back to article Windows Subsystem for Linux distro gets a preening, updated version waddles into Microsoft's app store

There was good news this week for the Venn region of Windows 10 users who also enjoy a bit of Linux bothering on the desktop, as Pengwin 1.2 popped up on the Microsoft Store. The Debian-based distribution tuned for the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) was formerly known as WLinux before a visit from the rebranding elf saw it …

  1. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Meh

    how is this better than Cygwin?

    I just have to ask... how IS this better than Cygwin? (in practice, not theory)

    because, last I checked, Cygwin did not require "the store" (which, last I checked, requires a valid 'microsoft logon' and everything that goes with it), and ALSO works on 'home' versions (and 8, and 7, and XP, ...). Picking package options in Cygwin _IS_ a little tedious, but once you're used to it and have it set up on ONE box, you can theoretically CLONE the install to others by simply copying the directory to other machines and re-running the setup [to get the shared libs in place, mostly].

    And there was ALSO an X server that ran ok on XP and 7, though I forget which one... Xming perhaps?

    And WSL requires '10 Pro', right? Yeah, thought so...

    1. TheGreatCabbage

      Re: how is this better than Cygwin?

      WSL does not require Windows 10 Pro.

      Cygwin is a POSIX compatibility layer, not a Linux compatibility layer. It cannot run programs without recompilation.

      WSL is ABI-compatible with Linux, and can run programs compiled for Linux without recompilation or translation.

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: how is this better than Cygwin?

      WSL allows you to run actual linux programs without re-compiling them (you can just apt install whatever), and because of this, if there's an update for (eg) openssh, you can download it as soon as it reaches the repositories instead of compiling from scratch or waiting for someone else to do so.

      Think of it as being sort of the inverse of WINE.

      PS, WSL doesn't require the Windows Store (src), or a Microsoft login, or Win 10 Pro. You do need to be on a 64bit version of Win10 or Server2019 though.

      1. Gio Ciampa

        Re: how is this better than Cygwin?

        "WSL allows you to run actual linux programs without re-compiling them (you can just apt install whatever)"

        Someone has to compile them... you just install the result...

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: how is this better than Cygwin?

        "You do need to be on a 64bit version of Win10 or Server2019 though."

        And this _is_ the dealbreaker... (I assume Win-10-nic 'Home' also cannot run it?)

        re-compiling for cygwin already happens, as it has its own package manager in the form of the 'setup' utility.

        Running native Linux applications is interesting, but less of a 'thing' with me. I would consider overall usability to be the number 1 feature. I messed with SFU/SUA/Interix years ago, and it just couldn't perform better than Cygwin.

        I would expect WSL to be similar, regardless of the bell/whistle/shiny factor.

        (that and I can run Cygwin on a Win7 box)

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: how is this better than Cygwin?

          "And this _is_ the dealbreaker... (I assume Win-10-nic 'Home' also cannot run it?)"

          According to wikipedia, all the main* versions of Win10 have a 64 bit version, so yeah, all versions of Win10 should be able to run WSL as far as I can see (there's certainly people out there who've installed it on Home with no problems).

          * That would be Home, Pro, Pro Education, Education, and Enterprise. I can't see a way for a normal user to buy any of the other versions like IoT or mobile so who the fuck knows eh?

        2. Jason Bloomberg

          Re: how is this better than Cygwin?

          You do need to be on a 64bit version of Win10 or Server2019 though."

          And this _is_ the dealbreaker... (I assume Win-10-nic 'Home' also cannot run it?)

          Not that much of a deal-breaker though, given all but older PCs are 64-bit these day, and Win10 Home runs WSL just fine for me.

          I have been pretty impressed with WSL and have found it much easier to install, configure and use than Cygwin, MingW and other VM or 'Linux in a box' solutions. It just keeps getting better.

          It is not what I would choose if I was a Linux only developer, but for those of us who have ended up being mostly Windows developers it's absolutely brilliant.

