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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: 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!)

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  • (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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  • (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.