back to article Bash on Windows. Repeat, Microsoft demos Bash on Windows

Microsoft is bringing the Linux Bash shell command line to Windows 10, running as a native Ubuntu binary on a Windows subsystem. Developer director Kevin Gallo demonstrated the shell at the opening keynote of Build 2016, Microsoft's developer conference in San Francisco. The primary goal, said Gallo, is to enable developers to …

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  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Coat

    Hell is indeed freezing over

    mines the one with a copy of Dante's Inferno in the pocket.

    1. NoneSuch Silver badge
      Big Brother

      The power of Linux combined with the security flaws of Windows. Together at last.

      The last thing I'll be doing is tapping into my Linux servers from a Windows NSA Spyware box.

      1. Phil W

        "The last thing I'll be doing is tapping into my Linux servers from a Windows NSA Spyware box."

        Interesting statement. Do you use SELinux at all?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hell is indeed freezing over

      Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

      Next you'll be telling me they remade Ghostbusters with an all-female cast...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hell is indeed freezing over

        Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

        Fixed that for you.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hell is indeed freezing over

        "Next you'll be telling me they remade Ghostbusters with an all-female cast..."

        Another re-boot (rip off by an industry devoid of original ideas) That I will definitely avoid. Its not like they are remaking 50 year old films that are pretty much out of living memory... and don't get me started on the whole total recall thing lol

        Anyone noticed how fast these wonderful "re-imaginings" (am I alone in hating that b/s?) end up in the bargain bin at stores?

        Get the message microshaft you were dumped.. I wouldn't have your spyware anywhere near my network even if you nail bits of Linux on to it in an effort to remain relevant to those of us who understand privacy.

    3. roytrubshaw
      Coat

      Re: Hell is indeed freezing over

      "mines the one with a copy of Dante's Inferno in the pocket"

      <pedant>

      The final circle of hell is a frozen lake. Just sayin'

      </pedant>

      Mine's the one with the well thumbed copies of Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise

    4. TheVogon

      Re: Hell is indeed freezing over

      Yep - just the new version of Services for Unix - which was able to run a *NIX shell and utilities on Windows since at least a decade ago, and was supported up to Windows 7. Move along, nothing to see here...

      Although I suppose it's the only way we will ever see "the year of Linux on the desktop" - seeing as there are already over 275 million Windows 10 installs out there....

      1. MacroRodent Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Hell is indeed freezing over

        Yep - just the new version of Services for Unix - which was able to run a *NIX shell and utilities on Windows since at least a decade ago,

        No, this is different: In the "Services for Unix" you had to recompile, but now you can run actual Linux binaries directly, giving you immediate access to a far larger collection of programs.

        However, there will still be a lot of impedance mismatch between the Windows and Linux universes. Anyone who does not want to fight with strange compatibility quirks at every turn will still use a real Linux distribution to get work done.

        1. Peter X
          Happy

          Re: Hell is indeed freezing over

          However, there will still be a lot of impedance mismatch between the Windows and Linux universes. Anyone who does not want to fight with strange compatibility quirks at every turn will still use a real Linux distribution to get work done.

          It's an interesting one that... because initially when I heard about this, I thought that this is the "embrace" phase, and next things will be written to target the Microsoft version of Linux. But it is perhaps more likely that open-source projects that currently target Windows and Linux, can now just focus on Linux and thus be more reliable and easier to maintain?

          I certainly think that's what cross-platform open-source projects should be looking to do!

      2. Bitcrazed
        Alert

        Re: Hell is indeed freezing over

        Slight correction: Unlike SFU, for which you had to rebuild your source code, Bash/WSL runs native ELF64 binaries so that everything in apt-get should work*.

        * Note: There are gaps in this first version - some things will break. But as we continue to improve our syscall implementation coverage and depth, you should see more and more sceanrios "just work"

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hell is indeed freezing over

      I hope it's not installed by default. I don't want the next critical BASH vulnerability (and the hundreds of other Linux security holes) on Windows..

      1. Loud Speaker

        Re: Hell is indeed freezing over

        Don't be such a spoil-sport. Windows has always needed a good bashing!

