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Microsoft Promotes Windows Subsystem For Linux "WSL" To GA Status

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  • #21
    Originally posted by Quackdoc View Post

    I dont mind it, I just wish we had a better way to run windows inside of VMs, maybe one day, well at least we have wine
    The question is: what's really missing?

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    • #22
      Originally posted by Artim View Post

      Thank god it still does. I actually don't get how people can like WSL2. It an enormous ressource hog (obviously as it is a VM and not just a backwards WINE) compared to WSL1 and vital capabilities are missing.
      they both have their pros and cons, for me I typically install arch in wsl2, so it's fairly light weight. not any heavier then a typical minimal VM, maybe slightly more ram then just using qemu.

      Afaik you still can't connect to the internet from within WSL2 when there's a VPN running on Windows (a problem existing since day 1 and still existing to this day for all I know),
      Never had this issue, and I daily run wireguard, so maybe it already has been fixed? but it's not something I ran into in the first place.


      and while you can't access external drive's block device layer from WSL1, at least you can access them on a file level pretty easily. For all I know on WSL2 you still need to compile a custom Kernel with USB-over-IP for WSL and then a Windows program serving as the server (which means you'll have to use Visual Studio in some capacity, at least last time I checked there was no way to cross compile). And all that trouble just to access a thumb drive, which is a base feature of any modern VM software?
      this was actually somewhat recently fixed for storage devices using wsl --mount. though its still needed for other usb devices, storage is fine now

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      • #23
        Originally posted by kozman View Post

        It does make me wonder what the long game is with WSL. If this is a crawl, walk, run, fly strategy then I suppose WSL1.0 was crawl, and WSL2.0 is walk. What's the userbase saying about it and is it simply a toy that lets those in Windows-land play but with no serious look towards production-level use. As a Windows guy who's played with everything from BeOS, QNX, BSDs, Plan9 and walks around with a Parted Magic bootable USB in his pocket, WSL simply confounds me. My perception of it is simply Microsoft selling it as "Hey, Windows can also do this thing." But I just don't see the utility of it when you can bare metal and get get full on perf rather than this off brand environment. Maybe I don't know enough about it to even judge it but it certainly doesn't seem to make much news that I come across. Gonna have to wait until WSL3.0?
        Well, I like it as I'm currently stuck on Windows for the time being. My laptop wouldn't be able to handle a full blown Linux VM, so it most likely would have much more trouble the other way round. But I know I will need Windows sooner or later as WINE and implementations based on it like bottles are great but far from perfect. I don't see dual boot as an option as Microsoft is too keen on making it as difficult as possible to sustain. So until I can switch to a new laptop (which will take at least another year since I have quite a list of expectations as I want it to be future proof for another 10 years) and banish Windows to a (hopefully well restricted) VM WSL1 is the best solution currently to still have the many benefits of having Linux like a proper way of installing software and better support for (cross)compiling very helpful software that would be a headache to get running on Windows. So as much as I despise pretty much everything MS does, for the time being it does make my life at least a little bit easier.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by Quackdoc View Post
          Never had this issue, and I daily run wireguard, so maybe it already has been fixed? but it's not something I ran into in the first place.
          I understand too little about the implementation of Wireguard, maybe it only works because it's Wireguard and not a classical VPN. But even if not, at least MS is making some progress after completely ignoring it for a long time.


          this was actually somewhat recently fixed for storage devices using wsl --mount. though its still needed for other usb devices, storage is fine now
          Well at least something. It was a disgrace how long such a basic feature was missing and how ridiculously crazy the solution was. May I ask how the access works? As in, do you have only file level access like on WSL1 or even block device access, so you could just use dd to write a live Linux distro to it instead of finding a GUI program capable of doing it?

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          • #25
            Originally posted by Linuxxx View Post
            In the end, Microsoft's embrace mentality always turns out to be a winning strategy for them, unfortunately...
            This is a not a one way road.
            1. At first, this will bring the Linux infrastructure to a new userbase. This also means that they will generate money out of it (they as in the FOSS projects).
            2. After that, this will also bring developers new tooling and to be fair, right now it's easier to set up WSL to develop new things then to set up a windows development environment. So go figure.
            3. Last, but not least it can in no way replace bare metal Linux. People switch to Linux because of 3 things: Win control over data, save up on money for things like license costs, ease development/maintenance workloads. None of them will be solves by WSL.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by kozman View Post

              It does make me wonder what the long game is with WSL. If this is a crawl, walk, run, fly strategy then I suppose WSL1.0 was crawl, and WSL2.0 is walk. What's the userbase saying about it and is it simply a toy that lets those in Windows-land play but with no serious look towards production-level use. As a Windows guy who's played with everything from BeOS, QNX, BSDs, Plan9 and walks around with a Parted Magic bootable USB in his pocket, WSL simply confounds me. My perception of it is simply Microsoft selling it as "Hey, Windows can also do this thing." But I just don't see the utility of it when you can bare metal and get get full on perf rather than this off brand environment. Maybe I don't know enough about it to even judge it but it certainly doesn't seem to make much news that I come across. Gonna have to wait until WSL3.0?
              Well, here's a hint... think about how much software these days is developed to run in Linux containers... Docker, Kubernetes, etc. And WSL2 provides a relatively easy way for a developer to run Linux containers on their Windows laptop. The utility should be obvious...

