QA anymore (Win 10) and imagine how much it would cost to rewrite a Windows OS from scratch without the cruft.

    A Linux OS with a Windows UI would save them a lot of money and staff.

    But on the downside imagine trying to tell your granny how to use the terminal.

    Just my opinion but I see this coming.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Hmm..

      Hm. My granny doesn't have root... Mom does, and takes care of all that.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Hmm..

        Me Grans are both long-gone, alas ... but Me DearOldMum (mid-80s and computer incompetent) & Great Aunt (104 years young and computer illiterate) use a version of Slackware that I provided for them. They both have the root passwords for their own computers (just in case!), but never use them.

        Please note that I understand their needs ... THEY didn't install the cut-down, customized version of Slackware. I did, based on how they use their computers, in real life. Nor do they handle the (scripted) update schedule. I take care of that from my own home.

        Mom & GreatAunt's "help, please" phone calls have dropped from several times per month each to one total in the last couple of years ... and that was to install a new printer for Mom. To be fair, I'd have been called in for that regardless of OS; she's afraid to plug anything new into the computer by herself. These days when I visit it's for tea, not tech help. Which is a much nicer state of affairs, don't you think?

        Now if I could only get them to call it Linux instead of "that version of Windows that jake gave me". ::sighs:: One hill at a time.

        1. Timmy B Silver badge

          Re: Hmm..

          "Please note that I understand their needs ... THEY didn't install the cut-down, customized version of Slackware. I did, based on how they use their computers, in real life. Nor do they handle the (scripted) update schedule. I take care of that from my own home."

          Ok. You manage the installations and do all the updating and monitor it remotely. I have an 86 year old relative running Windows 10 that I don't need to do any of that for. They have the full version - I didn't need to do any kind of customised version. They don't need to log in as anything other than themselves.

          Updates are all done automatically and I don't have to spend any time on it at all. In fact other than dropping off some new batteries for the mouse I've done nothing since the installation.

          What's most interesting is that she doesn't care about Windows - not one bit - it's just "the computer". It does what she wants and I don't have to do anything. That's what matters.

          1. nematoad Silver badge

            Re: Hmm..

            "Updates are all done automatically..."

            Yes, and look at the bloody mess that has caused.

            I like many others here moved to Linux not because it came at no cost but because it gave me control of what is still laughingly called a PC. That stands for "Personal Computer" for those too young to remember a time when you actually owned what you had legally purchased and not "leased" as is the trend these days. I'm glad that MS has been making a mess of their OS as it kept me in gainful employment for years. Now I'm retired I don't need that shit.

            1. Timmy B Silver badge

              Re: Hmm..

              "Yes, and look at the bloody mess that has caused."

              None. I hear people go on about updates and the "mess" but have never actually seen it.

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Hmm..

                Hubris, mere hubris.

                1. Timmy B Silver badge

                  Re: Hmm..

                  "Hubris, mere hubris."

                  Isn't anything until something bad happens? I could say it's the voice of experience. Just because I've not had issues it doesn't men they don't happen to others, I agree, but it doesn't mean they will happen to me either.

                  1. georgezilla Bronze badge

                    Re: Hmm..

                    But you have been warned.

                    What you do with that warning is up to you. And because you have been warned, when it does happen you don't get to whine about it.

              2. georgezilla Bronze badge

                Re: Hmm..

                So because you " have never actually seen it. ", means that it hasn't happened?

                Using that logic .....

                The world is flat because I haven't flown around it?

                I have. Both seen the "mess" that is Windows update and flown around the world. And both are true.

          2. TomG

            Re: Hmm..

            Same with my wife's computer, it does what she wants it to do. I do all of the updating.

          3. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: Hmm..

            Updates are all done automatically and I don't have to spend any time on it at all.

            Until you get one that nobbles the network or "breaks" some other part of the system so that it doesn't work. Or wipes their data. Or.....

            Lots of well-documented issues with Windows update. The only issues I've ever seen with Linux updates across many users is later versions of TeamViewer where for some reason the GUI doesn't come up. Dropped them back to an earlier version and marked it as 'hold' and for now there's not a problem (and I'll update them soon as the issue is fixed).

            Oh, and NordVPN making stupiD a dependency recently - gotta get on to them about that too.

        2. d3vy Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Hmm..

          "Mom & GreatAunt's 'help, please' phone calls have dropped from several times per month each to one total in the last couple of years"

          Yeah, if I asked someone for help and they put slackware on my system I wouldn't ask them again either.

          Isn't this the same as badly loading the dishwasher so the wife doesn't ask you to do it again.

          :)

    2. sheeplephone

      Re: Hmm..

      >A Linux OS with a Windows UI would save them a lot of money and staff.

      Now what other company took a free Xnix and added a pointy, clicky layer, I wonder...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmm..

        I believe you are talking about NextStep. Which, when it stopped selling hardware started to develop OpenStep. Which eventually became the basis of OSX after Apple bought Next.

        Cheers... Ishy

        1. Rob Gr

          Re: Hmm..

          Or Sun (Sun O/S) or Silicon Graphics, or...

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Hmm..

            ...HP or ....

    3. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Hmm..

      A Linux OS with a Windows UI would save them a lot of money and staff.

      I've mentioned this idea on other sites, with a combination of "yeah, could be" responses and outright guffaws. They've done exactly this with Chrome...there's no benefit to them in trying to maintain their own backend/rendering engine for a web browser. The stuff they want to do is all in the front end... so why not offload the work to Google, let them take care of the security issues and keeping up with emerging standards, and build on top of that? It accomplishes the same thing and saves a pile of money.

      The same could be true of the kernel. All of the things that MS insists on doing, the things that make many of us loathe Windows 10, are all higher-level things. A custom Microsoft distro/desktop environment could be called "Windows" and still do all the things we don't like (but that MS obviously does like) without a problem.

      It would have seemed preposterous before, but if we were to go back to the early 2000s, after MS had killed off Netscape and taken 90% of the browser market, that they would have done what they did with Edge?

      It seems clear to me that MS does not want to be in the general-purpose OS business anymore. They're more into all things cloudy now, and Windows is just a legacy holdover from years past. They've put a lot of time and money into building their Windows monopoly, and now they have that, but apparently don't want it. They're not going to give it away... it's still worth a fortune, so they're not simply going to open-source it like Netscape did (not now, anyway). They need to make that asset liquid... but how do you turn a monopoly into cash?