    6. John Sanders
      Holmes

      Re: Hell is indeed freezing over

      Repeat with me children....

      EMBRACE EXTEND EXTINGUISH

      On the other hand we now know how they got SSH and the corresponding VT100 emulator on Windows.

      Microsoft surely:

      a) Doesn't know what to put on Windows to stay relevant

      b) Doesn't know what to do to kill Linux

      c) Knows how to destroy competition, watch out Canonical, the MS' kiss of death is upon you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hell is indeed freezing over

        Just the sort of dumb-arse comment we've grown used to around here.

        Far easier to just lurk on forums and shit on everything that doesn't fit your little view of the world than actually deliver anything yourself

  2. davidp231

    So what they've basically done is resurrect Services for Unix and change it to Linux?

    1. admiraljkb

      @davidp231 - Looks like it. Windows NT has always had the ability for multiple subsystems like this. That was one of the cool design features of NT back in the day. This was how it ran Win16 and OS/2 apps in the beginning after all. It was part of the original design work for NT3.1, but largely just got pi$$ed away when Ballmer decided they didn't want compatibility with anyone other than themselves in the naughts. Nice to see another Ballmer policy going buhbye.

      1. Andy Davies

        @admiraljkb

        My cynical side thinks that far too many people saw the change to Win10 as a leap too far, and if they had to handle that much change they might as well go for Ubuntu/ Mint, this would allow these people to put a foot into that camp while remaining firmly tied to ms' apron strings.

        My whimsical side remembers a PC User Group meeting in London around 1985: a senior honcho from ms UK said that the next version of msDos would be binary compatible with Unix..... at a meeting a couple of months later this was completely pooh-poohed -then they handed out free copies of Windows 1.0 - on a good commercial PC of the time the windows part was so slow as to be unusable (the underlying was still Dos).

        My realistic side sees this as a possible alternative to Win10/Ubuntu dual booters.

        (The tricky bit may be threads/ processes).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Deprecated before then removed in 2012 R2.

      1. Steven Raith

        Hmm.

        It's almost like - and brace yourself for this - MS have stopped being insular and started realising that interoperating a bit more nicely with other platforms is of benefit to them. Imagine!

        Now all we need is for AMD to make a decent linux proprietary driver*, me to get a job, and me to get laid, and we can safely say the apocomalypse is on the way.

        Steven R

        *I'm just a bit narked that 16.04 won't have a working proprietary AMD graphics as far as I can see; I do game lightly on my box and I really don't want to change distro just to game, I'm waaaay too lazy for that.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Hmm.

          It's almost like - and brace yourself for this - MS have stopped being insular and started realising that interoperating a bit more nicely with other platforms is of benefit to them.

          Well given the problems MS have been having with a unified UI that is usable across servers, desktops, tablets and phones, perhaps MS have decided to simplify their task and make the business server and desktop UI Linux...

          Given the number of platforms MS are now supporting for Office, this does mean the (as yet unannounced WINE free) port of Office to Linux would run on Windows...

        2. AdamWill

          Re: Hmm.

          AMD is putting their efforts lately into improving the free driver, which is a *much* better idea. It's not quite up to the performance of the proprietary driver yet, but it's getting there.

          1. John Sanders
            Linux

            Re: Hmm.

            Having tested both on Ubuntu 14.04.4 and 15.10 I can say to you that you will have not only one but two wonderful ATI drivers.

            On many steam games I get now 60+ FPS with both RadeonSI+Mesa 11.3git and AMDGPU (catalyst replacement) drivers on a stock R290 with no glitches whatsoever.

            The future looks bright indeed.

            1. Steven Raith

              Re: Hmm.

              John Sanders - I suppose the real question is, what games? Something in the class of The Binding Of Isaac or other graphically light (but still pleasant) games at 60fps is a different beast to Metro Last Light, Bioshock Infinite or even something like Brutal Doom in Zandronum!

              I'm running an R280, which concerns me as I think that might be one of the GPUs that isn't really targetted well by AMDGPU?

              Steven "Guess what I play a lot" R

        3. Mikel

          Re: Hmm.

          >*I'm just a bit narked that 16.04 won't have a working proprietary AMD graphics as far as I can see;

          Vulkan is coming. You won't need a proprietary driver soon.

