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posted by janrinok on Thursday November 24, @07:33AM   Printer-friendly
from the how-did-we-live-without-it dept.

The Windows Subsystem for Linux in the Microsoft Store is now generally available on Windows 10 and 11

Let the fantastical news be proclaimed that will cause cheers of joy to be heard across soylent land!

Today the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) in the Microsoft Store is dropping its "Preview" label and becomes generally available with our latest release! We are also making the Store version of WSL the default for new users who run wsl --install and easily upgradeable by running wsl --update for existing users. Using the Store version of WSL allows you to get updates to WSL much faster compared to when it was a Windows component.

In response to the WSL community's requests, WSL in the Store will now also be available on Windows 10 in addition to Windows 11. So, Windows 10 users will also be able to enjoy all of the latest features for WSL including systemd and Linux GUI app support!

I notice there is not a wsl -remove option. I don't know what I would have done if they didn't include systemd support.


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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by turgid on Thursday November 24, @08:07AM (8 children)

    by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @08:07AM (#1281427) Journal

    So we're all going to be running Microsoft's Linux distro now? I mean, who needs to install Linux at all when you can just use the one that comes with Windows? What are the implications: social, economic, technical and political?

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by KritonK on Thursday November 24, @09:15AM (4 children)

      by KritonK (465) on Thursday November 24, @09:15AM (#1281433)

      who needs to install Linux at all when you can just use the one that comes with Windows?

      Those who don't want to buy Windows for the privilege of not using it!

      • (Score: 3, Disagree) by psa on Thursday November 24, @09:23AM (3 children)

        by psa (220) on Thursday November 24, @09:23AM (#1281434) Homepage

        It's still hard to buy a computer without an MS Windows license.

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by janrinok on Thursday November 24, @12:21PM (1 child)

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @12:21PM (#1281451) Journal

          I haven't bought one with Windows on for years. I get them with no OS installed.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by maxwell demon on Saturday November 26, @07:18AM

            by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Saturday November 26, @07:18AM (#1281695) Journal

            I haven't bought one with Windows on it since 1995 (and that one had Windows installed not as separate operating system, but in the form of WinOS/2). That also was the only computer I've ever bought with a proprietary operating system installed.

            The last computer I've bought without Linux installed was 2007. That one actually had FreeDOS preinstalled (but was marketed as "without operating system").

            --
            The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: 5, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Thursday November 24, @02:16PM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @02:16PM (#1281472) Homepage Journal

          Newegg, TigerDirect, and others offer hardware with no OS installed. You should check them out. You can buy components, and build your own, or you can buy bundled deals with everything prebuilt, just waiting for you to insert an installation CD/USB. I've been doing it for years, and my less tech-minded spouse has done the same.

          Meanwhile, there are a number of companies that offer computers with an OS already installed. If you need a list, I'll be happy to do come back, and show you the results of a search . . .

          --
          "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
    • (Score: 5, Funny) by Snospar on Thursday November 24, @10:56AM (1 child)

      by Snospar (5366) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @10:56AM (#1281438)

      One Ring 0 to rule them all, one Ring 0 to find them, one Ring 0 to bring them all and in the darkness bind them; in the land of Microsoft where shit software lies. (With apologies to J. R. R. Tolkien)

      • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Thursday November 24, @05:50PM

        by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @05:50PM (#1281509)

        Or (given that it's Windows and Linux):

        In the land of Microsoft where the /etc/shadow lies.

    • (Score: 4, Touché) by Revek on Thursday November 24, @04:21PM

      by Revek (5022) on Thursday November 24, @04:21PM (#1281497)

      None here I install Linux to run windows and have been for years.

      --
      This page was generated by a Swarm of Roaming Elephants
  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, @08:33AM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, @08:33AM (#1281430)

    SystemD and Windows together!?! Does this cancel out the evil or multiply it?

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by psa on Thursday November 24, @09:28AM (7 children)

      by psa (220) on Thursday November 24, @09:28AM (#1281436) Homepage

      We used to say that those who didn't understand Unix were doomed to recreate it, poorly. What we didn't know what that linux was going to re-implement a non-modular, massively centralized OS layer like Microsoft used. Systemd on Microsoft Windows just brings it full circle.