      You'd do what MS is doing. There are ways to force a monopoly to make even more money than it was before, but they are all harmful to the product in the longer term. MS has kept their Windows monopoly for so many years (in computing, 25-30 years is a long time) by not using their full monopoly power. They've had competition, so to speak, in the form of other Windows versions. We weren't compelled to use Vista when it crashed and burned... we could (and we did) just continue to use Windows XP. Windows as a whole had no real competition, but Windows Vista did, and it was another Windows. Rather than force us to use Vista, MS went back to the drawing board and came up with Vista as it should have been, aka Windows 7. It was a hit, of course.

      During the whole of the time of the Windows dominance, there were lines they would not cross. You can't say that "Micro$oft" didn't want to make all the money they could back then, but still they decided not to force people to accept something they didn't want, or to beta test their own commercial software, or to tolerate a stupid UI and Microsoft controlling everything, or the unwanted crapware that gets downloaded every feature update if you're a consumer. They didn't have a built-in "assistant" that can only use their own inferior search engine (thus driving traffic to it, so they can serve up more sponsored links). All of those things would have increased cash flow, but long-term, they would have harmed the Windows golden goose, and they were too smart to let that happen.

      Now, they're letting it happen. Not just letting it happen, but making it happen with great force. Nadella may be many things, but he's not stupid... I don't think for a moment that he is unaware that crossing all of the uncrossable lines will sink Windows gradually. I think that's the actual plan. First, they have to get everyone into the Windows 10 prison, which is still a work in progress. They won't fully show their hand until nearly everyone is on 10. Then it will be no more Mr. Nice guy (yes, all of the abuse we've seen so far was them being nice). Monetize Windows for all its worth, relying on the monopoly to hold people in the monetization prison. It will work for a while, but people will eventually tire of it and look for greener pastures.

      After Windows as we've known it crashes and burns, indicating that the monopoly has been fully liquidated, it would be a good time to launch the non-Windows Windows, with all of the hard stuff offloaded to others. All they would really need is a front-end for their cloud services, and that's a lot less difficult than making a whole standalone OS. What form it would take is anyone's guess, but it's not outside of the realm of possibility that the next product called Windows may be a desktop environment for Linux, or maybe a distro containing such a DE.

      1. Yorick

        Re: Hmm..

        I don’t see MS moving Windows to a Linux kernel. The behavior with regards to manipulating files with open handles is completely different, and there are probably some other fundamental differences from an application perspective.

        MS have put a huge amount of effort into ensuring that old apps “just work” as Windows receives new functionality, which is where a lot of the “crud” comes from. Not to say apps don’t break, they do, and MS have been keen to make them work again by adding another compatibility fix / layer.

        The prospect of “loads” of apps breaking because they moved to a Linux kernel has got to have MS execs in a cold sweat. Windows is how you pull in cloud. Optimized for AD and group policy, the home of Office for decades: If enterprises stop running Windows, they might ponder whether they still need Azure AD and O365. Nadella is no fool, he won’t let that happen.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Hmm..

          I could visualise a switch where the legacy windows applications run under a real Windows Subsystem for Linux, i.e. a Linux kernel with a Windows compatibility layer and, of course, a proprietary UI. But although there would be a legacy support its real purpose would be as a client to all the Microsoft services. Not making people ponder whether they still need Azure etc but making sure they do need it all.

          1. DrBed

            Re: Hmm..

            Sounds like Chrome OS, particularly Chromebooks. Not right now (in progress), not Azure (only), but same concept.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmm..

        "A Linux OS with a Windows UI would save them a lot of money and staff."

        It would break the fully modular architecture of Windows. A monolithic kernel would be a step backwards.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Hmm..

          The Windows kernel is "fully modular"? Really? Last time I checked, it was a hybrid.

  5. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Device drivers

    Is the device driver interface emulated or are these native Linux drivers?

    How does it manage having WSL2 kernel and WNT kernel running eg. the same graphics device at the same time?

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Device drivers

      They're moving away from a system call interface replica to hosting a Linux kernel in a virtual machine. So WSL2 will actually leverage their existing hypervisor, and they'll ditch all that WSL1 shim layer code that has been translating Linux system calls into NT system calls.

      I think that that's a bit of a shame. The WSL1 shim has been pretty good, but now they're taking the lazy way forward. Whilst we might gain in some respects (any Linux code will run trouble free) we'll likely lose in others (host - guest filesystem integration will work how?). That is, will the result be substantially better than running VMWare Player's Unity feature?

      And quite what happens to all that hard work that's gone into doing distros for the Windows store, I don't know. Will they have to be done again, or does one literally now install straight from the original ISO? Actually I suspect that they'll be retained and continue to work as before.

      1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

        Re: Device drivers

        You put a good argument here, but I disagree. First, the WSL1 shim is not very good as demonstrated by the huge overhead of the filesystem operations and incomplete implementation. Secondly, it was stuck at the emulation of the old kernel 4.4 and no strategy to bring the version forward. They figured it will be more cost effective to use the real thing, with some GPL-ed patches added and I think that's the right decision (even though I am unlikely to by affected by it). Hypervisor technology has progressed significantly in the few past years: all cloud providers rely on it, you can now have hypervisor on your phone without realizing it, and running a home computer inside a VM for AAA gaming is perfectly normal (for some).

        Just get rid of the notion that what VMWare is selling to the world is somehow "top of the class" because it is not. You might also investigate the IOMMU device pass-through while learning about more modern VM.

      2. Yorick

        Re: Device drivers

        That shim was a really nifty idea - and it ran into a wall. That wall is the same one Cygwin ran into, and that has been solved upstream with #ifdefs for Cygwin for a while now. Namely, the Windows kernel doesn’t allow you to do things like rename a file while it has handles open, mmap a 0 length file, delete a file with handles open, and so on. Linux does, and a lot of code assumes that’s all possible.

        This came to a head about 1.5 years ago when you look at the WSL github issue tracker. Since then there’s been “we would need to change the Windows kernel to fix this” from the WSL devs, and then silence on the topic for a long time.

