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[dupe] Microsoft and Canonical partner to bring Ubuntu to Windows 10 (zdnet.com)
535 points by raddad on March 30, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 476 comments

Some additional details from Scott Hanselman:


"This is a real native Bash Linux binary running on Windows itself. It's fast and lightweight and it's the real binaries. This is an genuine Ubuntu image on top of Windows with all the Linux tools I use like awk, sed, grep, vi, etc. It's fast and it's lightweight. The binaries are downloaded by you - using apt-get - just as on Linux, because it is Linux. You can apt-get and download other tools like Ruby, Redis, emacs, and on and on. This is brilliant for developers that use a diverse set of tools like me."

"This runs on 64-bit Windows and doesn't use virtual machines. Where does bash on Windows fit in to your life as a developer?

If you want to run Bash on Windows, you've historically had a few choices.

Cygwin - GNU command line utilities compiled for Win32 with great native Windows integration. But it's not Linux. HyperV and Ubuntu - Run an entire Linux VM (dedicating x gigs of RAM, and x gigs of disk) and then remote into it (RDP, VNC, ssh) Docker is also an option to run a Linux container, under a HyperV VM Running bash on Windows hits in the sweet spot. It behaves like Linux because it executes real Linux binaries. Just hit the Windows Key and type bash. "

This doees sound pretty funny when you think about it. "Our latest improvement to Windows is...

Adding Linux"

This is such a big deal though, this really shows Microsoft's commitment to the new .net Core initiative, and their push for linux support

Honestly, seems like all roads here lead to Microsoft swallowing Linux userbase whole.

What's next, RedHat on Server?

Swallowing? No. Supporting, yes! We want Windows to be your home - the best place to build apps for all the platforms and all the devices. Period.

In case you've not noticed, this is a very, VERY different Microsoft, one I re-joined recently precisely to work on this very feature! :D

If you want Windows to be Linux users' home, then how isn't it swallowing them and dragging them from an open source environment to a closed source one?

More questions: Will it be backported to Windows 8.1? How does it differ from CoLinux and andLinux?

>If you want Windows to be Linux users' home, then how isn't it swallowing them and dragging them from an open source environment to a closed source one?

because no one is forcing linux users to do anything. can you really not see the difference between giving an option to developers and "dragging linux users"

> We want Windows to be your home

I'd rather have a home I have control over, or even trust in.

I'm not commenting on the "good or badness" of this move - it's a brilliant power play from MSFT

Replying to myself for a back pat. Well done, self. You called it.

Basically what Apple did from OS9 to OSX. 'Latest improvement is to add OS9 to NextStep'

This ad seems relevant (OSX => Windows, UNIX => Linux, /dev/null => NUL): http://xahlee.info/i/apple_unix_ad.jpg

Just wait until you start systemd on Windows. ROFL

"The Jock/Geek convergence, it's the end of the world!"

No. It may be Ubuntu, but it's not Linux. It isn't Linux, anymore than running a Linux userland on NetBSD's Linux "kernel personality" is Linux.

That's being pedantic, honestly. Yes, technically Linux is only the kernel and technically running the Ubuntu run-time on a different kernel isn't running Linux.

However, "Linux" is almost always a reference to GNU tools and the Linux Kernel. It may not be semantically accurate, but take that up with the same people that made literally mean both itself and its opposite.

That's being pedantic, honestly.

Let's try the opposite. Say someone got Wine working to the point where it was very nearly, perfectly indistiguishable from Windows and they put up a blog post saying "Everything works just as it should under Windows, because it is Windows." Microsoft's lawyers would come around with a C&D, and calling them pedants wouldn't invalidate their case.

He could have said "it's just like Linux, right down to the kernel interface" or "Everything works just like Ubuntu, because the userland is Ubuntu". Succinct and correct. Precision matters.

Your points are fair, but color with the fact that the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is build to be distro-agnostic. We picked Ubuntu in this first version due to its popularity with developers, but there are few technical reasons (other than us fully and accurately implementing the necessary syscalls) why it shouldn't support other distro's userland environments in the future.

Knowing this, what should we call it?

Windows Subsystem for Running POSIX + Linux Syscall API Compatible Userland Tools? WSRPLSACUMT? :)

I'm genuinely interested on what you all feel would be a good way to think about naming moving forward.

There's nothing wrong with "Windows Subsystem for Linux".

But there's a difference between "This is Ubuntu running on WSL" or "This is Ubuntu running on our Linux compatibility layer", and "This is Linux".