          A cheap 'desktop machine', running Win10 Home and WSL sits well between between my main Windows development machine and my Raspberry Pi.

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: how is this better than Cygwin?

      1) Cygwin is a *nix / POSIX emulation library and framework that allows Unix/Linux software to be recompiled for Windows and to run natively. But most of the software has been minimally patched and in its head thinks its running on a *nix variant and expects a *nix style filesystem layout. It has a larger set of packages than MSYS2...

      2) MSYS2 is natively compiled versions of various packages. Unlike cygwin, the tools are running with greater knowledge of their host environment and do not expect *nix filesystems layout. This environment is most useful for compiling standalone Windows applications using the MingW gcc compiler. Tools like Git for Windows and VideoLan were built with MSYS2+MingW.

      3) Windows Subsystem for Linux is genuine x86 Linux software running inside of Windows. The subsystem emulates kernel syscalls so that user land Linux binaries think they're running in Linux. This mode is useful if you develop for Windows *and* Linux since you can do both from the same machine.

      I use CLion and MingW gcc for developing with Rust and I use WSL for some code coverage / profiling stuff that is not easy to do on Windows. I'm very impressed by WSL in fact - it's Debian / Ubuntu so install something like mobaxterm and you have a pretty complete Linux experience running in Windows.

      1. Angry clown

        DrXym - Re: how is this better than Cygwin?

        I was not aware of any application development targeted for Linux desktops. Like many of us here, I was strongly convinced Linux desktop exists only in an endless stream of patronizing and tasteless jokes so now you come and tell us that you or someone else are actually developing for Linux ?

        Please help us get rid of our ignorance!

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: DrXym - how is this better than Cygwin?

          "I was not aware of any application development targeted for Linux desktops"

          There is a LOT. It is too easy in the windows world to *feel* as if EVERYBODY _ONLY_ does Windows... which is part of the reason why Win-10-nic is what it is.

          GTK and Qt applications can be made to run cross-platform, including OS/X. Similarly, Java. DBMSs that aren't SQL Server are often written for Linux FIRST, then adapted to windows later. Similarly, web servers and other server applications. Linux first, then windows [and only if it makes sense].

          When you include Android and iOS, UNIX-like operating systems are #1, windows is #2. pun intended.

        2. DrXym Silver badge

          Re: DrXym - how is this better than Cygwin?

          You're right, why bother? After all Linux is merely powering virtually every smart and IOT device as well as applications running a very substantial percentage of servers. Barely worth the time.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: DrXym @ bombastic bob - how is this better than Cygwin?

            Why would a Linux developer use a Windows machine to develop server application since he will have to test it and make sure it runs on a server anyway ? Come on, guys, a VM is so cheap these days and a installing a Linux server shouldn't be a big deal for a respectable Linux developer. Especially when your product is targeted at server applications.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: DrXym @ bombastic bob - how is this better than Cygwin?

              "Why would a Linux developer use a Windows machine to develop server application since he will have to test it and make sure it runs on a server anyway "

              It saves a whole layer of stuff and having a team to run it, manage builds, problems, etc etc

              We were able to reduce headcount by quite a few by deploying Linux under Windows 10 and removing all desktop Linux from our environments.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: DrXym @ bombastic bob - how is this better than Cygwin?

                "We were able to reduce headcount by quite a few by deploying Linux under Windows 10 and removing all desktop Linux from our environments."

                Should have done the opposite; our Linux admin team is quarter the size of the Windows team and yet still more productive (we have many more Linux hosts than Windows). Over the years TCO has proven so much lower for Linux that it's been corporate mandate to run all new apps and services directly under Linux (if the application is compatible) for the last two years or so.

        3. martinusher Silver badge

          Re: DrXym - how is this better than Cygwin?

          >I was not aware of any application development targeted for Linux desktops.

