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Microsoft Linux

Microsoft Continues Porting Visual C++ To Linux (microsoft.com) 159

Long-time Slashdot reader Billly Gates shared some news from Microsoft's Visual C++ blog: Visual Studio 2017 now lets developers write C++ code for Linux desktops, servers, and other devices without an extension, targeting specific architectures, including ARM: Visual Studio will automatically copy and remotely build your sources and can launch your application with the debugger... Today Visual Studio only supports building remotely on the Linux target machine. It is not limited to specific Linux distros, but we do have dependencies on the presence of some tools. Specifically, we need openssh-server, g++, gdb and gdbserver.
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Microsoft Continues Porting Visual C++ To Linux

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  • by WalrusSlayer ( 883300 ) on Saturday March 11, 2017 @11:45AM (#54018381)

    ...I wonder if they licensed any of that technology. I bought a copy of VisualGDB a few years ago and it was slick as hell. I had to port a bootloader written in C that was Windows-only, turning it into a simple command-line program on Linux. It was easy as using a native toolchain (easier, in fact, if you have Visual Studio muscle-memory), and so seamless that it was easy to forget that this was all over-the-wire interaction between a Linux box and Windows.

    In my case I was porting it over to a Raspberry Pi to prototype a portable diagnostic device for a hardware project. Came out swimmingly, was one of the highest-impact things I did for them. I was starting with all Windows code, both C and C#. Between VisualGDB and Mono, the porting was extremely easy to do.

  • This is yet another step in the disappearance of Windows altogether.
  • So basically they're just porting the IDE.
    Remind me again why I'd spend money on this instead of just freely using eclipse or netbeans or something?

    • by Gadget_Guy ( 627405 ) on Saturday March 11, 2017 @01:56PM (#54018999)

      So basically they're just porting the IDE.

      No. The IDE still runs under Windows. This extension uses SSH to run the compiler on a remote Linux system.

      Remind me again why I'd spend money on this instead of just freely using eclipse or netbeans or something?

      You don't have to spend money on Visual Studio. This extension works with the free Community edition as well as the paid version. But if you don't currently use Visual Studio then you don't need change just for this feature. It is only really useful if you also want to use the software to develop Windows and mobile applications.

      • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

        >> No. The IDE still runs under Windows. This extension uses SSH to run the compiler on a remote Linux system.

        OK well that just makes my point even more, especially given the compiler isn't even Microsoft's its g++. I feel like I'm totally missing something here. Or maybe there's nothing to miss?

        • You're missing it because you're considering it from your perspective. There are many C++ developers out there for whom the primary platform is Windows, but they increasingly need to also target OS X, Linux, Android etc. This makes it easy for them to continue using Visual Studio on their machines, while building, running and debugging code on those other systems.

          Another feature like that is Windows Subsystem for Linux. You wouldn't care about it if you live in Linux land entirely, but if you have Windows c

          • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

            Yeah you're right I haven't had anything to do with the Microsoft/Windows culture for decades (by choice), so I guess I'm just not gonna be able to mentally put myself in their shoes.

            Thanks for the info about VSCode though. I'll check it out.

  • Are they porting compiler and build system or the entire IDE?

    If they are porting IDE than with what? Isn't VS IDE done with WPF these days? Perhaps they target...ehem...WINE?

    Or are they rebuilding it around Visual Studio Code?

    • Are they porting compiler and build system or the entire IDE?

      If they are porting IDE than with what? Isn't VS IDE done with WPF these days? Perhaps they target...ehem...WINE?

      Or are they rebuilding it around Visual Studio Code?

      As usual, the Slashdot article title is misleading. What they are describing is not really the porting of Visual Studio to Linux, although MS has been hinting at that for awhile. What the article is describing is the integration of the IDE (running on Windows) with a Linux tool chain (running on Linux). Which per my earlier post, has been possible before with third-party Visual Studio add-ons. For some use cases it is a win.

      If you are not already a Visual Studio user and are developing exclusively for L

  • by El Cubano ( 631386 ) on Saturday March 11, 2017 @12:29PM (#54018585)

    If I were going to switch to anything other than gcc (or support anything in addition to it), I would first go for clang and then maybe icc. I can't imagine what value vc++ would add over those.

    gcc's warning/error messages are pretty awful and I really like that clangs almost always point me precisely to where the problem is, as opposed to where the problem finally made the compiler lose its mind. Does vcc++ improve on clang in that respect? If it does, I could supporting it as a build target for automated builds to get the nice diagnostics (I do this now for a project with clang), but I can't imagine it would be worthwhile for something that gets deployed.

    icc is nice if you are on Intel hardware and want the sooper-dooper extra special optimizations, but that is about it.