> I'm genuinely interested on what you all feel would be a good way to think about naming moving forward.

I did actually give this some thought, for what it's worth. There are problems with "GNU" in the name and problems with "Ubuntu" in the name.

But it seems to me that Microsoft has a naming scheme that it is perhaps unaware of. See https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11417059 . (-:

> Let's try the opposite. Say someone got Wine working to the point where it was very nearly, perfectly indistiguishable from Windows and they put up a blog post saying "Everything works just as it should under Windows, because it is Windows." Microsoft's lawyers would come around with a C&D, and calling them pedants wouldn't invalidate their case.

Except that isn't the opposite, it's an entirely different situation.

1) It isn't Windows. It's a complete rewrite of the Windows API's. That is not the same thing that's happening here.

2) A C&D isn't a case, it's a piece of paper (politely) asking you to do something. Calling something Windows and it actually being an infringement on Windows patents are entirely different issues.

> Precision matters.

In carefully crafted theoretical situations feigning as analogies to this situation? Sure. In the real world? Hardly.

Android is Linux, but doesn't have your traditional GNU or minimal busybox userland that you'd expect.

Debian GNU/kFreeBSD is Debian, but it isn't Linux.

Mac OS X with GNU tools via MacPorts/Fink/Homebrew is OS X with a GNU userland, but it isn't Linux.

Windows 10 with an Ubuntu userland is Ubuntu, but it isn't Linux.

Linux is a kernel.

Thank you for proving my point on being pedantic.

Xe appears to have proven the opposite of your point, if anything.

Can somebody tell me straightforwardly whether a linux kernel is actually involved in this WinBuntu thing or not?

No, it is not.

> A team of sharp developers at Microsoft has been hard at work adapting some Microsoft research technology to basically perform real time translation of Linux syscalls into Windows OS syscalls. Linux geeks can think of it sort of the inverse of "wine" -- Ubuntu binaries running natively in Windows.


MSYS is not Cygwin and IMHO is way better. Yes, is not Linux, but is a native binary without emulation (translation?) layer. It's been around for ages, before I did cross-compiling from Linux to Windows, that's what I used in Windows.


MSYS and MSYS2 actually are Cygwin-- the original MSYS being a (horribly out of date) fork of Cygwin that never really pulled much from upstream, and MSYS2 attempting to track upstream Cygwin more closely.

You're getting confused with MinGW, which uses MSYS to build native Windows executables. They need MSYS (as a Cygwin-derived emulation layer) because tools like GCC or Bash expect the system to support POSIX APIs and have POSIX semantics-- for example, Windows has no equivalent to a POSIX fork() call. The code you're compiling under MinGW has no MSYS or Cygwin dependencies, but the compiler and tools themselves (gcc, bash, the linker, etc.) do.

>MSYS and MSYS2 actually are Cygwin

Not the person you're replying to, but interesting ...

>tools like GCC or Bash expect the system to support POSIX APIs and have POSIX semantics-- for example, Windows has no equivalent to a POSIX fork() call.

So do Cygwin and/or MSYS emulate the fork() call on Windows? and if so, do you have any idea how that is done? Just interested, since I have a Unix background - not at deep OS level, but at app level and also at the level of the interface between apps and the OS (using system calls, etc.).

> So do Cygwin and/or MSYS emulate the fork()

Yes. That's one thing we spent considerable engineering effort on in this first version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux: We implement fork in the Windows kernel, along with the other POSIX and Linux syscalls.

This allows us to build a very efficient fork() and expose it to the GNU/Ubuntu user-mode apps via the fork(syscall).

We'll be publishing more details on this very soon.

Interesting! thanks. The original Unix fork() was found to be somewhat expensive in resources (a little surprising since it was the only way to create a child process), later there was vfork() (copy-on-write) (maybe innovated by BSD), and I read Linux's clone() does even better, though not looked into it in detail.

fork would copy the entire address space of the process, which was wasteful when you're usually going to just throw all of that memory away by calling exec. BSD added vfork to optimize the `if (fork() == 0) exec(...)` scenario, by not copying the memory, and just pausing and then borrowing memory from the parent, until exec is called. Modern operating systems use copy on write pages for fork, so instead of copying all of memory, you just need to copy the page tables.

> then borrowing memory from the parent, until exec is called

What does that mean?

It means that if the child process actually modifies the memory then those modifications will be visible in the parent process, because they're both using the same address space. It's essentially an awful hack that was added to BSD at a time when it didn't yet use copy-on-write for fork() to achieve the same performance with vfork()+exec() that you would get from a CreateProcess()-like API.