          1. TheVogon

            Re: Hmm.

            "Vulkan is coming. You won't need a proprietary driver soon".

            PC gamers probably won't care by the time it arrives. Direct-X 12 is here with similar performance and feature benefits now.

    3. bazza Silver badge

      Right?

      "So what they've basically done is resurrect Services for Unix and change it to Linux?"

      Wrong. SFU was a Unix runtime. To use it you had to compile software specifically for it, and it was primarily focused on making unixy services (nfs, etc) available on Windows.

      This is a system call shim, something completely different and is aimed at allowing userland applications to run unmodified.

      Linux system call shims have been done before. Solaris and QNX both have one.

      Now what I want to know is do Linux process limits still apply? In Linux you can typically open 1024 file descriptors in a process. I understood that the equivalent limit in Windows was rather less.

      And how have they emulated select() and epoll(). The way cygwin had to do it was very poor - a polling thread per file descriptor. This was because the Win32 API they had available just doesn't do a select() properly, and that's because fundamentally the OS and it's device drivers cannot do it. So how have MS changed that?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Right?

        Now what I want to know is do Linux process limits still apply? In Linux you can typically open 1024 file descriptors in a process. I understood that the equivalent limit in Windows was rather less.

        Actually, in Linux it's whatever /etc/security/limits.conf says it is. By default it is 1024, but if you set it in that file, you can make it quite large indeed.

      2. Mark Bertenshaw

        Re: Right?

        Actually, the limit has been 2048/process since WinXP. Looks as if Linux need to catch up. :-)

      3. /dev/null

        Re: Right?

        "Linux system call shims have been done before. Solaris and QNX both have one."

        Not to mention NetBSD, which has provided binary emulation of various other flavours of Unix for yonks...

        NetBSD Binary Emulation

      4. patrickstar

        Re: Right?

        If you are hitting a limit of 1024, it's in the C runtime and not the Win32 API or NT kernel. The actual limit is...much higher. I have a process on my Win box (leaking handles, fuck you HP) which currently has 483 211 open.

        The usual way of doing async I/O on Windows is through overlapped I/O. This has semantics not-entirely-dissimilar from SIGIO. Since you can take SIGIO and make it behave like epoll and friends from the callers point of view on *ix (see any number of async I/O abstraction layers), surely you can do the same with overlapped I/O as well. Or am I overlooking something here?

    4. Bitcrazed

      Nope. See here: http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/2823866

  3. John Crisp

    Embrace....

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embrace,_extend_and_extinguish

    They wouldn't do that. Would they ?

    :-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Embrace....

      Each time Microsoft seek to use their monopoly as leverage someone will inevitably bring out the "Embrace, extend and extinguish" quote. And they always get down-voted for it. Why? This is not just tin-foil-hat paranoia. It is originally from Microsoft staff (albeit slightly paraphrased). It is proven to be a deliberate and conscious strategy. How prejudiced must you be to attack someone for bringing up recorded history?

      1. Lars Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Embrace....

        "How prejudiced must you be to attack someone for bringing up recorded history?". I think there is a feeling that it's just too late for the FUD to work any more and that MS has got it too and has decided to not drop out of the picture. Time will tell.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Embrace....

        The thing is, despite how you perceive Microsoft as a company, the people who work for them are genuine human beings. Many of them are former and indeed current open source developers in their spare time.

        Power shell was created by Jeffrey Snover, a former Unix guy, as were most of his team. In the first version of power shell, most Unix shell commands were accepted as pre-defined aliases for their windows counter-parts (assuming of course they had a counter-part).

        It is comical the way people play the evil company card, as if the people working for them are part of some dark evil empire, while the Angels of open source and anti-capitalism will save the world.

        No it's just people working and making stuff in what they think is the best way. Sure it may go well, it may go disastrously wrong. Some people want to make a living from what they do, and others do it for a hobby. Others do it for many other reasons, and while I can't pretend I can argue for the reasoning behind some corporate decisions, I am sure the employees are much less a part of a plan for world domination than you seem to believe.

        1. Mr.Bill

          Re: Embrace....