        And now we get WSL 2. I think this may be related. They may have taken the shim layer as far as they could without Windows kernel changes, then found that memory DBs like BerkeleyDB and others didn’t work, rpm had trouble, Swift didn’t run, npm was spotty, and on and on, and there was no way forward without changing the kernel. Making the Windows kernel more Linux-y in its file system handling was likely too scary (if that breaks legacy windows apps then all hell breaks loose), so they went for fixing the issue with a Linux kernel.

        Great engineering work on the shim layer; they didn’t anticipate how different the Windows and Linux kernel are in some key points.

  6. oiseau Silver badge
    WTF?

    But why?

    Hello:

    Now you can run Linux software natively on the world's largest desktop OS platform.

    Indeed ...

    A statement which begs a question:

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

    Just why in holy fuck's name would I possibly want to do that?

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

    I've clocked roughly 20+ years of MS software use, ~5 years as a regular -> advanced user, the rest as first -> second tier support and hardware service when needed, all at the different places where I made a living and from home when out of a job.

    One day I finally managed to rid myself of all that and become a happy Linux user.

    Happiness temporarily diminished by the onslaught of systemd but fully recovered with Devuan.

    I can assure you that running Linux software natively on the world's largest desktop OS platform is not what I'd want to do.

    And I can't fathom a good reason for anyone running Linux software to want to do such a thing.

    Whatever for?

    I've said it a few times already and I'll say it again: this type of stuff does not bode well for the Linux ecosystem.

    It will end up rotting it from the inside.

    O.

    1. ashdav

      Re: But why?

      " the world's largest desktop OS platform"

      It certainly is.

      20GB on Win10 64bit just for the OS.

      (your hardware drivers may vary).

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: But why?

        Might want to up that a trifle. Redmond says Windows 10 1903 will need 32GB.

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/04/26/windows_10_storage/

        The mind boggles ...

        1. Unicornpiss Silver badge

          Redmond says Windows 10 1903 will need 32GB..

          >5GB of that will likely just be for random crap like "Candy Crush Saga" and "Feedback Hub", "Paid Wireless Plans" and all the other useless pandering and half-broken live start menu tiles that most don't use and that are hard to completely get rid of.

        2. bob, mon!
          Devil

          Re: But why?

          "Might want to up that a trifle. Redmond says Windows 10 1903 will need 32GB."

          Finally, we see Windows for what it is:

          a 32GB boot loader for Linux. Take THAT, grub!

        3. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: But why?

          WInXP-tan was anthropomorphised as a roundish (in all of the right places) female with plenty of jiggle (also in all the right places), but always demanding more food (RAM, storage).

          I suppose Win-10-nic-tan is a BIG FAT BOAR with lipstick on the non-oinky end, seriously gorging itself on whatever resources you might have left... and DEMANDING MORE!!!

          Either that, or "The Blob"

          *pop*

          Beware of the Blob it creeps, and leaps, and glides, and slides cross the floor... (classic Burt Bacharach from the late 50's)

    2. FozzyBear Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: But why?

      Don't worry MicroSlop are on top of it. To assist users with their burning questions, MicroSlurp are including an AI assistant. It will able to answer your questions, AND based on your activities within the system it will Intuitively know what you are trying to do. Providing help popup's, with Links, FAQ's and all sorts of helpful information. Micro$lut is calling it Mr Lippy.

    3. veti Silver badge

      Re: But why?

      Now I can run WINE on Windows. How useful is that?

      Well, it means I can find out if my important software will run on Linux.

      1. el_oscuro

        Re: But why?

        Wine is not an emulator...

        Wine is not an emulator...

        Wine is not an emulator...

        Wine is not an emulator...

        quit (coredump)

    4. streaky Silver badge

      Re: But why?

      "Just why in holy fuck's name would I possibly want to do that?"

      I mean.. As somebody who writes software for linux but uses windows desktop I can think of a million reasons - assuming microsoft is thinking of literally everybody when they do things like this is silly?

      1. georgezilla Bronze badge

        Re: But why?

        " ... do things like this is silly? ... "

        No, it's effing silly.

        Microsoft only thinks of one thing ....

        Microsoft.

        And nothing else.

        Period.

      2. georgezilla Bronze badge

        Re: But why?

        " ... I can think of a million reasons ... "

        How about you give us just a few of that million?

        " ... As somebody who writes software for linux ... "

        Explain to us why that wouldn't be better done on Linux itself.

    5. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: But why?

      You ask why and then answer your own question. How? In this one (part of a) sentence:

      "systemd but fully recovered with Devuan"

      There is no reason at all that your average PC user, someone whose PC knowledge and experience goes as far as office, a browser and such, should have to know what these things are. They should not have to know how they work - the difference between them. Let alone how to configure and switch between them.

      That is even before you get past the level of technical knowledge needed to read about them and how to configure them.

      This is all part of the reason that Linux in it's present form simply isn't ready for mass adoption. People that don't know what they are doing. It's not for no reason that pretty much everyone here who has relatives running Linux keeps a good eye on them and is ready to sort out issues.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: But why?

        That's just it, Timmy B, I don't keep an eye on them. They just use it, and it works. I DO handle updates for them (from the comfort of my home office), but I could easily automate it if I felt the need to save a couple minutes per month.

        Properly installed.and setup Linux systems don't require hand-holding.

        1. Timmy B Silver badge

          Re: But why?

          "Properly installed.and setup Linux systems don't require hand-holding."

          That's the thing - "properly installed and setup"... Windows simply doesn't need that faffery. I've just used what came from the shop.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: But why?

            You are being disingenuous, at best. I've never seen a Windows box that didn't require extensive regular hand-holding. The closest version was Win2K, and even that was capable of spectacular cockups on a fairly regular basis. This Win`10 disaster ... well, read the articles here on ElReg for yourself. 40 years ago, it would have been laughed out of corporate America long before it was installed on a single "live" system.

            1. Timmy B Silver badge

              Re: But why?

              "You are being disingenuous, at best. I've never seen a Windows box that didn't require extensive regular hand-holding. "

              No idea what you are doing, then. I have a dozen or so here between me and relatives. I never have to hand-hold any of them (except the on that's on insider builds). What are you having trouble with?

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: But why?

                A dozen Win 10 machines, and you have NEVER had any trouble with any of them? Either they never get turned on, or that's one of the most useless whoppers I've ever heard.

                1. whitepines Silver badge
                  Facepalm

                  Re: But why?