That's why the child is allowed to do almost nothing:

       the behavior is undefined if the process created by vfork()
       either modifies any data other than a variable of type  pid_t  used  to
       store  the  return  value from vfork(), or returns from the function in
       which vfork() was called, or calls any other function  before  success‐
       fully calling _exit(2) or one of the exec(3) family of functions.


In Linux, fork(), vfork(), and clone() all use the same underlying machinery, with just a few different flags. clone() is the most general, with flags for what to share; those flags in particular include all the Linux namespaces that serve as the basis for containers. fork() just uses clone() with a hardcoded set of flags, and vfork() does the same as fork() except that it doesn't schedule the parent process until the child calls exec.

Interesting, will have to check that out.

How does this new fork differ from the already existing NtCreateProcess with a NULL section handle that was used to implement fork in the old SUA/POSIX subsystem?

>We implement fork in the Windows kernel

So will this be only on Windows 10?

Yes-- the Linux stuff is all coming in the Windows 10 Anniversary update this summer.

> So do Cygwin and/or MSYS emulate the fork() call on Windows? and if so, do you have any idea how that is done?

Cygwin does some pretty horrific hacks to emulate it. It basically creates a paused child running the same binary, fills in its memory, stores the register context of where it came from in a shared memory, and then resumes the child. The child on startup detects that it was forked, and then looks into shared memory to resume running at the place of the fork.

edit: It's even worse than I remembered: https://www.cygwin.com/faq.html#faq.api.fork

Wow. That sure is complex.

MSYS (as part of MinGW project) doesn't use Cygwin AFAIK; with the licensing implications that it has, because Windows programs written with Cygwin run on top of a copylefted compatibility DLL that must be distributed with the program, along with the program's source code (quoting Wikipedia).

In fact the binaries, that are compiled with MinGW, link with MSVCRT by default (Microsoft Visual C Run-Time DLL). So no compatibility layer, and they don't rely on Cygwin.

Please distinguish carefully between MSYS and MinGW. MSYS (or MSYS2) programs runs on top of a copylefted compatibility DLL that is suspiciously similar to Cygwin. They must be GPL-compatible. MinGW programs link with MSVCRT. They are compiled by GCC toolchain programs, most of which are MSYS programs.

wait wait wait, will I have access to the whole repositories of ubuntu via apt-get or just to a windows repository made on purpose?

In any way, for me, this is a great news. The fact was really hard to work with python/ruby/node/etc under windows and the fact I hate powershell were the two main things about why I work on a linux os all the time.

> will I have access to the whole repositories of ubuntu via apt-get

Yes; full, standard, repo access [1].

> With full access to all of Ubuntu user space > Yes, that means apt, ssh, rsync, find, grep, awk, sed, sort, xargs, md5sum, gpg, curl, wget, apache, mysql, python, perl, ruby, php, gcc, tar, vim, emacs, diff, patch... > And most of the tens of thousands binary packages available in the Ubuntu archives!

[1] http://blog.dustinkirkland.com/2016/03/ubuntu-on-windows.htm...

I've never met anyone that tried to do some scripting with PowerShell and didn't fall in love with it, that's why I find it difficult to believe that you hate it. Or that you tried it.

You might hate the terminal where PowerShell runs, but I don't think you hate Powershell.

I see a future where devs move to Windows due to Bash and stay due to PowerShell.

I've done some terrible, terrible automation using PowerShell and PS Remoting across dozens of Windows servers, and wanted to smash my screen on multiple occasions.

First, PS Remoting is terrible compared to SSH. Commands fail randomly on a small percentage of systems, and the only options to troubleshoot are to login manually to the remote system, and try a number of things, including rebooting the remote system (not very good for servers).

Second, debugging is terrible compared to bash - sure PowerShell ISE allows you to step through your code line by line, however, I don't have anything like "bash -x script.sh" which lets me see the actual execution and return code of every line of my scripts.

Third, bash has a much simpler way to chain output through multiple programs using pipes and treating input/output as simple text. PowerShell is a pseudo programming language with objects and other data types that just don't enable this type of chaining in the same simple and easily understandable way.

It took me weeks to write a PowerShell script that used PS Remoting to loop through a list of provided servers, install a service, set the RunAs user, start the service, create a secret file, and EFS encrypt that file as a specific user. I could have written the same script in hours using bash for Linux boxes. It would have been much more efficient by using tools like GNU parallel.

