Windows

Windows Subsystem for Linux 2nd revision

On a previous article, I wrote my experiment with the first beta release of WSL with Anniversary Update. It was somewhat limited and I did not make much with it while it was exciting to have Bash within windows.

However, I got some annoying issue with updating package lists, which freeze at 0% and when aborting, the entire WSL will hang out. Did not figure what was the cause then I parked it for a while…

A few months ago, Microsoft has released Creators Update with major updates to the beta WSL bringing many features and bug fixes!

What is new?

Operating system upgraded to 16.04 and huge efforts done to enhance the experience.

Here are the major features that I really felt that was barring me from making use of WSL:

Environments Interop

The lack of this feature was killing the idea of WSL. Since the other environment was almost isolated, it was impossible to run applications through the environments interchangeably

This made a choice of sticking with my current terminals wiser.

Now, you can run Windows .exe binaries directly within bash and even better you can run installed apps in bash from CMD

notepad.exe file.txt

bash vim file.txt

This was incredibly reasonable to think of an immediate switch.

Symlinks

This also made using applications sharing access across the environments possible

e.g. .ssh folder

User Permissions issue

This was another pain issue, which some features require an elevated user permission like ping for example.

A lot more!

Those were my major features that made me switch right away. You can find the remaining changes officially here.

 

Install & upgrade

If you are new to WSL then you may need to check the official install guide.

To upgrade, Microsoft recommends uninstalling the old version and installing a fresh one (This result all files and changes loss!).

You can do so from any command line in Windows with admin privileges:

C:\> lxrun /uninstall /full /y
C:\> lxrun /install

Still, you got the option to upgrade without losing anything (not recommended), by invoking the following from within Ubuntu machine:

sudo do-release-upgrade

 

At last, Microsoft announces that it will drop beta and be fully supported and more Linux distributions will be available with next shipped fall creators update after a year of development.

I will be posting little series setting up WSL for development focused on PHP development explaining more in detail how to make a better development workflow out of it

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