      • (Score: 2) by choose another one on Thursday November 24, @12:21PM (2 children)

        by choose another one (515) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @12:21PM (#1281452)

        > What we didn't know what that linux was going to re-implement a non-modular, massively centralized OS layer like Microsoft used

        Er, pretty sure Tanenbaum knew, and said so, just few believed or understood him at the time.
        Myhrvold knew, and said so a few years later framing it as a "law", still not many understood.

        I think Tanenbaum once commented that Windows was at 60M LOC so big that "no one can understand it".
        What is Linux (just the monolithic centralized Kernel) now, >30M LOC? Same inevitable progression.
        Systemd is what, 1.x, 2M LOC - an irrelevant tiddler by comparison.

        So what is the solution?
        Tanenbaum said wait for a "modern" well designed modular decentralized microkernel, like HURD, and wait, and wait...
        Or just put up with inevitable monolithic centralized complexity bloat in order to have something you can _use_ _now_ - the pragmatic way, the Linus way.

        Actually I think you can usefully extend Myhrvold's law:
        - if software is a gas and always expands to fill it's container, expansion is NOT inevitable, just keep it contained
        - but if you keep a gas contained you can't use it to do any work

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by digitalaudiorock on Thursday November 24, @12:58PM (1 child)

          by digitalaudiorock (688) on Thursday November 24, @12:58PM (#1281457)

          What is Linux (just the monolithic centralized Kernel) now, >30M LOC? Same inevitable progression.
          Systemd is what, 1.x, 2M LOC - an irrelevant tiddler by comparison.

          Really? I almost don't know where to start. LOC? Never mind that almost ALL of that kernel code is for creating hardware specific modules (as in modular) that, if you don't need them, will result in some unused kernel modules sitting on disk, or in a case like mine (Gentoo) a crapload of "LOC" that never even gets compiled. And you think that's a comparison to systemd which is essentially all or nothing? Comparing that to Windows bloat is even sillier. There you're talking about probably 60 GB of binary shit that you can't do without. You couldn't be more off the mark.

          • (Score: 5, Insightful) by digitalaudiorock on Thursday November 24, @01:04PM

            by digitalaudiorock (688) on Thursday November 24, @01:04PM (#1281459)

            I also should add that the other reason the kernel code is so big is because, unlike in Windows, in Linux hardware support is almost never removed. I'd say that's a good reason.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Unixnut on Thursday November 24, @01:54PM (3 children)

        by Unixnut (5779) on Thursday November 24, @01:54PM (#1281467)

        > We used to say that those who didn't understand Unix were doomed to recreate it, poorly. What we didn't know what that linux was going to re-implement a non-modular, massively centralized OS layer like Microsoft used. Systemd on Microsoft Windows just brings it full circle.

        Well, admittedly we didn't think the Linux community would not understand Unix to the point where we have reached today, but there we go.

        When I think back to the start of Linux, a lot of people would say "Linux is not Unix", it is "Unix-like", but at the time it at least made a pretense of attempting to be Unix like.

        I think in the last decade or so, there has been a slow change in the community, towards those who don't really value Unix principles. Perhaps with the push to Linux on Desktop, on mobile phones, etc... Linux ceased trying to be "Unix Like". it became more of a Hybrid, and its goals to be more Windows/Mac like, hence systemd and all the other pushes away from the Unix way of things.

        Linux is a large enough ecosystem that they can pretty much splinter off from Unix and go their own way.

        I guess at the end of the day, in the present time, if you want to run Unix, you should just install and run a Unix OS.

        • (Score: 1) by shrewdsheep on Thursday November 24, @02:13PM (2 children)

          by shrewdsheep (5215) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @02:13PM (#1281470)

          Please define "unix-like".

          • (Score: 3, Funny) by requerdanos on Thursday November 24, @02:31PM (1 child)

            by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @02:31PM (#1281480) Journal

            Reasonably POSIX?