I'm not sure how anyone that's used both PowerShell and bash for any serious work could say PowerShell is better, unless they're a .NET developer and appreciate being able to blend .NET objects into their scripts, but to me, that just breaks the simple modular composability of the *nix philosphy.

We might have very different use cases I guess. I script a lot to work with data, not to automate things.

I feel very comfortable getting a stream of data and treating it with sed, awk, grep and whatever; but once I worked with objects it feels much more data-oriented.

And please don't get me wrong, I've been in love with Bash since a Slackware CD fell on my hands in the 90s. I just was mind-blown by PS after making fun of it for years - just because the default terminal where it runs is less than great.

I guess this thread proves the point of bringing Bash to Windows: Different people, different uses, different needs and solution. And that makes me happy :)

so is there a better terminal available for PowerShell?

(preferably for win7, because I run Linux at home and win7 is the most likely platform I may spend some time elsewhere)

I do appreciate, from all I've heard about PowerShell, it might be an interesting environment to try some scripting in. The actual shell/programming language can't be (much) worse than bash--I mean let's admit, bash is pretty ancient and therefore didn't have the advantages of progress in designing programming languages we have made in the past decade(s).

The terminal is inferior IMHO, but the language is far superior.

Of course, if you're too used to Bash and its paradigm there's a learning curve in PowerShell. Not steep, though :-)

The killer features for me are the objects and being able to seamlessly use C# libraries in my scripts.

I wrote a few 10- to 20-line scripts, but got lost in the documentation every time. You have to wade through mud to get anything simple done. Statements/command lines easily wrap around an 80-character window due to their verbosity. The worst is that every command has about 40+ options, most but not all of them the same as for other commands. Sorry, not for me.

Powershell is so foreign with its typed pipes to those of us who are accustomed to the string based pipes that I have a very hard time falling in love with it.

Exactly. I mean did we really just jump straight from the worst shell in history (the windows command prompt) to one that supports tmux?

However, I don't know if this is the case. I remember in the livestream Meyers saying that they will enable you to choose any shell you want "powershell, dos, bash, and more coming soon". If they just supported _any_ ubuntu binary natively, I don't know why he would've said "more coming soon"

Windows has had powershell for a while, and there is a good argument that its better than the *nix shell because it supports strongly typed objects. Many will disagree, of course, but keep in mind that cmd.exe hasn't been the windows shell of choice for many years now.

screen and tmux don't appear to be supported yet due to issues with terminal emulation. But they're working on it.

With some luck they'll work with Conemu. BTW, it's 3-clause BSD, so you can peek, Microsoft. :)


> This is a real native Bash Linux binary running on Windows itself.

How does it work without VM? I'm super curious!

Have a look at FreeBSD's linuxulator. It basically maps syscalls (and a bunch of other stuff) from one OS to another. Alexander Leidinger has written a whole lot of blog posts about it - this one's a good start: http://www.leidinger.net/blog/2010/10/27/the-freebsd-linuxul...

Is there a source for this being a syscall emulation layer and not some kind of colocation of the linux kernel in a subsystem somehow?

The latter would be much more interesting to me, since what I really want out of "running linux on my desktop" is for it to actually act like the linux machines my code is targeting, and I'm dubious that a syscall layer will achieve that to the degree I want.

One of my coworkers is from MS and worked on the Android apps on Windows project. This comes out of that cancelled work: It's a full implementation of Linux syscalls in user mode that registers a driver to perform kernel-mode tasks on behalf of the subsystem. The NT kernel has always been fairly agnostic and not tied specifically to Win32; it originally had an OS/2 text-mode and POSIX subsystem in addition to Win32. The NT kernel even uses a Unix-like "\\?\" root filesystem where disks, kernel objects, sockets, etc are mounted.

From what I can gather Microsoft is paying Canonical to help with a few user-mode bits and the Windows apt-get stuff uses the official Canonical sources.

As I said to him: "NT is the only major OS I know of that has always had personality subsystems. Cutler’s vision finally pays off after 3 decades of waiting"

> "Cutler’s vision finally pays off after 3 decades of waiting."


But only because the Interix-derived POSIX subsytem was, and is, little-known and vastly underappreciated. Had it been better known, the payoff might have come a decade or more sooner. There are a fair number of questions being asked now, about the new Linux subsystem, where the answer is "No; but the old POSIX subsystem had that.".

