back to article Windows Subsystem for Linux gets enterprise friendly and plans a settings interface

The Windows Subsystem for Linux is due to receive a user interface for settings as well as management enhancements to make the platform more attractive to enterprise administrators. While die-hard Linux fans are unlikely to be averse to editing the odd config file or two in order to tweak a configuration, having to dive into …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "management enhancements to make the platform more attractive to enterprise administrators"

    Does "enterprise administrators" mean "admins who only know Windows"?

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge

      "Does "enterprise administrators" mean "admins who only know Windows"?"

      No.

      Do empty barrels make the most noise?

      1. tfewster
        Facepalm

        Correct, it means "admins who don't know Windows", and can't cope with a structured config file (e.g. .ini, .conf) or even the Windows Registry.

        A generic structured file editor might be handy.

        Oh wait, I've got one - it's Notepad++. It doesn't tell me the available options, but a default/sample config file should include all the options, suitably #commented out

        1. hardboiledphil

          .wslconfig does have some default settings in it already

  2. navarac Silver badge

    The only way

    Microsoft can foist Recall onto Linux. Beware, people.

  3. may_i

    Embrace, entend, extinguish.

    No competent UNIX sysadmin needs anything even remotely like the endless maze of pointy, clicky tools that are available to administrate Windows. They're been screwing around with that crap for decades now and each time they tweak it, my idea of where to look for the right place to change various Windows settings gets more and more confused.

    Maybe this is why systemd has such a painful command line interface. It's all part of the master plan to shift everything to Windows control panel style interfaces and finally extinguish the UNIX idea of having one tool that is really good at the one thing it does and making the system easy to use and administrate with a bunch of those simple, memorable tools. Once they do that, they can deprecate the WSL and enter the extinguish phase.

    1. OSYSTEM

      Competent Windows admins: Re: Embrace, entend, extinguish.

      No competent Windows admin uses an endless maze of tools. They use automatically deployed AD or Intune Group policies.

      1. SVD_NL Silver badge

        Re: Competent Windows admins: Embrace, entend, extinguish.

        Hi, somewhat competent Windows admin here: Intune policies are an endless ever-changing maze of tools.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Embrace, entend, extinguish.

      > No competent UNIX sysadmin…

      Trouble is these are in very short supply…

    3. ICL1900-G3
      Headmaster

      Re: Embrace, entend, extinguish.

      I was going to have a language nazi rant about 'administrate', but apparently it really is a word. Well, it shouldn't be! Real sentient beings say 'administer'.

  4. t245t Silver badge
    Linux

    How is this any clearer than editing a text file?

    HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\CriticalDeviceDatabase\pci#ven_1af2&dev_1010&subsys_010000a0

    1. OSYSTEM

      That is a text file: Re: How is this any clearer than editing a text file?

      You do know that the Windows registry can be accessed as file system, and items therein can be accessed as text files, right?

      As well as a .NET objects that can be piped to other programs:

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

      PS HKLM:\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\> ls -R 'HKLM:\system\CurrentControlSet\Enum\PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_15F2&SUBSYS_30038086&REV_03\'

      Hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\system\CurrentControlSet\Enum\PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_15F2&SUBSYS_30038086&REV_03

      Name Property

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

      48210BFFFF3640AF00 DeviceDesc : @oem120.inf,%e15f2_3nc.devicedesc%;Intel(R) Ethernet Controller (3) I225-LM

      LocationInformation : @System32\drivers\pci.sys,#65536;PCI bus %1, device %2, function %3;(88,0,0)

      Capabilities : 16

      UINumber : 13

      Address : 0

      ContainerID : {00000000-0000-0000-ffff-ffffffffffff}

      HardwareID : {PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_15F2&SUBSYS_30038086&REV_03, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_15F2&SUBSYS_30038086, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_15F2&CC_020000

      , PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_15F2&CC_0200

      }

      CompatibleIDs : {PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_15F2&REV_03, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_15F2, PCI\VEN_8086&CC_020000, PCI\VEN_8086&CC_0200...}

      ConfigFlags : 0

      ClassGUID : {4d36e972-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}

      Driver : {4d36e972-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}\0006

      Service : e2fexpress

      Mfg : @oem120.inf,%intel%;Intel

      FriendlyName : Intel(R) Ethernet Controller (3) I225-LM

      Hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\system\CurrentControlSet\Enum\PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_15F2&SUBSYS_30038086&REV_03\48210BFFFF3640AF00

      Name Property

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

      Device Parameters InstanceIndex : 1

      Hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\system\CurrentControlSet\Enum\PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_15F2&SUBSYS_30038086&REV_03\48210BFFFF3640AF00\Device Parameters

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Pint

        Re: That is a text file: How is this any clearer than editing a text file?