                  A dozen Win 10 machines, and you have NEVER had any trouble with any of them? Either they never get turned on, or that's one of the most useless whoppers I've ever heard.

                  Definitely have to agree with this one...if Granny was given a stock W10 machine she'd probably be signed up after a week or two for Total Extortionist Wireless, a 75 year subscription to phone games for a Windows phone she doesn't own (and maybe isn't sold any more), every Microsoft social media site available, and probably a load of Google malware too given the recent move to Chrome rendering. Or the machine would just brick itself after an update -- and that's all only if it wasn't infected with some form or other of non-factory ransomware first!

                  Out of our corporate fleet of PCs, the Windows 10 ones (legacy applications that are being fast tracked for replacement) by FAR require the most faffing around to make them function on any level. The Linux ones mostly just work, same with various Apple products.

                  Perhaps the original poster is simply familiar with the various quirks and major problems of Windows, and sidesteps them without thinking about it?

          2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

            Re: properly installed and setup

            Where exactly do you come from ? There is no such thing as a "properly installed and setup" Windows system because, as soon as you start using, it fucks itself up. It writes things in the abomination that is the Registry and forgets them there. It attempts - badly - to tune itself to "respond to your needs". And it downloads updates that bork everything.

            The only Windows system that works perfectly is one that is shut down.

            Linux, on the other hand, is universally recognized as a rock-stable system. The fact that Linux does not fiddle with its own settings may have something to do with that.

            1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

              Re: properly installed and setup

              "The only Windows system that works perfectly is one that is shut down."

              True. I once had a windows machine that WOULDNT shut down.

          3. Mark #255
            Facepalm

            Re: But why?

            My Poe's Law detector may be malfunctioning, but, "what came from the shop" was installed and setup (I hesitate to include "properly", because that may easily be untrue).

            A Windows PC you've bought from a shop doesn't need that faffery because someone has faffed with it, before you saw it.

            1. Timmy B Silver badge

              Re: But why?

              "what came from the shop" was, I suppose, a bit misleading.

              Generally I have Lenovo and Dell machines that have come right from dell and Lenovo. And a couple of MS devices.

              1. Mark #255
                WTF?

                Re: But why?

                Err...

                You are aware that Dell and Lenovo have people whose sole raison d'être is to faff with Windows?

                1. Timmy B Silver badge

                  Re: But why?

                  "You are aware that Dell and Lenovo have people whose sole raison d'être is to faff with Windows?"

                  Of course. I simply don't have to do it.

          4. Kiwi Silver badge
            Linux

            Re: But why?

            "Properly installed.and setup Linux systems don't require hand-holding."

            That's the thing - "properly installed and setup"... Windows simply doesn't need that faffery. I've just used what came from the shop.

            The regular broken drivers during updates? The addition of unwanted features, or loss of much-loved ones? The constant malware battles?

            What about the massive fight a few years back by many to keep W10 (and related nagware) from the machines of people who simply did not want W10?

            What about the effort expended when W10 did make its way on to machines despite the clear "GO AWAY AND LEAVE ME ALONE" expressed by users?

            The constant changing of 'privacy' settings, and reverting them to MS defaults rather than the ones the users want? Constant changes to other MS-defaults rather than leaving other (non-privacy) settings alone?

            You might just accept whatever slop MS dishes out for you today. Others of us don't want to contanstly be fighting our systems, or having to go on (sometimes fairly long distance) call-outs to help family or friends keep their systems running.

            As Jake said - with my family now when I visit it's for a feed and a catch up, not to be locked away fighting a borked computer. And as I've said here before, I run Linux because I am lazy - I want my machine to work or to play games, NOT to need work or hours of faffing around just to get the damned thing to boot again. Certainly, when I turn it on I expect it to be ready in a minute and when I turn it off I expect the lights to go dark in seconds, not hours of "installing fuckdates, please grasp the meaning of the word "eternity" while I have to go and do something else because any hope of using my computer this month has now evaporated.

            1. Timmy B Silver badge

              Re: But why?

              "The regular broken drivers during updates?"

              Only ever seen this on my insider build PC. And only with the graphics drivers.

              "The addition of unwanted features, or loss of much-loved ones?"

              I can't say this has ever bothered me. I do wish that groove music still worked as a subscription service but that's not exactly core to the PC. I will miss the EdgeHTML rendering engine as new Chromium based Edge is terrible at the moment.

              "The constant malware battles?"

              Nope. Never had an issue. Not been infected with any malware since I had an Amiga.

              "What about the massive fight a few years back by many to keep W10 (and related nagware) from the machines of people who simply did not want W10?"

              I agree this could have been handled better.

              "What about the effort expended when W10 did make its way on to machines despite the clear "GO AWAY AND LEAVE ME ALONE" expressed by users?"

              Same as the previous point.

              "The constant changing of 'privacy' settings, and reverting them to MS defaults rather than the ones the users want? Constant changes to other MS-defaults rather than leaving other (non-privacy) settings alone?"

              I've only ever seen this happen on PCs where people have used unsupported and unsanctioned methods to try to get round the settings. I have always argued for better transparency here - but I do find it laughable that people complain about this and then use google or chromebooks or android.

              "You might just accept whatever slop MS dishes out for you today. Others of us don't want to contanstly be fighting our systems, or having to go on (sometimes fairly long distance) call-outs to help family or friends keep their systems running."

              I have relatives several hundred miles away and used to get pretty much monthly calls about issues. Since moving to 10 I've heard nothing about PC issues. It just works. Ok - perhaps tomorrow an update will arrive that makes them all die - it's highly unlikely and could happen to any OS. I don't fight the systems. But then I don't install alternative shells, go to town on the privacy settings, etc. I also don't ever install any AM software other than MS. I may be tempting fate by saying this but nobody has had an issue yet.

              "As Jake said - with my family now when I visit it's for a feed and a catch up, "

              Me too. And I never have to worry about "I've just bought X device or I'm moving to Y internet supplier" I know that stuff will work. I've never had to say "Your printer won't work with windows" but I've never had a printer work properly with Linux. Oh - they work - but generally terribly.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: But why?

        "everyone here who has relatives running Linux keeps a good eye on them and is ready to sort out issues."

        People here who have relatives running Linux have them doing so because it's a damn sight easier keeping an eye on them doing that than when they were running Windows.

        Please get that into your head: the Linux option is easier.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: But why?