* Does it support pseudo-terminals? No, according to the demonstration video; but the old POSIX subsystem did. (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11415843)

* Does it let you kill Win32 processes? No; but the old POSIX subsystem did. (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11415872)

* Does it support managing daemons? No; but the old POSIX subsystem did. (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11416376)

* Does it support GUI programs? No (say the people behind it themselves, although I suspect that it could run X clients); but the old POSIX subsystem did. (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11391961) (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/bb463223.aspx)

I remember having a Microsoft developer (I'm afraid I forget her name — Six?) come and visit us several years ago to demonstrate the then-new SFU 3.0.

Seeing her send SIGSTOP to a running MSWORD.EXE process and observe it stop updating its window in response to expose events was splendid. :-)

I love your last paragraph. Exactly what I was thinking. NT Subsystems were its party trick and its taken far too long for them to be introduced on the grand stage. I bet Dave Cutler is smiling his face off!

> "NT is the only major OS I know of that has always had personality subsystems."

In what way is a "subsystem" different than a "library" or a "process" or a "driver" (if it runs in kernel space)?

Any process can use the native API. What's special about a "subsystem"?

What was his vision?

I know that Dave Cutler was heavily involved in designing NT, and was earlier the same with DEC VMS. (Had read the book Inside Windows NT.)

But don't know what vision you refer to. Was it about the personality subsystems?

Before leaving for MS, Cutler worked on an OS codenamed "Mica" which ran on top of an architecture named PRISM (which was a predecessor to the Alpha). The idea behind Mica was that it was a microkernel which hosted VMS and Unix personalities on top.

It is widely claimed and believed that when he moved with his team to MS that he reimplemented Mica as the NT kernel. http://www.textfiles.com/bitsavers/pdf/dec/prism/mica/

Close, except ...

There is NO Windows "apt-get stuff" - it's just apt-get. From Ubuntu.

Thankyou for this concise summary. Much clearer now.

Thanks, this is what I was actually looking for. :)

From linux(4):

     The linux module provides limited Linux ABI (application binary inter-
     face) compatibility for userland applications.  The module	provides the
     following significant facilities:

     +o	 An image activator for	correctly branded elf(5) executable images

     +o	 Special signal	handling for activated images

     +o	 Linux to native system	call translation

     It	is important to	note that the Linux ABI	support	it not provided
     through an	emulator.  Rather, a true (albeit limited) ABI implementation
     is	provided.

"Mapping syscalls from one OS to another" was really just an example to give the OP an idea of how this sort of thing works without a VM.

Edit: Nevermind then

I wasn't asking about freebsd (I've used that, even!), I was asking about this new thing on Windows and whether there's been official word that it is indeed the same sort of thing. Looks like it is indeed this sort of thing, though.

A good few years ago now I used to use a project called cooperative Linux that was like what you describe - a user mode Linux kernel running as a service in windows.

Yeah there were actually a couple of projects along this line at various points, but they always suffered in various ways from not being well integrated into the system. What you really want is for the colocated kernel to have first class access to some basic things about the primary kernel (like file systems -- including page caching and networking) so they're not going through an expensive and awkward translation layer.

Cygwin and things like colinux exist on opposite ends of that awkward divide, but something officially supported by the OS could maybe straddle it better.

I feel it is related to Windows Server container. Maybe Ubuntu works like a Docker container on Windows.

There was also another project I worked with a while back called LBW (http://cowlark.com/lbw/) which allowed some unmodified Linux binaries to run on windows using Internix and some really neat syscall handler trickery.

They added a subsystem in Windows that responds to Linux APIs.

In other words, they're not using "Linux" at all. It's an Ubuntu userland on top of the Windows kernel, similar to how Nexenta was an Ubuntu userland on top of the OpenSolaris kernel.

You pretty much nailed it :)

They've had a POSIX subsystem (SUA) for a while, but it's kind of ancient. I assume they resurrected it and implemented some Linux-specific APIs, which would actually be SO COOL.

No - this is a whole new thing.

The Windows POSIX subsystem which shipped in NT 3.5.1 was a minimal implementation of POSIX syscall API plus a userland toolset. That was replaced with Interix which was renamed Services for Unix (SFU) which had a more comprehensive kernel implementation and more up to date userland. However that tech was not resurrected to build the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

Importantly, WSL doesn't ship with a distro - we download a genuine Ubuntu userland image at install-time and then run binaries within it.

> Importantly, WSL doesn't ship with a distro - we download a genuine Ubuntu userland image at install-time and then run binaries within it.

So can we use WSL by itself and pick a different distro, if we'd rather use say Alpine or openSUSE or Arch's userland?

> However that tech was not resurrected ...

I, for one, would like to see it resurrected. It's exceedingly useful, and is one major reason that I am not, nor will be, using Windows 10. This new subsystem does not have the things that I use SFU/SFUA for. Nor does it have the BSD-style toolset of SFU/SFUA.