        > You do know that the Windows registry can be accessed as file system, and items therein can be accessed as text files, right?

        No, I genuinely had no idea as I don't do much in WSL, so thank-you for mentioning it. Have an icon -->

        1. t245t Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: That is a text file: How is this any clearer than editing a text file?

          > No, I genuinely had no idea as I don't do much in WSL, so thank-you for mentioning it. Have an icon -->

          But but but text config files are only of use on the obsolete Linex OS :) I have noticed at least one WSL article in the Linux Mags. Which I suspect is the real purpose of WSL, to capture mindshare (purr of evil).

          • Does anyone recall the “User Friendly” comic strip featuring “The Boss” and a Clippy being in permanent rageaholic mode?

    2. An_Old_Dog Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: How is this any clearer than editing a text file?

      Isn't there an Emacs mode for conveniently editing MS Registry strings?

  5. spuck

    It's not editing a .wslconfig file that's the problem, I dare say that anyone brave (or foolhardy) enough to embark on that journey knows how to launch a text editor.

    The problem is knowing if editing said text file will make any difference. Will this setting be applied or silently ignored? You can't trust anything found on Google unless you know what build number you have. Has it been deprecated? Better check the GitHub page. Will the setting be maintained in any future versions of WSL? No idea, as Microsoft doesn't make any mention of API stability anywhere I've found.

    Microsoft's implementation and future direction of WSL isn't planned, it's evolved.

    1. rgjnk
      Alert

      Don't forget the artificial constraints between the Win10 and Win11 versions.

      First you find the experimental setting, then you find it's migrated to release status (so the config needs editing to shift it to the proper section), then you find it only works on the 'right' version of Windows for no reason other than 'because'.

    2. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Unhappy

      The problem is knowing if editing said text file will make any difference. Will this setting be applied or silently ignored? You can't trust anything found on Google unless you know what build number you have. Has it been deprecated?

      This isn't different from any other software either, be it for Windows or Linux.

      New versions of many software usually bring new settings and may deprecate old ones, so you can't just trust that stackoverflow / serverfault / reddit article from five years ago to actually work in your version unless you also check the docs carefully.

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      > Microsoft's implementation and future direction of WSL isn't planned, it's evolved.

      There is one part that can be assumed to be planned; migrate it to WSL365 and charge an additional subscription.

    4. nijam Silver badge

      >> Microsoft's implementation and future direction of WSL isn't planned, it's evolved.

      No, surely evolution implies improving the "!fitness" of something.

  6. mcswell

    The problem isn't editing the .wslconfig file...

    ...the problem is knowing where this file is. After numerous searches, I finally found where it should be: C:\Users\<username>\ (using the info here: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wsl/wsl-config). But on my system, the file doesn't exist. At least knowing where it should be, it would be easy to create it.

  7. hardboiledphil

    Oh no.. Defender

    While I'm stuck on a works WIndows machine WSL is a godsend for me. Most of the dev stuff I do on it is way easier to do (just sudo apt to install tools) and generally it's 2 to 5 times faster than using Windows itself. The thought of them letting Defender stick it's podgy fingers into WSL sounds like the whole WSL system will end up going as slow and sucking as much as Windows (sad face)

  8. Roland6 Silver badge

    “ settings app will still be compatible with the .wslconfig file”

    Trouble is what does this reallly mean.

    I’ve worked with systems where the GUI configuration can import and export a config file, but doesn’t actually use the config file. Hence to make manual changes you have to export, change, import, redistribute. Obviously, problems arise because the system you are configuring has been updated and includes new settings, not yet supported by the GUI…

  9. Ball boy Silver badge

    Two glaring issues

    1. If GUI was such a good way to configure a system, why hasn't Redmond embraced it for Windows properly? I refer readers to MS's own advice: to cure their cock-up in a recent update, one needed to use command-line tools to fix the partition table. Before you try to convince the world your approach is solid, prove the concept works well in the OS you own entirely, folks

    2. I'll put money on human-readable, file based configs being swapped out for a registry-style behemoth once a GUI becomes the only interface. After all, if you have an impenetrable admin layer applying the changes, the settings themselves can vanish into a custom database-style format because they no longer need to be read 'by hand'. This will keep Pottering in wet dreams for years!

  10. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

    Mush-Mouthed Euphemisms

    "...letting you automatically log in using your Entra ID credentials on Windows from experiences in Windows like git ..."

    According to Mr. Loewin, we no longer have 'programs', we have 'experiences'.

    Let this man 'experience' a boot to the head!

  11. chip66

    Enterprise ready data distruction

    Microsoft continues to ignore the bug(s) that randomly wipe out files and directories: https://github.com/microsoft/WSL/issues/4974

    This has been a serious problem for years, and Microsoft's only answer is to ignore the reports and close the tickets.

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