Windows' Linux

Michael Torrie torriem at
Tue Jul 3 15:56:47 MDT 2018

On 07/03/2018 03:13 PM, Dan Egli 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've played around with it on one of my virtual machines.  First off,
WSL is a bit like the Wine project. It's a translation and thunk layer
that emulates the Linux kernel.  Under this kernel you run a real
distro, most likely Ubuntu.  Think of it is a Linux-compatible kernel
running a GNU/Linux user space.  It's not a virtual machine, and it
doesn't run the real kernel.

It works, although I don't yet think it supports unix sockets, so most
desktop environments won't run, and some graphical apps won't run
either, but there are a few tricks to get around that.  When I last used
it, the integration between Windows and Linux wasn't yet that great so
you couldn't make a script on the Linux side that would control things
on the Windows side or vice versa.

Some people are saying this has completely replaced Cygwin for them, but
they must be using Cygwin differently from how I used it, as I don't see
WSL as a replacement for bash on Windows, and using Cygwin tools to
script and automate Windows.

If you were a developer who liked  Windows but needed to target Linux,
WSL would be a great tool for you. I hear that integration is much
better now, and that Microsoft is soon going to support running Linux
server software in WSL.

For me it was just a novelty that quickly wore off.  If you want to try
it, you can download complete images for VirtualBox from Microsoft of
Windows 10.  Windows 10 will run indefinitely unactivated.

Choose the MS Edge image with Windows 10 64-bit.

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