Does Windows 10 still ship with the OS/2 subsystem? (os2ss.exe)


So LINE on Windows like WINE on Linux?

Seriously:shows an appreciation of where a lot of the workload for computer programmers is these days.

Came here to say that. It'd be nice if they open-sourced it so it wasn't yanked away from under our feet one day :) But maybe they are? I shouldn't presume they are not.

Lol "linux is a cancer" has new meaning now :)

Is it a cancer if it doesn't kill you, but actually helps you be stronger? Maybe Linux is more like gut bacteria now. Linux is E.Coli?

e.coli isn't a gut bacterium, ... is it?

Think of it as Wine, reversed.


Emulator Not In Windows

Sorry it's not recursive.

ENIW is 'Nix In Windows

Enterprise Networked Internet Workstation?

Everywhere Now Is Windows


Curious to see what's the support of the Windows API then.

Follow up questions would be if it will support kernel-dependent utils like tcpdump, ifconfig, etc.

I wonder too. I think that even the win32-native msys2 ships with a bash that uses cygwin's dll. Apparently some POSIX/Linux system calls are extremely hard to emulate under win32, such as fork: https://cygwin.com/cygwin-ug-net/highlights.html (search for "Process creation"), which I'd imagine would be critical in a shell for handling redirections, pipes, and job control.

Apparently they re-implemented the Linux API's along with the ability to run Linux executables directly.

The same way Wine works for Windows binaries. Translate system calls.

Wine has it easier - it does not translate system calls, it needs "only" dll loader and a set of dlls exporting the right symbols.

NT system calls are not exposed to userspace; only system-supplied dlls can use them. It is done by changing syscall codes for every build, so non-system app would never know, which syscall number to use.

Huh, TIL.

That explains why Wine always seemed so buggy, though.

Gave this a long look and I couldn't possibly do anything on a Windows Machine in its' current state. Linux isn't just about running apps - there's a philosophy behind the system. Users first!

As long as Microsoft continues to disrespect the rights of users in regard to privacy, data-collection, data-sharing with unnamed sources, tracking, uncontrollable OS operations (updates, etc) - I will never go near it.

I expect some flack for my position... don't care. I find it especially offensive that ex-open source and ex-Linux users (working for Microsoft) have the audacity to come on here and try to sell this as a 'Linux on Windows' system when most of what makes Linux special (respect for the user) has been stripped away.

It's like giving a man who is dying of thirst sea water.

Most comments here appear to be positive and that's fine... whatever. Please don't sell your souls and the future of software technology for ease of use and abusive business practices. /rant

What's "Linux" about this and "not Linux" about Cygwin?

Cygwin translates calls to Windows via cygwin.dll. It works well for the most part, but in some corner cases, it doesn't work so well.

I mean, how is that different from what's being done here? Is the actual Linux kernel running in some sort of container? This post is light on details but people here seem to be suggesting it just translates syscalls which afaict is the exact same thing cygwin does. (plus support for linux elf binaries, which doesn't really matter since most linux tools are open-source anyway)

See here: http://blog.dustinkirkland.com/2016/03/ubuntu-on-windows.htm...

> Microsoft research technology to basically perform real time translation of Linux syscalls into Windows OS syscalls

So "Linux on Windows" isn't really happening here. Binaries intended to run on Linux are just being tricked to run on Windows -- basically the same as Cygwin, with the minor benefit of not requiring a recompile.

It's a lot more than that. When Cygwin is built, the translation between to POSIX is handled via Cygwin.dll with the various tools recompiled against that file.

This version is taking the native Ubuntu binaries and executing them directly against the Windows API via a real time translation later.

The difference is like playing a game using virtualization technology vs. WINE. As the complexity of the game increases, the former begins to slow down and break.


You don't have to be a fan of Microsoft but they deserve at least some credit.

That is quite a bit different from Cygwin.

Running the Linux kernel on Windows has been done before IIRC - coLinux?

That's what I was thinking but coLinux never did 64-bit

Cygwin is pure userland. This Linux API subsystem is a small bit of userland (similar to kernel32.dll in the Win32 subsystem), but mostly kernel code.

Yes. You can quickly see this when running ping. On Cygwin it runs 3 times on Linux forever.

Edit: thinking about it I'm not sure if I'm right. Or does Cygwin map the ping command to the Windows command?

> does Cygwin map the ping command to the Windows command?