          It's not just easier, it's a LOT easier.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: But why?

            It's not just easier, it's a LOT easier.

            It's not just "a LOT easier" - it made us a family again.

            Used to be I'd avoid visiting some close relatives when travelling. People I love dearly, but if I was only passing through their town (rather than stopping for a few days) then I wouldn't want to spend my time there messing about with their machines.

            That'd often lead to arguments about what was/wasn't being done, maybe they weren't keeping their AV up or were doing other things. I'd spend my time at their house fixing their computer, arguing with them about things, and leaving only to have to stop somewhere nearby for some relax-time before spending a few more hours on the road.

            Now I stop off every time I pass, at least for a coffee if not for a meal. The computer is seldom mentioned, perhaps the odd query about how to manage something better (eg taught the old guy how to use "mail merge" about 6 months back) otherwise it just works, reliably. They haven't lost data since the day I made the switch. Did have a scare when the old HDD bit the dust but a simple functional backup system meant all their critical stuff was saved and re-installation was a breeze that took a little over an hour (OS + updates + config + getting email installed and updated via IMAP + browser back to what they had)

            Common comment from them is "why didn't you do this before?" (alongside "Why did no one tell me my computer could be so easy to use?").

            There is just so much less stress to life when you ditch Windows and run a decent OS!

        2. Timmy B Silver badge

          Re: But why?

          "Please get that into your head: the Linux option is easier."

          How? I don't need to do anything for those on Windows. How is anything easier than nothing?

    6. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: But why?

      It's unlikely you're going to want to run Linux software on Windows, but the subsystem/VM will make it easier for some people to develop for Linux on Windows. Contrary to what many people believe, running Linux on modern hardware isn't perfect. Not that I think that the real risk is MS using this retake the desktop, the real threat is the dominanc of the cloud provider, locking everything down in "services".

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: But why?

        Yes, this is not about the Desktop beyond trying to reclaiming dev-cred and fear of losing mindshare in the face of blatant slurp (which they seem unwilling to give up).

        It is, however trying to position the Windows platform as an accepted option for running 'Linux software on. Any submissions to the 'Linux kernel will be to edge it to better compatibility on their platform, and on the teat of Azure.

        It's not so much commitment to 'Linux and OpenSource as it is commitment to leaping the coat tail before climbing on the back.

        At this stage, the reigns are out and there's some effort at steering the ride slightly closer to their house.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: But why?

          Here it should be rein

      2. georgezilla Bronze badge

        Re: But why?

        " ... will make it easier for some people to develop for Linux on Windows ... "

        Same question I have asked many times and still have not gotten an answer. ANY answer!

        Why would you develop Linux on Windows? Just why?

        What is the benefit?

        Write code for Linux on Windows, then test it on a Linux box. Just to return to Windows to fix/modify it. Lather, rinse, repeat? What kind of insanity is that? Even with a VM, how does it make any sense at all?

        1. whitepines Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: But why?

          Even with a VM, how does it make any sense at all?

          Simple. "make -j64" on a Linux box doesn't sell licenses for Visual Studio (the "free" version is just paid for with personal data and disallowed for most corporate use). Forcing you to develop on Windows does at minimum sell a Windows license, which can have terms updated at any point Microsoft thinks it would be profitable to do so.

          Nice app you have there, shame if something were to ... ahem ... happen to it...

    7. DuncanLarge Silver badge

      Re: But why?

      "Just why in holy fuck's name would I possibly want to do that?"

      The same reason I do.

      Work in IT, must use a laptop which runs windows. Cant be bothered to run the linux VM I installed to keep my sanity all the time as the laptop tends to get a bit hot running a VM all day.

      WSL fixes windows. I can now put up with this barebones OS thanks to it actually having useful programs on it in WSL. Heck I can SSH to any of our linux servers while all the other IT guys are stuck trying to locate the installer for putty :)

      They were trying to transfer a file to one of the servers. I did it in only a few seconds by using scp while they fiddled about with Filezilla.

      Thanks to having WSL, I no longer feel like I'm disabled when I use this windows 10 thing.

      1. oiseau Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: But why?

        ... no longer feel like I'm disabled when I use this windows 10 thing.

        It's just an illusion.

        You still are.

        O.

      2. whitepines Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: But why?

        Heck I can SSH to any of our linux servers while all the other IT guys are stuck trying to locate the installer for putty :)

        You're good with Microsoft knowing the SSH keys and passwords to your company's severs, which are probably loaded with tons of juicy (protected and confidential) data? Are your IT security bods OK with this too or did you just assume it was OK without talking to them?

        Because if they are good with the idea, they should be fired. Or your company will be going down in GDPR flames at some point...which means your legal bods should be concerned. Very concerned. They probably just don't know about the risk yet.

    8. gnwiii

      Re: But why?

      It is a fact of life that large enterprises have IT bureaucracies that seek to have someone else to blame when things go bad. For linux, this makes RHEL the "corporate standard" for large enterprises in N. America.

      Here are some use cases:

      I recently retired from a job in the Government of Canada (GoC), which, along with many other large enterprises, uses Windows as the "Enterprise Desktop Standard". GoC has large-scale linux clusters for remote sensing, atmosphere and ocean modelling, etc. These tasks makes heavy use of linux shell scripts, so the GoC groups using linux have Cygwin or Msys64 on desktop PC's. Such practices are common for large enterprises, but without a vendor, users have an uphill battle justifying the use of these tools. WSL gives users access to bash scripting and IT someone (M$) to blame if WSL causes problems.

      In the USA, there are major software systems developed over decades by the US Government that would be difficult to port to Windows. There is also constant pressure to make the software available on Windows, due either to political support of M$ or perhaps because it would allow the software to be used in university teaching labs. One way to do this is to use the linux software in a network service and then develop a native Windows client. WSL allows users to run simple processing jobs using the Windows client (e.g., while developing large scale workflows or for use in student labs) without the need for a separate linux system.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: But why?

        "IT bureaucracies that seek to have someone else to blame when things go bad"

        Having someone to blame isn't the same as having someone to fix it. Either the bureaucracy does that itself or, given that it would be too much like hard work, outsources it. They're unlikely to outsource it to Microsoft but to a third party. The stupid thing is, of course, that the Windows supporting third party can't really go beyond what their latest MS certification course taught them whilst the FOSS-supporting third party can actually look at the source code. It ways more about the stupidity of large bureaucracies with more interest in off-loading blame than in supporting their employers.

