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Microsoft Open Source Windows Linux

Microsoft Open Source Tool Lets You 'Bring Your Own Linux' To Windows ( 135

Long-time Slashdot reader Billly Gates writes: Debian is now available in the Windows app store. It joins Ubuntu, Suse Leap, SuSe enterprise, and Kali Linux for those who cannot or do not want to bother with a virtual machine or a full install of the OS. However, it included stable 9.3. 9.4 is available from the repository if you run apt-get update and apt-get upgrade.
"Fedora is not yet available, although Microsoft has stated openly that it is working to make it so," reports Computer Weekly. And there's more: Microsoft has also provided an open source tool called Microsoft WSL/DistroLauncher for users who want to build their own Linux package where a particular distribution is either a) not available yet or b) is available, but the user wants to apply a greater degree of customisation to it than comes as standard.
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Microsoft Open Source Tool Lets You 'Bring Your Own Linux' To Windows

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 07, 2018 @12:39PM (#56397823)

    What next?

    TempleOS anyone? /ducks

    • Hah. Let me know when I can

      yum install ms-windows-x86_64

      It would be nice if your could do it backwards.

    • I had never heard of TempleOS so I Googled it. I have just spent the last 2 hours watching videos on Terry Davis. Wow. What a character.
      • hahaha! yes same thing happened to me a while back, I had heard of it but never paid any attention until some friends of mine showed me one of his youtube videos. Man its a scary world out there. lol

  • by Alain Williams ( 2972 ) <> on Saturday April 07, 2018 @12:57PM (#56397885) Homepage

    sorry, I should have said 'Telemetry' !

    I wonder if this was at the behest of the NSA who were worried about spy-ware free Linux boxen; this lets the keep tabs on more people.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Indeed. Basically the only reason I see for Windows to "integrate Linux" is the fascist fuckups in the NSA fearing the cannot listen to everything anymore, like the perverted creeps they are. MS itself certainly can only lose here. Would be interesting to know what kind of extreme pressure was brought on them to make them do this.

      • by Gavagai80 ( 1275204 ) on Saturday April 07, 2018 @03:10PM (#56398429) Homepage

        MS can't possibly lose from being able to say their product can do everything their competitors can, including running those competitors for free. The "best of both worlds, no risk" argument is just what business wants to hear. And any home user who bothers to figure out WSL is someone who was likely to have tried dual-booting anyway so they can only gain there too.

    • Spending time & effort to find a way to run Linux distros inside Windows is like struggling to find a way to mount an Abrams tank on top of a Mini-Cooper.

      What's the point outside of a few edge-cases where it may possibly be helpful/convenient?


      • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Saturday April 07, 2018 @04:01PM (#56398613) Journal

        > Spending time & effort to find a way to run Linux distros inside Windows is like struggling to find a way to mount an Abrams tank on top of a Mini-Cooper.
        > What's the point outside of a few edge-cases where it may possibly be helpful/convenient?

        For the user, the point is that for 20 years Microsoft's strategy was to ensure vendor lock-in for corporate IT environments. A lot of companies therefore issue Windows desktops and won't provide Linux desktops. Microsoft did a pretty good job of making it difficult for large corporations to use anything but Windows because of all the inter-related proprietary stuff. An organization can easily run Windows or not run Windows, but if the company chose Windows it's been hard to add a few Linux desktops to the mix. Partially because everyone in corporate IT knows the Microsoft way of doing things, not cross-platform standards.

        I can be FAR more productive using Linux than Windows. Now, I can continue to use Linux, on the Windows desktop issued by corporate headquarters.

        • One of the casino corps I do electrical for here in Las Vegas supplies their devs and IT with Microsoft, Macintosh and Linux desktops and laptops upon request. I guess they don't let the small cost get in the way of helping their employees have a comfortable work environment? I don't know know the exact reason they allow it. I guess I will have to ask someone next time I'm there. But I personally think if someone can do their work on an other OS system and it doesn't interfere with production it should be r

          • Microsoft provides a big network system, with Active Directory at the center. Active Directory is a database for storing user information, a configuration management system, a DNS server, an email server, and about 20 other things. It interacts with a bunch of other products using Microsoft proprietary protocols. If a company buys into the Microsoft network plan, where Active Directory is the central brain of everything, it can be a hassle to use any non-Microsoft products anywhere in the network.