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              • #27
                Originally posted by torsionbar28 View Post
                Correct on all counts, but can you blame them? The corporate desktop is cornerstone of the Microsoft empire. All other Microsoft products are tied to it - MS Office, Exchange, Active Directory, Sharepoint, etc. They'll defend their corporate peecee marketshare like their existence depends on it, because it does.
                Microsoft is not really tied to the Windows desktop anymore, due to Microsoft Office 365 (online on the web), Sharepoint 365 (online on the web), and Active Directory can be used to manage all kinds of devices not just Windows, you can use Linux and Android with Active Directory too.

                Originally posted by skeevy420 View Post

                My primary usage is accessing Linux file systems and disks on Windows so I can have the file system benefits of Linux and the gaming benefits of Windows at the same time. There's the elephant in the room of DirectStorage, but, all things considered, copy/pasting games to the right drive isn't a big deal.
                What are the file system benefits of Linux?
                I don't care much about the file system, it it is invisible to me, ext4 and NTFS both work the same for me, and I don't really notice any difference.

                Originally posted by Danny3 View Post
                I still find it garbage compared to the real deal and will continue to recommend people Linux!
                How is it garbage? What exactly is garbage with it? You're just saying that to shit on it, or do you actually have any real issues with it that you've experienced?

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by Artim View Post

                  I would be very surprised if it was impossible. Sure, it currently looks like nobody has done it. But it doesn't look like it's impossible, just like nobody is interested enough. After all, you'd need to port all modifications MS made from 5.15 all the way to 6.x. While that probably isn't impossible, it will most likely be quite a lot of work.
                  I had a look inside a WSL Ubuntu « VM »
                  * /boot directory is empty
                  * /usr/lib/modules too
                  * no GRUB
                  * etc ...
                  I wonder how someone can install and boot on an other Linux kernel. On a screenfetch / uname, you find a beautiful MS fingerprint meaning that the kernel is dependant of NT WSL software ... There're too much things missing, it's a not VM anymore.

                  At worst, it could be possible to compile a Linux kernel (kernel headers availability), but it can't be installed and booted.
                  Last edited by TNZfr; 23 November 2022, 08:24 AM.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by TNZfr View Post

                    I had a look inside a WSL Ubuntu « VM »
                    * /boot directory is empty
                    * /usr/lib/modules too
                    * no GRUB
                    * etc ...
                    I wonder how someone can install and boot on an other Linux kernel. On a screenfetch / uname, you find a beautiful MS fingerprint meaning that the kernel is dependant of NT WSL software ... There're too much things missing, it's a VM anymore.

                    At worst, it could be possible to compile a Linux kernel (kernel headers availability), but it can't be installed and booted.
                    Vague circumstancial evidence is no evidence at all. The kernel source code is available, look at it and use it to prove it's not a VM.

                    Of course it will rely on NT stuff as that's much more efficient than translating everything. They also added their own OpenGL over DirectX implementation for Mesa to be able to pass graphics through to Windows for GPU acceleration. But that's not the definition of a VM.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by TNZfr View Post

                      I had a look inside a WSL Ubuntu « VM »
                      * /boot directory is empty
                      * /usr/lib/modules too
                      * no GRUB
                      * etc ...
                      I wonder how someone can install and boot on an other Linux kernel. On a screenfetch / uname, you find a beautiful MS fingerprint meaning that the kernel is dependant of NT WSL software ... There're too much things missing, it's a VM anymore.

                      At worst, it could be possible to compile a Linux kernel (kernel headers availability), but it can't be installed and booted.
                      First off, here is Microsoft's fork of the kernel for WSL2, required by the GPL, and used by people to compile custom versions.
                      https://github.com/microsoft/WSL2-Linux-Kernel

                      Second off, with a simple search, here is instructions on compiling USB-IP into the Microsoft kernel.
                      https://kumekay.com/compiling-custom-kernel-for-wsl2/

                      Third, Win11's Android is based off the same thing WSL2 underpinnings, which is why there are custom android distros you can install to get the full Google Play store. I think they are using custom kernels in some cases, but I could be wrong on that.

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