        "There is also constant pressure to make the software available on Windows... perhaps because it would allow the software to be used in university teaching labs"

        What an indictment of University teaching labs.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AdBlockPlus Failure

    AdBlockPlus Failure - this article got through.

    Disappointed to see something like this in The Register.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Flak

      When you're catching flak, it probably means you're over the target. . . . .

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Flak

        When you're catching flak, it probably means you're over the target. . . . .

        During WWII It often meant there was a good chance you were about to turn some children's bedrooms into fireballs.

        And you probably considered that to be a "good thing"tm

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Weird

      I REALLY don't understand how anyone outside of M$ can take this seriously.

  8. CountCadaver Bronze badge

    Just do the opposite

    Provide a fully working way to run those pesky windows only apps (there are a few I can't replace sadly) on linux, heck sell the thing and you'd probably have decent take up (well as long as it worked and thats a big ask in the world of microsoft tbh.....) and no they don't place nicely with WINE either, well they didn't last time I looked.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Just do the opposite

      I have yet to get Wine to work properly and I ain't a newbie.

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Just do the opposite

        I use it all the time... works for all kinds of things. For gaming, you can use Lutris to install things with no configuration required on your end. I hope this gets extended to things other than games, but for now, gaming is their focus.

        I've also gotten a bunch of things without Lutris scripts to run perfectly well, generally with no more work than installing a Windows program in actual Windows. Just make sure you use the staging branch, as it includes a lot of fixes that make WINE work much better, but that the WINE devs won't check into the main branch for some pretty silly reasons, IMO.

        I would not be surprised if Steam's Proton ended up being the new main branch of WINE, given that they've got the dollars to make it work without the "it has to be written in an ancient, obsolete version of C" baggage. Making it work better with games should make it better with non-games too.

        1. CountCadaver Bronze badge

          Re: Just do the opposite

          Something like Valve pushing it is what ir needs to give it real world focus.

          There would likely be a good market for a product that was guaranteed to run a list of popular windows only programs on a defined list of linux versions (otherwise your herding cats) with the list being updated regularly.

          Corporate backer would likely get better traction with other corporates allowing them to stick on a works on linux via "whatever valve calls it" on their sites and do no leg work themselves to create linux versions - Adobe's design suites are industry standard (and will be for some time albeit inkscape for one is making inroads) and is one reason I know several designers are on windows (they refuse to pay the "apple tax" - same spec laptop or workstation and 1.5-2 times the cost if its apple branded), quite a few are open to linux but without Adobe access its a no go, asking them to retrain on new packages is a bit like telling your bosses PA that everything will be conducted in Scots or worse Chinese, they might get there in the end but their productivity will be hammered in the meantme and time = money.

  9. Big Al 23

    Why would anyone use it?

    It's from Microsoft so why would anyone use it? If you want Linux use Linux. If you want headaches use Microsoft.

    1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

      Re: Why would anyone use it?

      As a home user, its linux or nothing. Well ok, I have windows 10 to run a couple of windows games a couple of times a year.

      At work, lets see if I can get away installing Linux over the top of win 10 on my company issued, tracked, monitored for compliance laptop.

      Trust me. WSL is a godsend when you are in those shackles.

      I used to use cygwin. Did it for years. However I never liked its package management and windows never seemed to understand that it had to play nice with the superior environment that cygwin was. Plus as cygwin is a third party product, WSL has the benefit that its released and supported by Microsoft. This means that I'm allowed to justify my need to run WSL on a machine that has to meet several IT security standards such as PCI. Cygwin would have needed me to put a case to the board, yet with WSL I just have to say its a Microsoft supported optional component and bingo its approved.

  10. Compuserve User
    Linux

    Think of it another way.

    Now Windows will not have issues with anti competitive EU or US laws. Windows comes with its own alternative.

    This puts Linux more in the mainstream, and it will make sense to actually have a Linux certification inside a MCSE.

  11. binary
    Linux

    Microsoft has things backwards!

    Instead of running Linux in Windows, Microsoft would be much better off if it dumped Windows completely - because Windows will never be better than Linux - and develop its own version of Linux. Only then, I'll give Microsoft a try. Windows 10 right now, is a complete drag.

  12. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    Desktop?

    Actually, what I want is to run a Linux Desktop on MSWindows.

    In other words, use that Linux Subsystem to use Cinnamon Desktop as a substitute for the MSWin10 FlatsoFugly desktop.

  13. Doug 3

    Just use VmWare and get the real thing

    Instead of screwing around with Microsoft compatibility and kernel tweeks just use the real thing via VmWare Workstation and be done with it.

    Who doing Linux web or other development would keep getting jerked around with partial implementations and who knows what kinds of under the hood hooks they are adding? Virtual machines have been around for a long long time and they work so if you have to run a host on MS Windows, use a vm to run Linux and get back to work.

  14. YetAnotherJoeBlow

    Question

    This is not a dig but a sincere question; Can you bundle Linux with Windows with their existing licenses?

    1. MacroRodent Silver badge

      Re: Question

      > Can you bundle Linux with Windows with their existing licenses?

      As I understand it, there is no problem, if the kernel is provided as a separate executable (which I think it is in this case, because it is run inside a virtual machine), and Microsoft provides (or offers to provide on demand) the full sources for the kernel version in question, including any customizations they may have made.

      (Disclaimer:I'm not a lawyer, consult one if a correct answer really matters to you).

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Question

        "if...Microsoft provides (or offers to provide on demand) the full sources for the kernel version in question, including any customizations they may have made."

        That's a bit of a question. The article says We're told people will eventually be given instructions and code on GitHub to roll their own WSL 2 kernels, if the supplied 4.19 one doesn't float your boat. but what does 'eventually' mean? Does it mean when they ship it (and the article says they're shipping it on the Insider programme already) or at some indeterminate time in the future?

        1. MacroRodent Silver badge

          Re: Question

          Unless they supply (or promise to supply) the source for the Linux kernel they ship at the same time as distributing the binary product to anyone outside Microsoft, they will be technically in violation of the GPL. In practice there is a lot of leeway, because those with copyrights in Linux aren't jumping in to sue every time there is change to do so. But I am sure Microsoft will be watched more closely than say some random router manufacturer.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Lawyer saying:

          Delay is the best form of denial.