            If, on t

            • I really dont see what would stop my linux device from communicating with a microsoft dns server, or mail server or any of the file servers a company would use. config utilitys yes, but if its built around SNMP i dont see it not working either.

              • Any mail client can use standardized email protocols such as SMTP, pop3, and IMAP, to interface with any mail server that is based on standard protocols.

                In Microsoft-based networks, Outlook speaks MAPI with Exchange. There is no SMTP, IMAP, or pop3. MAPI is based on COM, a too-clever-by-half programming model that Microsoft developed COM (aka Active X) as the next version of Object Linking and Embedding, before the whole concept was obsoleted by HTML. Basically what COM is designed for is to set up

              • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
                A constant problem I have experienced is Windows systems will auto populate themselves into MS DNS. Linux systems will not, even if they are joined to the domain.
                Sometimes I've had success using 'nsupdate' to add the entry, but the DNS server seems to forget them periodically.
      • As someone who has been using the Linux-in-Windows for a year or more, perhaps I can answer your question. I do all my software development using the Linux sub-system: Python, finite state transducers, as well as TeX stuff. I could perhaps install Linux instead of Windows; the main reason I don't is that for nearly 30 years I've been using a keyboard remapper that is (afaict) unavailable in vanilla Linux. I've tried various Linux key mapping programs, and none does what my program does in Windows. Needl

      • Linux distros inside Windows is like struggling to find a way to mount an Abrams tank on top of a Mini-Cooper.

        Except they aren't running Linux or even components of it. They are running a few GNU userland tools. More like mounting the gun from an Abrams tank on a Mini-Cooper to end up with something that is small but still useful if someone is trying to carjack you. *

        Probably the worst car analogy on Slashdot in a while. :-)

    • Interestingly, I already use Linux in Windows for some of the things I no longer trust Windows for. Just not Microsoft's version of Linux, of course, because I will never trust that. I use VirtualBox.

      Of course, any VM running in Windows is just as vulnerable as any other piece of software, but it's an extra layer of difficulty. My VirtualBox VM's filesystem is encrypted, so a random piece of Windows malware can't just read its files indiscriminately, and any malware (and by that I mean software antagonis

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Tux is on the menu at microsoft!

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Saturday April 07, 2018 @12:59PM (#56397893)

    Eh... I'll wait for the Linux port. ;)

  • by rea1l1 ( 903073 ) on Saturday April 07, 2018 @01:01PM (#56397899) Journal

    I'd really appreciate the ability to switch between OSes like I can virtual desktops. Modern hardware certainly supports this potential.

    I hope someone within the Linux community returns with a competing feature, enabling a seamless OS transition, founded upon Linux, an OS that doesn't invade your privacy, while eventually providing additional sand boxing & integration features around Windows, locking it into it's own little garden.

    Could an authentic Microsoft Windows installation be forced into becoming a mere compatibility layer built on top of Linux?

    The best of both worlds: Windows compatibility coupled with Linux security.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You mean like WINE? ;)

    • Using two computers, one running Linux and the other Windows, and a KVM switch might be the simplest way to do what you want. Use a NAS to share files and you're pretty much covered.
    • Unlikely. It has been tried in the past numerous times (OS/2 et al), eventually OS vendors want to exclusively tie the end user to its platform.
      Any case of adapting will be a transitioning state.
    • by orin ( 113079 )
      This is possible. You create a second virtual desktop in Windows 10. You run VcXsrv full screen on that desktop, start your Windows Subsystem for Linux distro, configure display for 0.0, start your Linux desktop binaries and then run the Linux desktop there. You can then switch back to the Windows 10 desktop on the first virtual desktop.
  • Permissions? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BronsCon ( 927697 ) <> on Saturday April 07, 2018 @01:12PM (#56397947) Journal
    Have they fixed permissions mapping when accessing files on the Windows partition yet? If so, I'm excited for the update, because it's an issue I deal with daily.