It looks like Cygwin has a ping package, but it isn't something you'll get unless you specifically select it in the installer.

Cygwin requires a recompile. This is running Ubuntu binaries.

Yes - Cygwin is essentially the GNU tools recompiled as Win32 apps using a helper library for shared code etc.

Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) which underpins Ubuntu on Windows is new Windows kernel infrastructure that exposes a LINUX-compatible syscall API layer to userland and a loader that binds the two.

This means you can run real, native, unmodified Linux command-line tools directly on Windows.

So it's cygwin + ELF support in the kernel. I guess ability to run GNU tools + supporting ELF is being called "Linux". The latter piece seems pretty minor, especially since most things that run on ubuntu are open-source anyway.

No, it's supporting all of the linux system calls in the Windows kernel. Epoll, fork, exec, etc. It's a totally different implementation than cygwin.

Got it, thanks.

There was another choice like Cygwin, though not as comprehensive - UWin - by David Korn, creator of the Korn shell (ksh):


I've used it some on Windows earlier, and it worked pretty well. Might still available if anyone wants to try it. The only small issue I had was that the process to download it from the (AT&T) web site was slightly involved, for no good reason, as far as I could see. But not difficult.

They must be 2 days early.

"Embrace, extend, extinguish."

It sounds cool, but even though his remarks are clear, I'm still confused!

I got a Mac primarily because of its linux side, but it is actually Linux.

This is still Windows, but with a Linux "side" to it? If I apt-get install redis, do I make it startup like I would in linux, or do I use windows services? In the screenshot there's a /mnt directory, is that behaving the same as it does in linux?

This is so confusing... but if it's legit, then I would actually look at switching back to windows.

> I got a Mac primarily because of its linux side, but it is actually Linux.

No, it's not. OSX is literally UNIX. OSX is based off Darwin, which is based off BSD.

To be more specific, darwin was originally based on BSD4.4-lite2 and FreeBSD with the Mach hybrid microkernel. It has diverged significantly since with lots of new APIs in userland, but all major BSD apis are still there - it is still a POSIX compliant system

NeXTSTEP originally used 4.3BSD-Tahoe as its base with Mach, and Darwin's a direct descendent of that.

When I look at it, I basically see NeXTSTEP which is UNIX... I see a lot of OS X is BSD, or, OS X is Darwin + BSD, all I see is NeXTSTEP with a worse interface...

When I say OX is literally UNIX, the emphasis is on the word 'literally'. To be classified as a UNIX system, meaning that an OS maker can use the UNIX trademark, the system have to be certified by the The Open Group.

BSD was UNIX, yet neither of it's 2 prevalent derivatives (FreeBSD and OpenBSD) has applied for certification. They are classified as Unix-like; the same is true for any Linux distribution.

To some people, this may be semantics, but one of the reasons that drew me to OSX was the certification.

What appeals to you about the certification? Are there ways in which OS X behaves in a "more standard" way than FreeBSD ?

yes, I got the reference. I was talking about personal impressions, I was not clear about it though, sorry. I still remember when they (Apple) run an ad showing a powerbook running Mac OS X saying "Send other UNIX to /dev/null", how excited I was at the time :-P

Almost all of the userland command-line tools are from BSD. The most important exception is clang which is independent (though Apple has historically been the biggest contributor).

Also, large parts of the kernel are from BSD.

> I got a Mac primarily because of its linux side, but it is actually Linux.

No part of Mac OS comes from Linux at all. Also, most of the standard tools are from BSD, not GNU.

Maybe you meant "it's a UNIX-like system" but those predate Linux by 30 years or so, and at any rate Windows + Cygwin was already a UNIX-like system to a similar extent, so that's not really relevant to what was accomplished here.

Macs aren't actually linux, they are based (a port I think) on Unix though and are very close relatives to linux.

There is a distinction because you will notice much larger differences between Mac and [insert linux distro here] compared to linux distros to each other.

They are not "very close relatives to linux" unless you also think Solaris, Windows+cygwin, FreeBSD etc. are also very close relatives to Linux. In which case the term becomes meaningless because almost every mainstream OS is a close relative of every other one.

And that's why we all should conert to TempleOS once and for all.

To be more accurate, your Mac isn't Linux, it's BSD. Luckily that *NIX underpinning is often enough to make it a solid development platform even when deploying to Linux.

It's not really BSD either; it's a mix of a bunch of stuff. The kernel XNU is a hybrid between Mach and BSD. I think there are also a few GNU utilities in the base system but I could be wrong about that (?)