          I don't understand how this can be taken seriously by anyone outside M$.

  15. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

    linux with spyware.

  16. Azerty

    Microsoft doesn't get it

    I don't want my (linux-)software to run on windows, I just don't want to run windows

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Microsoft doesn't get it

      Think of it as a glass of ice-water in hell.

  17. alain williams Silver badge

    Bringing MS Spyware to Linux

    As I see it this is the Linux kernel running under a MS hypervisor. This means that the MS kernel sees everything that goes in & out of the Linux kernel and is so available to be slurped up and exfiltrated via telemetry. MS can then inspect/sell as it wants. Your Linux system is now not secure.

    You might think that this would be hard to do; but one of the most sensitive devices is the keyboard (think typed passwords). Snooping of this would be easy and the bandwidth needed to take and forward to the NSA would not be large.

    So: do not use one of these machines to ssh to something precious.

  18. thondwe

    One Step Forward, Two Steps back

    WSL #1 allows Linux stuff (up to a point) to run directly on Windows. WSL #2 seems to have given that up for a VM running Linux with more "integrations" with Windows - so think Remote Desktop with access to local resources etc.

    Smells to me that WSL #1 has had limited take up and that WSL #2 would spin off more useful functions in the world of VMs (Hyper-V/Azure)?

    Anyway, having Linux play nicely within a Windows Environment is probably good news for corporate environments where Windows on the Hardware gives access to the level of control required (MDM, Intune, etc), which the Linux World doesn't do, but where devs etc want access to Linux systems to work with...

    Tabbed Terminal - nice, but stick the same idea on all the Apps please - Tabbed Word/Excel/Visio/OneNote with option to pull tabs between Windows has worked for Browsers for how long?? Extend thiis to mix of Apps on the Tabs and you're back to "Sets"is that really dead now?

  19. Scott 53
    Pint

    PowerRazzle? Who came up with that name? The beer's for them.

  20. Chronos Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Year of Linux

    This perpetual myth that open sourcerers want "market share" has persisted for far too long. The whole point of open source is choice, not to be tied down with someone else's defaults which is why "fragmentation" is a given in the ecosystem.

    My desktop has followed me from FreeBSD through Debian to Devuan. It is pretty much the same in form and function and has remained unchanged on the surface (updates get done, of course) for about a decade. Nobody else uses it as it's a mashup of my own creation, having been disappointed with the offerings from Redmond, Cupertino and the various GDEs for *nix-alikes, yet I can do exactly what I need to do without fighting the UI. I fully accept that it would be utterly incomprehensible for anyone else, so its market share of one bothers me not one bit.

    Please, get over this "year of Linux" nonsense. Linux as a kernel is already overwhelmingly relevant due to Android, Chromebooks, set top boxes, router firmware, IP cameras, televisions and so on, ad infinitum. The GNU userland is also deployed in more places that Redmond could imagine. Windows doesn't even come close.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Year of Linux

      "This perpetual myth that open sourcerers want "market share" has persisted for far too long."

      What are you talking about? Without mass market uptake, serious developers (including game developers, from which others tend to follow the lead) won't release proper commercial software for Linux distros, creating a chicken-and-egg problem. And for those who preach Linux, what about those custom software that people use everyday that ONLY run on Windows and ONLY Windows (meaning WINE is no substitute)? Worse, those still on Windows can drag the rest of us down with them. That's why I keep saying we need a solution for Stupid that doesn't involve woodsheds (unless you're willing to shoot your own own kin): because Stupid can take the rest of us down with them.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Year of Linux

        What are you talking about? Without mass market uptake, serious developers (including game developers, from which others tend to follow the lead) won't release proper commercial software for Linux distros

        The Mass market is increasingly not Windows though.

        It's Android, and the Smartphone (currently, at least). Companies, unless their product is a niche application will aim for the largest market.

        Games producers are still interested in providing the big screen epics currently, and for some time in the future I don't doubt, but it's not the biggest pond to fish in anymore, and we'll no doubt be seeing more attempts to fish those rich waters (whether at Poke-mon levels or not).

        Course, this doesn't really help 'Linux much either. Application going subs based and increasingly built on browser tech does level the field some...

      2. Chronos Silver badge

        Re: Year of Linux

        what about those custom software that people use everyday that ONLY run on Windows and ONLY Windows

        Yes, we have some. More often than not it's some HTML piped over the Intranet and shown in a UI decorated window using the awful HTML rendering engine in %%WINDIR%%. Worse, if you take it off the desktop and onto, say, an Ultrabook-like device, it gets all confused and renders like an upturned sack of shit and woe betide you if you forget some of it is broken and try to do a transaction in IE instead of Chrome, such as <UI elided to protect the guilty> because you'll be filling that form in again with the customer watching you and thinking "what an incompetent arse" written all over their face..

        I'm so glad I'm recovered (ASR-wise). I only have to use this crap now, not support it.

  21. AK565

    My tech skills are limited to installing Linux on my laptops, so forgive my ignorance. But all i see here is the fox adding a hen house extension to his den, dressing it up with pretty, shiny woo-woo, and inviting hens to move in. How is this a Good Thing and how does it not lead to a Linux flavour called "$lurp"?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    2019 - The year of Linux on the Desktop

    OK, I'm not the first to make that joke, but Microsoft *has* said that Windows 10 is the last version of windows...

    Now all I need is a Gentoo version of windows 10 so I can spend my free time re-compiling it, and I'll be happy.... ;-)

  23. Not previously required
    Linux

    Pass the barge pole

    So now my "free - as in beer" AND "free - as in speech" operating system can be used within the costly, controlled world of MS. AND they want to dictate which version of kernel I use. I do sometimes have to use the MS system to communicate with the NHS, but it's restricted to one of my computers. I dual boot and keep the two separate.

    In the long term, perhaps MS wants to become a services company and stop making operating systems. If this is a step to replacing Windows with Linux then I might be interested. Seems a long shot though.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    It has to be said

    So MSFT can engineer a full Linux running under Windows, but the WINE team could never get a reliable Windows subsystem to run on Linux...

    1. Portent

      Re: It has to be said

      Two major factors in this are:

      1) MS has a lot of money it can throw at the problem. The WINE project is primarily a volunteer effort with some corporate support such as, more recently, Valve.