          You just have to follow the $$$, the business model, and that always dictates what the company will do. If feeding the sick and poor maximized revenue, MS would look like saints. No one has some evil plot planned per-se, it just ends up that way. Now that azure is more profitable than windows, that explains their actions at this point.

          1. Naselus

            Re: Embrace....

            "No one has some evil plot planned per-se, it just ends up that way. "

            Except Monsanto. Seriously, some of the shit they pull implies that they insist on a plan being at least 50% pure evil before it's even considered.

        2. Mikel

          Re: Embrace....

          >The thing is, despite how you perceive Microsoft as a company, the people who work for them are genuine human beings. Many of them are former and indeed current open source developers in their spare time.

          "Mopping Up can be a lot of fun. In the Mopping Up phase, Evangelism’s goal is to put the final nail into the competing technology’s coffin, and bury it in the burning depths of the earth. Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.” Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the competition’s technology part of the mythology of the computer industry." - James Plamondon, Microsoft Technology Evangelist, official company evangelism training curriculum.

        3. John Sanders
          Holmes

          Re: Embrace....

          Dear we're not personally attacking Jim in development or HR Steve at Microsoft,

          I will give you an example that you'll understand better:

          Take a tower of glasses, one pyramid shaped I mean, if you pour a spirit drink on the top one, what overflows and reach the bottom glasses and table is nice spirit. yummy!

          However if you're pouring liquid shit at the top, it is shit what overflows and reach the table. It doesn't matter how shiny the glasses in the tower are.

          That's essentially is what companies/corporations are, and look they are all made of people instead of glasses. And it doesn't matter that Jim is nice or that Steve is a nice dad. MS constantly spills shit at industrial scales downwards, and I'm not talking software quality here.

          Microsoft is on a mission to lock the IT industry for themselves and themselves only, they do not know what to do to achieve an Android-like or IPhone-like domination of everything in sight. Because that's how they operate since they exist. Do you think that has changed because "Microsoft loves Linux"?

          Come on.

        4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Embrace....

          > Power shell was created by Jeffrey Snover, a former Unix guy

          In which case he did a *very* poor job of bringing bash-like features to Powershell. At least unix/linux the case sensitivity is implemented in a sort-of-consistent way.

          Unlike ShowerPell.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Embrace....

            Your knocking powershell because it isn't case sensitive?

            you grey ponytail guys really crack me up

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Embrace....

            "In which case he did a *very* poor job of bringing bash-like features to Powershell. "

            They started from a clean sheet so don't expect them to just copy BASH - generally Powershell is far more powerful and flexible than BASH or other *NIX type shells.

      3. azaks

        Re: Embrace....

        You may not have noticed (or be to zealous to allow yourself to notice) that the Nadella-era MS is very different from the Ballmer-era MS. Of course the zealots will say its just a ploy and the real motive is EEE. The days of making a ton of money selling operating systems and on-prem software are declining, and the next cash cow is online services. Allowing people to run whatever they want (rather than trying to dictate what they should run) will encourage them to choose their services over someone else's services. Its pretty obvious to anyone that looks at the industry with an open mind.

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken
    3. tempemeaty

      Re: Embrace....

      John Crisp I want to hug you!

      Last time I mentioned this Microsoft strategic behavior and an one of the examples of it shown in that article, it fell on def ears. I thought I was the last one in the room who remembered and understood this. I also didn't know that it was discovered in "United States v. Microsoft antitrust". Thank you for that link and for Remembering.

    4. John Bailey

      Re: Embrace....

      Quite possibly.

      Like OS2 ran Windows software.

      Sorry sweetie.. that worked with the old MS. And only in areas they were the biggest.

      To make the "extend" bit work, one has to become the dominant player. Any other scenario, it just breaks stuff and pisses people off. Just joining in is not actually enough.

      But you did successfully quote a meme.. have a biscuit.

    5. J 3
      Pirate

      Re: Embrace....

      Embrace and extend, sure, possible. But how can they extinguish free software?

  4. Ouroborus

    Does this mean Windows will finally get fork()?

    1. PNGuinn
      Go

      Does this mean Windows will finally get fork()?

      No.

      I told it to fork off years ago.

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