          Try just about any professional development environment that's not Microsoft VS. The typical hardware or firmware development environment is based around Eclipse with the actual tools running under Cygwin. You'll find that there's a fair bit of scripting languages like TCL in there as well -- the one thing you won't find is anything 'dotNET' because Mono just isn't there yet.

          I'm used to working in both Windows and non-Windows development environments since I develop embedded code rather than desktop applications. I've found that Windows based developers tend to have a very narrow focus -- if the tool isn't from Microsoft they don't want to know about it (which often leads to a lot of wheel reinventing). Corporate, who's entire lives are built around Office, tend to only talk to software developers and IT, they don't really have much to do with arcane sorts like engineers, so they tend to lay down the law about how it should be and if it causes inconvenience -- or even makes it impossible to do certain types of work -- that's not their problem. (Fortunately for someone like myself, essentially retired, I just stand back from the pit and watch to see if Natural Selection really works....)

  2. LenG

    Price

    Pengwin costs £8.39 ... until 1st August when it goes up to £16.74

    X410 costs £8.39 ... for the next 13 hours after which it will cost £41.74.

    Assuming I wanted to move off Cygwin (which I can't currently see a good reason to do) how difficult is it to persuade the free Ubuntu or Open SUSE distros to accept an X Server?

    It is perhaps significant that I spent some time looking for the Windows Store in the programme menu etc before I discovered it was called the Microsoft Store. Possibly I would have found it more quickly if I had not already replaced the M$ front end with Classic Shell?

    Anyway, I think I'll continue with cygwin (which I mainly use as a replacement for the M$ command line) and a proper Linux distro running quite happily on an elderly Intel NUC.

    Oh, yes, if you click the OpenSUSE distro you are invited to login to your M$ account (which I don't have) so that you can use it on all your devices. Still trying to figure out what benefit this is supposed to provide. Mind, I only have the one M$ device ...

    1. TheGreatCabbage

      Re: Price

      It's easy to get an X server working on Ubuntu WSL.

      Here is a guide:

      https://github.com/QMonkey/wsl-tutorial/blob/master/README.md

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Price

      Ubuntu works fine with Xming.

      Probably other combinations of distro and X server would work as well. I tried various distros, and found Ubuntu had the fewest problems in WSL, then I tried various X servers and Xming seemed to work best.

      Your mileage may vary. You may prefer other distros. I'm a FreeBSD fan girl so I'm pretty neutral when it comes to Linux distros other than preferring ones that don't come with SystemD.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Price

        vcxsrv also works with WSL and is similarly free and open source. supposedly it is better at high res/high dpi screens than xming

      2. gnwiii

        Re: Price

        "... I'm pretty neutral when it comes to Linux distros other than preferring ones that don't come with SystemD."

        I'm using WSL for Ubuntu and Debian. Although both use systemd for bare metal installs, neither WSL configuration uses systemd.

    3. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Price

      You don't need to go to the Microsoft Store to download it.

      Instructions for downloading and manual installation are here.

      https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wsl/install-manual

  3. Avatar of They
    Linux

    Is it wrong.

    I dislike M$ intently because of telemetry and Win10 is awful. I am a linux fan and have been for over a decade.

    BUT, I do like the name 'Pengwin'. Makes me chuckle a little bit.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Is it wrong.

      Is it pronounced Peng-win, or Pen-gwin?

      1. Peter X
        Trollface

        Re: Is it wrong.

        Someone somewhere... "It's GNU-PengWin damn it!!"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Peter X - Re: Is it wrong.

          Nah, it can't be. It doesn't seem to run the Linux kernel.

      2. gerdesj Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Is it wrong.

        "Pengu-in", its a small fishing village near Pant Y Girdle in Wales.

      3. PeeKay

        Re: Is it wrong.

        'Is it pronounced Peng-win'

        That guy from Peng-Life is gonna be well chuffed.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Avatar of They - Re: Is it wrong.

      What was wrong with the name Lindows ?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: @Avatar of They - Is it wrong.

        Microsoft sued them they had to rename themsleves linspire IIRC

      2. Avatar of They
        Thumb Up

        Re: @Avatar of They - Is it wrong.