      2) MS can look at open documentation and even look at the source code for Linux. But WINE developers have to blindly guess and try to reverse engineer Windows API's (which MS can and do change over time).

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: It has to be said

      the WINE team could never get a reliable Windows subsystem to run on Linux

      Some Windows applications run rather reliably, others less so.

      That Microsoft have had an easier time getting Linux running on Windows than the Wine team have had getting Windows programs to run on 'Linux is hardly a brain teaser.

      Somewhat harder to implement a closed system than an open one.

      I'll draw the model in the middle of the room, you draw the one behind the screen and we'll see whose is most accurate.

  25. Netbofia
    Mushroom

    Does this mean we will start seeing more Linux attack vectores, targeted towards windows users, as a means to exploit linux kernel capabilities?

  26. spunkypete

    Yeah well Bill Gates named "Microsoft" after his weewee, no wonder linux fanboys want to run windows

    1. AK565

      Why, to prove theirs is bigger?

      Regardless, I'd never connected that name to dick size just as I'd never connected the Audi symbol to 4 cockrings.

      I have El Reg to thank for now having those connections.

  27. marcxm

    May be useful to some folks, but overally - it sucks. Windows as an OS is a joke and cannot be treated as a base for any serious task. That's why I would never use that with WSL. The only possible way is the way around.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One of the advantages of the hybrid microkernel architecture. It can just load another kernel as a module under the Windows kernel.

  29. johnnyblaze

    I still think very few trust MS on the whole WSL thing. There will be some deep, underlying reason why they're doing this - and it won't be for some open-source love. Remember Embrace, Extend, Extinguish? That's how MS remove compeition.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So why do you need the Windows bit, then?

    ac% _

  31. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    Pint

    Cygwin RIP

    Please can we take a moment to remember Cygwin and all who sailed on her.

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Cygwin RIP

      Why ? Why would I want a program running in a VM ? I do not, that is why I run cygwin ...

  32. Hans 1 Silver badge

    @elReg

    [contains a kernel] within a so-called utility virtual machine and Now you can run Linux software truly natively

    Am I the only one to spot a paradox ?

    [using a VM] should in theory bring about a jump in file I/O performance, improve software compatibility, and allow Docker to run natively.

    One moment, was the whole bloody point of WSL not to implement the system calls and avoid a vm for improved performance ?

    Try and pull another one next time ....

    Bootnote: RE: Terminal, bloody sure there is a MS VP reading my comments on 'ere so I will henceforth refrain from giving MS ideas ...

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Trollface

      Bootnote: RE: Terminal, bloody sure there is a MS VP reading my comments on 'ere so I will henceforth refrain from giving MS ideas ...

      I dunno.. I think I'd like to give MS VP's some "terminal ideas"....

    2. jake Silver badge

      "bloody sure there is a MS VP reading my comments on 'ere"

      I really, really doubt it. The signal to noise ratio around here would completely seize up it's brain while trying to simultaneously parse and justify Redmond propaganda.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OK, in practical terms, can it run Windows on one screen and a linux distro on the other or is this more like WINE in reverse?

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Coat

      ..." or is this more like WINE in reverse?"

      Are you saying the MS Linux implementation is backwards?

  34. pyite42

    Please fire your headline writer - this is exactly the opposite of a Linux Desktop

    The whole point of a Linux Desktop is to run without Windows at all.

    1. dbtx Bronze badge

      They vs. headline writer

      They didn't even SAY The Linux Desktop.

      They said 'year of Linux on the desktop', which of course is completely different.

      Headline writer seems to have merely quoted whoever "they" are-- some unnamed wag at Seattle who might have heard but doesn't really get the joke about YOTLD.

      They paraphrased first. Poorly.

      Headline writer maybe didn't notice, maybe decided to not take the piss this time, I dunno.

      "Try to understand..." --Heart

      P.S. Calling for firings is SJW-grade fecal matter

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Should have seen this coming...

    Should have seen this coming now Microsoft own GitHub.

    Just wait for the "improvements". They can't help themselves. Skype was great but look at it now!

    Everything they touch turns to crap. Does this give them the ability to corrupt Linux?

    Lots of people have (sensibly) taken their stuff off Github

    Linux in Windows : Embrace Extend, what's next

    Wouldn't touch it with a bargepole

    Nobody needs any more than XP and Office 2003 (although Windows 7 was pretty good)

    why don't they just leave things alone

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Should have seen this coming...

      "Does this give them the ability to corrupt Linux?"

      No. It does not. Not until they own Linus. Until that day, there is a very good gatekeeper keeping the riff-raff out of the kernel.

  36. DrBed
    Trollface

    So, WINE is revival of DOSBox case at new Windows 10 S?

    MS already tried to get rid off 32-bit apps and replace them with 64-bit only UWP (like they did with DOS-Win16 switch to Win32). It failed.

    But: This situation reminds me of DOSBox; that beast run their own MS DOS apps better then any kind of MS Windows "DOS prompt".

    Now, I would not be surprised of new "Windows 10 S" attempt, that will NOT run Win32 apps as it should, but instead - you will have to run - WINE.

    Baldrick's cunning plan.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: So, WINE is revival of DOSBox case at new Windows 10 S?

      DOSBox has an edge in this case in that they're emulating a complete machine down to the hardware, something the Command Prompt doesn't. Furthermore, it can do DOS better than real DOS of its day because it's an emulator and can work around the real hardware limitations of the day such as memory management (IOW, none of that HIMEM finagling).

  37. Long John Silver
    Pirate

    Windows on Linux is the better way around

    Although enchanted by Windows when the first stable version appeared I no longer use Windows through choice. I migrated to openSUSE in two steps: dual boot and later complete removal of Windows. Nowadays I have very little use for facilities provided by MS Windows and, on principle, distrust the built in surveillance capacity.

    However, there remain a couple of occasional requirements for Windows, neither of these functions properly work in WINE. These are met well by running a Windows copy in a virtual machine. The only hassle is the constant reminder to verify the product and occasional dire warnings about my computer being taken over by malevolent forces (that's other than Microsoft itself).

  38. nick soph

    Missing the point

    Creation of WSL had a primary function - to reduce MS embarrassment when at every dev conf they hold, nearly all the devs are on macbooks. If you are going to a MS event, don't forget your mac.

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