Windows' Linux

Levi Pearson levipearson at gmail.com
Tue Jul 3 15:51:03 MDT 2018


On Tue, Jul 3, 2018 at 3:14 PM Dan Egli <danegli.74 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Has anyone had any experience with the Windows Services for Linux? How does
> it compare to a full fledged distro? I'm really curious, but not in a
> position (yet) to experiment for myself.

I haven't really experimented with it myself, but according to my
understanding, it *is* a full-fledged Linux distribution. The Windows
NT kernel is a sort of hybrid one; it supports multiple "personality"
modules that can expose different kernel APIs to processes. Windows
Services for Linux is essentially a personality module for the kernel
that implements the user-facing side of the Linux kernel API along
with a Linux distribution installed to your system drive. The Windows
Store apparently now has Ubuntu, SUSE, Kali and Debian variants you
can install now. You can invoke a Linux-environment shell from the
Windows CMD prompt and have that shell stay in the same working
directory, except with access to a PATH that includes both the Windows
and the Linux distro's binaries.

Their documentation is pretty extensive:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wsl/about

There may be some performance issues related to the filesystem
translation or other aspects of the personality module implementation
in the kernel, but I can't say much about those as I haven't really
used it.

  --Levi


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