    • If you had gone as far as reading the summary, you might have noticed it doesn't actually use the Windows compiler on Linux. Instead it uses gcc.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      bits of clang have been showing up in Visual Studio for a while now.
      Clang with Microsoft CodeGen in VS 2015 Update 1 [microsoft.com]

      Clang is the C-LANGuage family front end for LLVM compiler. Microsoft is using it the same way: clang parses your files, but Microsoft CodeGen finishes the job.
      This means that source/syntax will be the same between VS and Linux, but on window's you'll get microsoft's optimizations instead of LLVM's.

    • by Threni ( 635302 )

      > I can't imagine what value vc++ would add over those.

      The wonderful VS IDE for debugging, as opposed to the piece of shit retro crap that is GDB? I hate Windows and all it stands for, but let's not kid outselves that it's time to flush that dated bollocks down the toilet and do some sensible debugging.

    • I agree that clang++ is better at the moment, I prefer it over g++ myself.
      However, as I understand it gcc has had a resurgence in effort and has caught up recently in some metrics (citation probably needed, whatever), and gcc could concievably overtake clang in the future.
      Microsoft wouldn't be wise to target a compiler purely based on which was superior at this point in time, rather they should base it on the compiler project's expected momentum in the next 5-10 years.
      Also note that they had already targete

  • by RightwingNutjob ( 1302813 ) on Saturday March 11, 2017 @12:45PM (#54018683)
    And I want it because...why?

    Maybe I'm the one with the problem. Given how easy it is to sell people something they already have for free (Dropbox, Slack, GotomyPC, etc), you'd think I'd get on the bandwagon and go into business selling people the ability to click their mouse or type Latin characters on their keyboards.
  • I'm more than curious.

    I find the VS debugger to be simply wonderful; as do others. In my institution, a lot of developers (mostly Ph.D. students) who have to target Linux, choose to run VS in a VM and develop/debug under Windows before recompiling under Linux. This is so popular that some have automated the process somewhat and perform Linux daily builds (only).

    I've used GDB in the past, but wasn't impressed: so I'm wondering why, if the VS debugger under Windows is so good, why don't more people don't do

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      GDB is very, very good. If you were "not impressed", then you did not get how to use it. One way to make it more "caveman" (people that cannot express themselves in written form) compatible is to use DDD.

      • GDB is very, very good. If you were "not impressed", then you did not get how to use it.

        What are your favorite (lesser known) features of GDB? I'm not saying you're wrong, just want to improve my knowledge.

      • My experience with GDB is quite out of date. I did a lot of realtime Linux C++ development for Alcatel Space. I did exactly what the GP mentioned: develop and debug core infrastructure on windows using VS, and then port to Linux.

        Keep in mind, I was used to platform infrastructure development on both Windows and Linux, and equally at ease with Visual Studio and VIM. In fact I much preferred VIM and G++ at that time.

        The reason I chose to use visual studio to implement the first infrastructure builds, was that

    • This does not replace gdb. It takes gdb - which is an extremely powerful, but also rather low-level debugger - and provides a high-level, simpler, but more convenient UI around it. Under the hood, it still talks to gdb.

      This is similar to how VC++ native debugger relates to dbg/windbg. The former is more high-level and easier to use, but the latter is more powerful and lets you do crazy things.

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Saturday March 11, 2017 @03:11PM (#54019331)

    The title here is extremely deceptive because MSVC isn't being ported to Linux at all. What they are doing is creating a way to target Linux. It's still just development on a Windows desktop, not development on a Linux desktop.

  • Sorry, but no. I will stay with what has worked well for a long time.

  • Is this going to be in the same vane as Borland's Kylix, which could only use it's own supplied libraries?
  • I have been using the VisualGDB product for linux development. If this works as good or better, I'm happy

    I have spent lots of time trying to find a decent IDE for linux, but none of the available options comes even close to Visual Studio

    Yeah, if I have no options, I can get work done on any system, but a good IDE makes everything easier

    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      >> but none of the available options comes even close to Visual Studio

      Of course they do. What you're really saying is that you personally don't want to spend the time/effort to learn something new.

      At least in my opinion both Eclipse and Netbeans are better than Visual Studio, especially since it still wont run natively on linux, To develop linux code with Visual Studio, you need a windows PC (running Visuaul studio) linked to a Linux PC that does the compiling/running/debugging remotely. You'd have

  • ...and we all know what comes next.
  • So, they've got a decent X server available for the Windows platform bundled with that?

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