        It's okay, but as linux is all about the penguin I think it just captures the fact that Microsoft have had to adapt and adjust to keep relevant. They have had to go away from all the 'burn heretic' logic around people who use linux instead of Windows.

        Captures a mood and because MS thought of it I think somewhere there is a set of dentures grinding for the die hard MS Management who hate the idea but had to submit to it. Which makes me chuckle.

        And it is a perfect blend of two cultures that also gives a nod in both directions while remaining relevant to what it is. A little penguin at Redmond. Gnawing at the inside.

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: @Avatar of They - Is it wrong.

          Microsoft have had to adapt and adjust to keep relevant.

          Isin't this a way of running *nix applications on windows, undermining the chances of people being willing to run *nix as their main OS?

          One can see why MS Management would be a fan of this.

        2. TheVogon

          Re: @Avatar of They - Is it wrong.

          "as linux is all about the penguin I think it just captures the fact that Microsoft have had to adapt and adjust to keep relevant"

          This is just so that enterprises can run all their legacy *nix scripts and tools without having to run and maintain any Linux environments. It's just another step on the embrace and replace roadmap.

    3. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: Is it wrong.

      With reference to a recent thread about the possible Welsh origin of the word 'penguin', i.e. 'pen gwyn' or 'white head' it might be interesting to note that the Welsh word 'gwin' (pronounced 'gween') means 'wine', as in the alcoholic drink. Convolutions involving Wine (the compatability layer) aside, 'pengwin' could therefore legitimately be translated as 'wine head'.

      Hmmm.

      M.

  4. thondwe

    Debian on WSL

    Err - Debian on WSL is a free App already (with Ubuntu, OpenSUSE) - so why pay? Xserver setup for these IIRC is pretty trivial - add some Xapps and point at whatever server you have running as usual... Microsoft doing some excellent work in the Open Source world these days, so may be worth swallowing some pride and getting an MS login?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @thondwe - Re: Debian on WSL

      Heck, you're paying through your nose to use MacOS which is BSD based so you shouldn't be bothered paying something to Microsoft for the privilege of using Linux. Anyway this is the price paid only by those unable to install a desktop virtualization and the Linux distro of their choice. For the rest of us it's still free.

      1. TheVogon

        Re: @thondwe - Debian on WSL

        "so you shouldn't be bothered paying something to Microsoft for the privilege of using Linux"

        WSL is free with Windows 10. As are many versions of Linux to run on it. If someone chooses to charge a fee for a version of Linux to run on WSL that's not Microsoft's fault.

    2. Matthew Brasier

      Re: Debian on WSL

      As a software developer, I generally try and pay other software developers for their work whenever I get an opportunity. I have used Ubuntu on WSL for quite some time now, it is significantly more convenient than firing up a whole virtual machine when all I want to do is fire off a few commands using SSH or the AWS CLI. However distros running on WSL often have a few bugs, and a distro specifically targeting WSL sounds like something I am happy to pay for, especially given its the cost of two beers.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How times have changed in Redmond?

    "How times have changed in Redmond"

    ?

    Too young to have heard of "Extend and Embrace (then Extinguish)" ?

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: It is "Embrace, extend, extinguish"

      The embrace stage is well and truly here.

      Anyone noticed new features unique to the Microsoft implementation of the API? If some turn up it will only matter if people use them and Linus cannot implement them because Microsoft has patents on the mathematics. Penguins are quite likely to check the license and not simply click & ignore so there is a fair chance that extensions will be actively ignored.

      I am old enough to remember what happens after extinguish... The dead proprietary software gets a license change to something copyleft and comes back like a zombie phoenix to take away chunk of Microsoft's world domination. Too late, already happened.

      "Embrace extend extinguish" is not the right strategy here. I could believe "Developers Developers Developers" but personally, Microsoft can take my Linux when the snap it from my frozen dead flippers. It may be time to think about giving Microsoft a little trust. I will consider it when I get back from my snowboarding holiday in Hell.