    Their excuse is that they don't want to change Windows ACLs, and that's fine, I get that, but it's a poor excuse; WSL applies 0777 to all Windows files currently and, to add to it, doesn't seem to use Windows ACLs for the files within the lxss directory, which strongly implies that they're already storing Linux file permissions as metadata elsewhere, which is what they should be doing for Linux file permissions for Windows files -- defaulting to values mapped from Windows ACLs, of course.
    • Don't think so. You should ping rich turner [] and ask since he's been helpful, there's also an github+"uservoice" thing where you can post these issues.
      • The issue has been discussed at length on Github and MS has voiced that they have no interest in doing anything about it. Where do you think I read Microsoft's "excuse" for not fixing it?
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Saturday April 07, 2018 @01:14PM (#56397961) Journal
    That is what Microsoft said. Looks like the cancer has metastasized and spread to the brain!
  • Write an open source tool to detect dupes.

  • If I had to ( and I did for work ) I'd run Wndoze in a vm on linux ( I used VirtualBox ), but never the other way round.
  • Why would one want to do that? No, seriously.
  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Saturday April 07, 2018 @01:48PM (#56398107)

    Windows is becoming less and less usable and more and more unstable. The only applications left that really need it are MS office (because too many other people use it) and games. I am currently preparing a move of everything besides these two to Linux, because I pretty much have had enough. Spying, always changing GUI, bad features, insecurity, and general stupidity, arrogance and greed. MS really is in rapid decline. They were evil and incompetent before, but now they try very hard to top that. Yes, I am aware "Linux is user friendly, but it is selective about who its friends are", but fortunately I am not one of the masses that have to eat whatever dog-food MS gives them and I am quite capable to run Linux without the MS like atrocity that systemd is.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's just an emulator for the userland, and since stuff like LVM, ext4, etc. drivers are missing, it really is not any more useful than just running Cygwin in my opinion. If people need a real Linux kernel just run a Virtualbox VM, it's free and a headless Linux VM is very light on resources while being very fast.

  • []

    Just two days ago I set up CentOS on a Windows laptop provided by my employer using WSL-Distribution-Switcher. It'll download and run any distro published as a docker image on Docker Hub.

    Related: What terminal emulator are people using on Windows? I'm using wsl-terminal currently, but I'm curious if there are compelling alternatives. []

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...letting someone tow your Porsche around 24/7 instead of driving it yourself. It's slow, prone to collisions, you can't get everywhere and if the driver of the tow truck at some point says you can't turn right, there's nothing you can do about it.

  • Perhaps MS could sell me a nice proprietary version of Wine.
  • by geekprime ( 969454 ) on Saturday April 07, 2018 @03:21PM (#56398463)

    "Embrace, extend, and extinguish",[1] also known as "Embrace, extend, and exterminate",[2] is a phrase that the U.S. Department of Justice found[3] was used internally by Microsoft[4] to describe its strategy for entering product categories involving widely used standards, extending those standards with proprietary capabilities, and then using those differences to disadvantage its competitors. []

    • "Embrace, extend, and extinguish"

      Everyone remembers it. We also know what is involved and what it requires. So let's have a quick look at it:

      The embrace stage involves embracing a complete system, protocol whatever. Being compatible with it so that MS becomes a proper alternative to the previous use case. WSL only achieves a very small subset of embracing. They are able to run a few select GNU tools, nothing more. They haven't embraced Linux.

      The extend stage involves having sufficient market share of the target market to be able to force t

    • by bazorg ( 911295 )

      With Satya Nadella as CEO, Microsoft seems to be quite more interested in "Embrace, have the user pay rent for Azure-related things forever". It doesn't sound as nifty as the 3 E's of yesteryear but it's clearer than the Underpants gnomes strategy.

  • I won't run on my computer and I don't fucking care. I like Windows 7.
  • Is it able to run a non Linux system, for instance NetBSD?

    It depends on how it is implemented. Is it an hypervisor? A Linux kernel API emulation? A POSIX API?

    • by _merlin ( 160982 )

      It emulates the Linux kernel system calls and loads Linux ELF binaries. You won't be able to run NetBSD binaries with this, only Linux binaries.

  • Okay so now for the next wave, a windows version that runs in Ubuntu. _That_ would be nice.

  • Before too long they'll be convincing you that you don't ever NEED to 'install' Linux standalone. Once they accomplish that, Microsoft hegemony will be complete; they will OWN everything.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?