            • (Score: 5, Informative) by Unixnut on Thursday November 24, @03:58PM

              by Unixnut (5779) on Thursday November 24, @03:58PM (#1281494)

              Also, the following:

              "The Unix philosophy emphasizes building simple, compact, clear, modular, and extensible code that can be easily maintained and repurposed by developers other than its creators. The Unix philosophy favors composability as opposed to monolithic design. "

              Full details here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix_philosophy [wikipedia.org]

              Modern changes to Linux have been in the other direction, IMO. More towards the monolithic "black box" design of the Windows world.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by inertnet on Thursday November 24, @10:56AM (16 children)

    by inertnet (4071) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @10:56AM (#1281439) Journal

    Privately I use Linux, but I've got this really expensive company issued Windows laptop, with all the Microsoft bells and whistles on it. But in order to do serious development on it, my only choice was to install WSL. For one thing, Docker requires it for its Windows version, so that alone made WSL a requirement for me. I don't want to switch the laptop to Linux or use dual boot, because I need Microsoft Office and some other tools on it to communicate with this company.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by turgid on Thursday November 24, @11:13AM (13 children)

      by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @11:13AM (#1281441) Journal

      I use VirtualBox VMs on my Windows corporate machine for running Linux.

      • (Score: 2) by inertnet on Thursday November 24, @11:45AM (3 children)

        by inertnet (4071) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @11:45AM (#1281448) Journal

        When I read about that route I didn't follow through, because I wasn't sure if I would eventually run into "VM in a VM" type of problems, when running Docker inside a Linux VM. I have never tried that before, I remember reading somewhere that Windows 11 is required for that and I'm trying to avoid W11 for as long as possible.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by RamiK on Thursday November 24, @12:32PM (7 children)

        by RamiK (1813) on Thursday November 24, @12:32PM (#1281453)

        The real advantage of WSL2 (over, say, VirtualBox) is how developers can package user-facing linux apps that have convoluted linux dependencies as a simple .exe like container bundles: https://github.com/yuk7/wsldl [github.com]

        e.g. If you're developing a LaTeX editor, you can now release .exe packages that includes a whole customized distro with all the necessary latex packages and customizations without laying out 30 pages long installation manual. Like, in the most streamlined case, a user will just type "foobar latex editor" in the Microsoft Store search, hit Install, and end up with a Start Menu icon of your app that has access to the users' Documents folder under the File menu. And when users report bugs, you have a very controlled environment to deal with so you're not chasing some distro specific bugs anymore.

        Of course, development and run-time environments for specific stuff are also more convenient but developers generally end up needing the terminal anyhow so virtualbox images worked just as fine there too.

        --
        compiling...
        • (Score: 3, Touché) by turgid on Thursday November 24, @12:47PM (2 children)

          by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @12:47PM (#1281454) Journal

          How is this better than "sudo apt install foo" on something like Ubuntu?

          • (Score: 3, Disagree) by RamiK on Thursday November 24, @01:38PM (1 child)

            by RamiK (1813) on Thursday November 24, @01:38PM (#1281463)

            How is this better than "sudo apt install foo" on something like Ubuntu?

            What do you do if you need a specific version of a library that conflicts with whatever the user has? In NixOS we don't have that problem but the rest of the linux world is forced to hack around static builds, various containers like docker, AppImage, Snap, Flatpak, etc... with non-trivial deployment steps and all sorts of networking woes when trying to put together a local web-server or whatever. But in many cases I found myself spinning a VirtualBox instance to run a specific distro (typically arch) just to get some little thing running the way the developers has it running to overcome some minor issue... And sometimes, like with openwrt and specific latex projects, you HAVE to have this Debian or that Ubuntu version to get things running because the build environment is insanely convoluted.

            And that's coming from a linux user and developer pov. Now try delivering something to windows end users that needs such dependencies...

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            compiling...
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, @07:34AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, @07:34AM (#1281557)

              This is exactly my experience with Linux. The best advice is to use a stable LTS for the base system only for launching VMs.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, @02:59PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, @02:59PM (#1281486)

          I'm pretty ignorant of these newer technologies, but isn't what you described what Docker is, deliver a "container" with everything it needs in it?

          • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Thursday November 24, @07:32PM

            by RamiK (1813) on Thursday November 24, @07:32PM (#1281517)

            From a user's pov it's about the same. Though here you have a VM rather than a container under the hood and the developer can package their own host (windows) native software along with the vm in the .exe installer all configured appropriately so there isn't any configuration files editing and terminals command to execute. i.e. it's a (windows) user friendly solution.

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            compiling...
        • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Thursday November 24, @06:32PM (1 child)

          by krishnoid (1156) on Thursday November 24, @06:32PM (#1281513)

          Along those lines, is LyX [lyx.org] available?

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by RamiK on Thursday November 24, @07:02PM

            by RamiK (1813) on Thursday November 24, @07:02PM (#1281514)

            Shouldn't be a problem since texlive and lyx are available in ubuntu so it will run as is. But the point I was trying to make that, if the lyx developer desired it, he could put together his own ubuntu vm with texlive and all the little tweaks and then put a wsl laucnher around that where users simply download the .exe installer and it all works just as well as it does in a native linux texlive ditro (unlike the many small breakages tex has on windows). He could even have the IDE run natively on windows and target the wsl's pdftex interpreter with a bit of scripting like jetbrains does: https://wsldl-pg.github.io/docs/Other-Software/jetbrains/ [github.io] https://www.jetbrains.com/help/pycharm/using-wsl-as-a-remote-interpreter.html [jetbrains.com]

            That would smooth out a few of visual issues that you probably get between the vm and the host.

            Regardless, it was just an example of what wsl2 does differently than virtualbox.

            --
            compiling...
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Thursday November 24, @02:22PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @02:22PM (#1281475) Homepage Journal

        Huh. I use VirtualBox VMs on my Linux machine to run Windows. I find things to be much more secure and trustworthy that way. Blocking Windows telemetry, for instance, is much easier when Linux and Virtualbox control all the resources.

        --
        "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, @11:38AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, @11:38AM (#1281447)

      I tried using WSL but the company firewall blocks so much it's next to unusable.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by Gaaark on Thursday November 24, @12:47PM

      by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @12:47PM (#1281455) Journal

      with all the Microsoft bells and whistles on it.

      They brought back Clippy and Bob?

      --
      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Rich on Thursday November 24, @01:42PM (4 children)

    by Rich (945) on Thursday November 24, @01:42PM (#1281464) Journal

    I'm torn.

    One one hand, I maintain a decades-old project for a customer that started on a Mac back when that was a good idea. It recently first ran natively on an M1 Mac, but the number of hoops one has to jump through to maintain a "vertical market" software suite on Macs is getting ridiculous. Some things have become outright impossible and we have to awkwardly work around restrictions. Because all the maintaining (from 68K to PPC, to Carbon, to little-endian Intel, to Cocoa, to 64-bit) gave us a good portability base and the system is UNIX anyway. The jump to Linux (or BSD) would be small and instantly save in the order of half a million to a million bucks for one hardware batch to be purchased and stored for deployment, because VESA-mount SBCs would do just fine for the task. However, due to corporate, ..er.., circumstances, they insist that if a migration happens, it will be to Windows. A straight port to Windows with over a dozen of components, still uncounted dependencies, and ~1MLOC would be a lot harder, and MS are getting just as annoying as Apple lately. That's WSL2 to the rescue. We could, for the first time, build the entire stack from user front to hardware on a single Linux system, and still fulfill that corporate demand.

    On the other hand, making WSL official is clearly the first "E" in an EEE strategy. It could even be the second "E" as well, when Windows is seen as what "extends". I suspect that a good number of Linux projects will very soon develop dependencies into the Windows system, even if it's just to make use of that small utility, or to simplify the export of data into an Excel macro sheet for evaluation that already had existed before. And very soon the lock-in is complete. MS would probably generously work on a bridge for graphics and AI acceleration, so the Windows drivers could be shared to the Linux subsystem. With the effect that, within two or three generations of GPUs, you'd need to run your Linux under Windows to get acceleration at all. They might even release a stripped down "embedded" version of Windows for free to just host WSL for such purposes. And then, when most of Linux deployments have accepted that, they'd proceed to the third "E", to reap the eternal, immeasurable wealth that comes from holding the keys to general computing. (All this accompanied by legislation to outlaw possession of anything Turing complete not under corporate control, to save the children from pedo hackers working for evil dictators!)