      [On another note, Debian has the same "problem" that if you say "install everything" on a Friday you are going to have a bad day on Monday when it has finished downloading.]

      1. oiseau Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: It is "Embrace, extend, extinguish"

        I will consider it when I get back from my snowboarding holiday in Hell.

        +1, just what I think everytime I see something like this crop up.

        I tell you, this crap will slowly but steadily creep in and eventually rot the Linux whole eco-system from the inside.

        And then, it will be too late.

        O.

      2. ROC

        Re: It is "Embrace, extend, extinguish"

        So, with MS "converting" Edge to Chrome, does this mean that Google is the ultimate mover behind the embracing, extending, extinguishing?

  6. camote

    xfce in cygwin running virt-manager does me for a donut and coffee. sugar and caffeine high

  7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "the install could take several hours before you realise just how unwell they’ve gone."

    Windows users should feel right at home with it, then. Linux users not so much.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Doctor Syntax - Remember

      we're talking about Linux for Windows users here. You can't push them too hard.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Doctor Syntax - Remember

        You can't push them too hard,

        Unless of course you've wisely brought several sets of spare batteries for the cattle prod. . .

        . . . blissful happy thought. . .

  8. adnim

    Whilst there maybe advantages using Pengwin

    I'll stick to a VM.

    At work I have no choice but Win 10 on the desktop.

    At home I hope to never run Win 10 on my desktop.

    Of course I should work in the most suitable environment for the projects I work on and the infrastructure in which the code is to be deployed. So far a Linux distro in a VM has been fine. If this changes I will re-asses my dev environment. I mainly do web dev and flat file processing.

    I am old and this along with years of experience in supporting/fixing/finding work arounds for MS products from Windows 3.1 onwards made me biased. I don't like Microsoft and will avoid them whenever possible.

    1. Blockchain commentard

      Re: Whilst there maybe advantages using Pengwin

      windows 3.1? Ya newbie. I started on Windows 286 (don't count Excel's GUI interface as a real Windows).

  9. doug_bostrom

    "App store" and Linux fit together like a 22mm nut fits a 25mm bolt. Complete misfit, starting with the silo and working outward.

    "App:" Eloi language for "computer program."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just to check

      The Eloi were the pretty ones, too wimpy to resist random "selections" for dragging down into the caves of the Moorlocks, where they were eaten up, right?

      Nice analogy!

  10. georgezilla Bronze badge

    But why?

    Can someone give me a reason for this?

    One that isn't bullshit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @georgezilla - Re: But why?

      I can give you one: cloud. Almost all tools used to deploy and manage applications in the cloud are Linux based. Some of them have PowerShell counterparts but they're clunky, especially if you think of the / vs \ nightmare. you have to /\/\/\/ from time to time. So it makes sense to have those tools running natively on Windows although a VM running Debian would do just fine for anyone else but Microsoft.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @georgezilla - But why?

        "Almost all tools used to deploy and manage applications in the cloud are Linux based. Some of them have PowerShell counterparts but they're clunky"

        The Powershell tools tend to be the best ones. It is after all a much more powerful and flexible scripting language than say Bash. And way easier to learn.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @georgezilla - But why?

          "The Powershell tools tend to be the best ones."

          Citation needed.

    2. georgezilla Bronze badge

      Re: But why?

      Yea, that's what I thought.

      Down votes but no effing answer.

  11. DrBed
    Paris Hilton

    Visual Studio or Visual Studio CODE (more likely)?

    Not the same, not near.

    It is fuzzy, snipped from here: "FINAL Changelog For Pengwin 1.2" (< - final, really???)

