Windows Subsystem for Linux



Running linux software on Windows would be convenient if it were seamless. Turns out it is, via the workaround of installing a miniature Linux distro supported by Windows APIs.

There are two flavours, WSL1 and WSL2, which have different technology, the distinction between which has been written about in various places, and I am hoping I do not need to care about.

tl;dr; everyone is using WSL2 now. We have always been at war with WSL1.

Installation

Classic install procedures (although really, just google this):

Invocation

After installing an Ubuntu distro I have an ubuntu.exe command. Cute! But slightly confusing. The wsl command can launch many different distros, and even launch into particular apps.

This one is a favourite of mine.:

wsl fish

Compatible terminals

Windows and linux use different terminal conventions. Blech. It can be slightly less grating to use a terminal which can run linux or windows programs. I use Cmder.

GUI

You need an X server. Also I suspect this is not technically supported?


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