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by inertnet on Thursday November 24, @02:56PM

      by inertnet (4071) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 24, @02:56PM (#1281484) Journal

      "Windowsystemd"

      Shudder, my fingers went dead when I typed that.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by darkfeline on Friday November 25, @12:08AM (1 child)

      by darkfeline (1030) on Friday November 25, @12:08AM (#1281528) Homepage

      I think WSL is actually Microsoft trying to survive. They've seen the writing on the wall, they're expanding into Azure and FOSS/Github. Lots of corporate software is going to cloud, and one of the remaining use cases for Windows is gaming, which SteamOS is gobbling up (pretty much every game can run on Linux now, especially every major game like Elden Ring level), and probably even ChromeOS will as well, not to mention cloud streaming games.

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      Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 26, @03:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 26, @03:54PM (#1281727)

      I maintain a decades-old project for a customer that started on a Mac back when that was a good idea.

      Yeah I made some "agent" software running on Mac written in perl. So far it's been working OK for more than a decade (just needed to change the packager and packaging at one point) but looks like Apple is planning to eventually not have perl installed by default?

      Same agent software also runs on AIX, Solaris, HP/UX, various flavors of Linux and FreeBSD. I'm lazy - write once, run on multiple platforms without requiring customer to install JVM etc.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by jb on Friday November 25, @02:27AM

    by jb (338) on Friday November 25, @02:27AM (#1281533)

    Some of us have been around long enough to remember the last time Microsoft tried (very poorly) to do a Unix.

    Of course WSL will eventually become as irrelevant a footnote to history as Xenix is today ... but in the meantime I pity all those poor souls who will be required by ill-conceived policy to use it.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by jimbrooking on Friday November 25, @03:08AM (1 child)

    by jimbrooking (3465) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 25, @03:08AM (#1281536)

    Installed on Up-to-date win 10. No instructions, hints, etc. Starts in console window, doesn't respond to anything except (sudo) apt, No Gnome (or other desktop). It's been 10 years since I last used *nix, so no expert here, but really.

    • (Score: 2) by Rich on Friday November 25, @02:06PM

      by Rich (945) on Friday November 25, @02:06PM (#1281591) Journal

      I'm interested in any experience with this (see my post about the need to deploy a Mac port to Linux on Windows). Quick search gave:

      https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wsl/tutorials/gui-apps [microsoft.com]

      Top quote: "You will need to be on Windows 11 Build 22000 or later to access this feature.". Looks like you're short of luck with anything earlier, including 10. Not that 11 looks like a tempting proposition, though. The page also lists right away what I thought was only a prediction: The graphics acceleration bridges.

      But I saw that there's a method, aside of Wine, to make it work the other way 'round, with Linux as host, which seems to be based on RDP (e.g. https://github.com/Fmstrat/winapps [github.com] )

  • (Score: 2) by TheGratefulNet on Saturday November 26, @06:58PM

    by TheGratefulNet (659) on Saturday November 26, @06:58PM (#1281769)

    I would not run anything serious on it, but for fun, it might be interesting to see how they destroy each other.

    sort of like putting two republicans in a room and watching them fight it out. yeah, you know the two I'm talking about. anyway..

    nothing good will happen. reminds me of an old saying:

    "two things happen when you wrestle a pig; you get dirty and the pig has fun"

    --
    "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
  • (Score: 0, Spam) by gay_nigger on Sunday November 27, @02:21AM

    by gay_nigger (20658) on Sunday November 27, @02:21AM (#1281859) Journal

    FUCK THEM YOU STUPID FUCKS

    YOU LIKE IT UP THE HINEY DON'T YOU

    WELL FUCK YOU TOO

    --
    This account has been disabled
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