    "Added tools to develop Linux C/C++ apps using CLion and Visual Studio, including graphical apps"

    https://www.pengwin.dev/blog

    But at GitHub, under "Features" it is clearly - Visual Studio Code.

    https://github.com/WhitewaterFoundry/Pengwin

    Somehow, I doubt that VS run natively at Linux, even on PengWin. Maybe through Wine or VirtualBox but... what should be purpose of this, then? But VS Code is known multi-platform dev tool, it runs now at e.g. chromebook (normal Linux desktop version)

    1. sirredbeard

      Re: Visual Studio or Visual Studio CODE (more likely)?

      You can link Visual Studio on Windows to debug processes running on WSL in real time. You are correct you cannot run Visual Studio on WSL itself.

  12. martinusher Silver badge

    Its probably a waste of time....

    I was keen to try WSL when it came out but quickly soured on it when I discovered that it lacked basic functionality like its file system was a mess and it couldn't shell Windows applications. Upgrades have improved it but it still lags a fair way behind Cygwin in usability. Meanwhile nothing WSL offers will deal with problems like erratic drivers -- I spent ages trying to find the magic formula that allowed a particular in circuit emulator to work, different versions of driver, applications environment and even Windows, all with no success. Linux 'just worked'.

    So I understand that Corporate has its reasons for forcing everyone to use Windows because to them there is only Office. They also tend to only talk to computer people who have drunk deep of the MSFT Kool Aid -- MSNET, Powershell, Anti-virus and builds, a tangle of complexity that keeps a lot of people in a job but effectively acts as a barrier for many to actually get any useful work done. (But since those lower orders are just the engineers they don't really matter, do they? After all, they're just expensive overhead that hasn't been outsourced yet.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Its probably a waste of time....

      "So I understand that Corporate has its reasons for forcing everyone to use Windows because to them there is only Office"

      And tens of thousands of other line of business applications that are windows only.

      Let's not forget that Munich for example tried for over 10 years to move to Linux, it cost them way more than sticking with Microsoft would have, was a world of pain, and the users hated it. They are now migrating back to Windows

  13. Notas Badoff

    WSL fanbois are a thing?

    Looking at the down votes above (BB excepted) and everybody who wasn't wildly enthusiastic about WSL got down voted. Amazing. I also use Cygwin. I also use VMs. I also have to have multiple Linux variants or host instances running simultaneously sometimes. How is WSL going to replace every scenario for everybody? Sheesh!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WSL fanbois are a thing?

      Yes, Windows devs forced to use the cloud. Being prevented from using a point and click GUI they get angry at the slightest perceived provocation.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: WSL fanbois are a thing?

        It wouldn't surprise me if MS employees actively monitored ElReg (and similar) to try to shoot down the voice of reason. Perhaps not as a corporate mandate, but the pro-MS activity always goes up around here when such articles surface. Strangely, they seem to think that ganging up on somebody with "thumbs" is somehow going to make Redmond products worth a shit. I'm not exactly sure where that mindset came from. Sign of the times, I guess.

    2. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: WSL fanbois are a thing?

      > everybody who wasn't wildly enthusiastic about WSL got down voted...

      Its to be expected. Its not important. I've been working with Unix/Linux for many years and the practicalities of the work environment mean that my Windows PC is just used as a glorified terminal. (Which, if you know how Windows evolved, pretty much sums up Windows.) In the old days I had a commercial X-server but these days you can pretty much do anything you want with Putty, WinSCP and Cygwin-X.

      I've always had problems taking Windows seriously because of inherent design issues -- Microsoft has never managed to crack users, permissions, file systems, driver structures, all the stuff we take for granted. Instead of understanding what they are and how they're used they keep on coming up with elaborate workarounds that are touted as groundbreaking technology but invariably turn out to be just another over complex, proprietary version of a wheel. Since no system is 100% perfect you're always coming up against things that don't quite work but because you have no idea about who/why/what developing becomes a matter of punching fog, you're just thrashing around trying to figure out some magic formula that appears to work (and will probably get broken at the next update). This might be OK for desktop users but its unacceptable if you want stuff to 'just work'.

      BTW -- I gave up arguing with Windows fanbois years ago.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Fanbois, Shills and Personality disordered

      Yes, fanbois, shills and personality disordered are all thriving on the internet.

      I've wondered myself about why without coming up with anything earth-shattering. Possibly that in increasingly fragmented societies, where people get less and less real human contact, the urge to find approval (eg in upvotes / downvotes) becomes more important.

      So despite the vulnerability of these polls to manipulation, there is a marketing benefit in having your allies upvoted and enemies downvoted?

      I'm used to being the only person in a group holding a particular opinion, but even I prefer to be endorsed rather than rejected, I would guess that applies to most people.

      So if, as in this instance, anti-M$-ers are downvoted, that probably helps turn the undecided and those lacking the resources to reach their own conclusion, against them.

      I do find some interest in working out which groups have the most fanbois-shills at their disposal, but so far I haven't been at all surprised.

  14. Nano nano

    Ubuntu is good enough

    I have been using Ubuntu under WSL for 8 months, on a corporate "Windows only" Dell, works fine for me ! I use Xming as the X server.

  15. Wowbagger42

    All fun & games?

    Can I install a systemd service inside WSL? How does that work?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All fun & games?

      "Can I install a systemd service inside WSL?"

      No, it's idiot proof.

  16. Wowbagger42

    All fun & games?

    Can I target WSL using SSH? Can I install some custom script and setup a systemd service to run it at boot?

    1. TheVogon

      Re: All fun & games?

      "Can I target WSL using SSH?"

      Yes. Good example of why Linuxd is really really sucky compared to Windows though:

      Edit the /etc/ssh/sshd_config file by running the command sudo vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config and do the following

      Change Port to 2222 (or any other port above 1000)

      Change PasswordAuthentication to yes. This can be changed back to no if ssh keys are setup.

      Restart the ssh server:

      sudo service ssh --full-restart

      With this setup, the ssh server must be turned on every time you run Bash on Ubuntu on Windows, as by default it is off. Use this command to turn it on:

      sudo service ssh start

      Follow the next steps which will create scripts that start the ssh server automatically:

      Create a sshd.bat file and edit it with the following commands:

      vi sshd.bat

      Add the following code: C:\Windows\System32\bash.exe -c "sudo /usr/sbin/sshd -D"

      Save the file and move it to a more accessible location, e.g. mv ssh.bat /mnt/c/Users/YourUserName/Documents. Make sure to match your username! Take note of this location for the next step as in Windows language this corresponds to C:\Users\YourUserName\Documents

      Create a sshd.vbs file and edit it with the following commands:

      vi sshd.vbs

      Add the following code, making sure to put in your actual user name:

      Set WinScriptHost = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")

      WinScriptHost.Run Chr(34) & "C:\Users\YourUserName\Documents\sshd.bat" & Chr(34), 0

      Set WinScriptHost = Nothing

      Save the file and move it to a more accessible location, e.g. mv sshd.vbs /mnt/c/Users/YourUserName/Documents.

      Open start menu, type run. Then type shell:startup. Copy the vbs file over to the Startup folder

      Finally, you will need to configure the ssh server to start without requiring password. Run the command sudo visudo and add this line to the end of the file:

      %sudo ALL=NOPASSWD: /usr/sbin/sshd

      If configured properly, the ssh server should now automatically start in the background when Windows starts.

      "Can I install some custom script and setup a systemd service to run it at boot?"

      No it has some idiot proofing features and not permitting systemd is one of them.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: All fun & games?

        sshd.bat? sshd.vbs? I think I see your problem ...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: All fun & games?

        "Good example of why Linuxd is really really sucky compared to Windows though."

        Actually it's a very poor example of why Linux supposedly sucks, but it is a good example of why WSL sucks compared to doing that in a standalone Linux-based OS.

  17. Dr Gerard Bulger

    USB Devices

    Does it access USB ports other than connected drives? WSL does not so far as I can tell, That limits its use for me, no matter what flavour penguin installed.

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