    $ uname
    $ /usr/bin/cmp --version
    cmp (GNU diffutils) 2.8.1

Right! I though there was still some GNU stuff floating around ;). Thanks for the example.

Well, this has increased the changes of my next laptop being a Surface Book by around 100%. I already loved the form factor of the thing, but lack of bash was absolutely causing me to hesitate and wonder if I could justify doing all my work in a Linux VM or something (I can't).

I'm genuinely very tired of OS X, which (to my perception at least) has gotten steadily worse with every version. I for one will be happy to switch.

Yea same here, the Surface Pro is just such a nice piece of powerful hardware and a great form factor to carry around. Having bash/linux subsystem on Windows makes it a pretty damn nice development machine for pretty much anything (web/games/etc.).

If you don't mind having an extremely bloated OS, which is why I quit programming on Windows and switched to Linux in the first place. Now they've just added even more bloat and I imagine developing using the "linux environment" will be a huge pain in the ass because it'll basically be like programming on a new operating system.

Can't get node.js to run on your "Linux environment" and access a database running on windows? Good luck finding an answer for that on stackoverflow.

You'll have to target yet another environment for any app you develop. Will it be running on a Windows server? A Linux server? A server running "Windows with bash"?

Bloat is an overused, nebulous concept. Most people actually like rich desktops and lots of features, which is why Mac laptops have proliferated in the dev community.

Things like Node.js already run pretty well on Windows as it is, and MS is building native tooling in Node.js (e.g. their Azure CLI).

With this change, Microsoft is definitely going to encourage a lot of Surface adoption for geeks.

Really...? What would you change about OSX? I just switched from Windows to a Mac and I can't see myself ever going back...

Working SMB networking would be nice. Tired of mysterious issues. I can't remember a single time in past year when whole directory copy/move to SMB share succeeded. OS X just gives me these descriptive "error -51" or whatevers. (It's really mature (not!) of OSX to have that blue screen icon for SMB shares.)

Stable USB stack would be nice as well. Ever since El Capitan, virtual machines I run off USB drive have been getting random I/O timeouts.

OS X tends to need quite a bit more memory than Win10. Win10 is as usable on 2 GB RAM as OS X on 4 GB. OS X graphics driver is also pretty slow, some 30% slower than on Windows. OpenGL support is pretty bad on OS X.

On Windows 10 side my biggest issues are unstable (or temporarily unavailable) RDP and bluetooth stereo audio stuttering. RDP color accuracy leaves also a lot to be desired.

Funny, that it's SMB that I hate on Windows. With OSX or Linux its no problem to access shares with different credentials, no matter whether Windows server in AD or standalone samba-based NAS, while it is a major pita in Windows.

Odd. I think my issues might have something to do with file sizes. Maybe there are some issues with files over 2 GB or 4 GB. I don't know. I've just resorted to using FTP (ugh!) and USB drives to get files out of my OS X machines.

The network is OK? Are you connected over wifi? No packet loss?

And even though it is 3x3 MIMO, copying 20GB vm images is not something you want to do over wifi, so in the end I've got the Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter. Works like a charm, shorted the transfer by more than 10x.

SMB by itself never gave a problem (clean install of 11.0, then continuously updated to 11.4).

11ac wifi. Usually connected at 702/780/867 Mbps. Works fine from Linux and Windows VMs running on OSX (and laptops).

Transfer speed after overhead over 11ac 867 Mbps wifi is usually 400+ Mbps.

No packet loss (or at least it's below 0.1%).

The unstable USB stack is annoying. Before it was fixed in the latest OS update middle clicking with a USB mouse would cause the USB audio driver to segfault. Clicking too fast would end up with a kernel panic.

I have far more issues with OS X than with Windows. I get kernel panics, waking from sleep crashes, weird issues with external monitors not being detected as connected, or worse, disconnected.

Windows also offers a lot more customizations than OS X.

However, there are things I like about OS X also, like spaces and multi-touch trackpad support.

I use both on a daily basis.

I don't disagree that quality has dropped a bit lately, but I don't think your experience with OS X is typical. I have not had a kernel panic in years. Maybe time you did a clean install.

The panics I get are related to Thunderbolt, so I suspect it's an issue with the Thunderbolt kernel drivers. I run two external Apple Thunderbolt monitors and that's at the core of most of my issues.

This could very well be it. I was about to comment that I've been using OS X for about 10 years and I'm pretty sure I can count the number of kernel panics I've had on my fingers. Most of those happened a long time ago.

I run two external Thunderbolt monitors through a couple of cheap adaptor boxes and have never had a problem.

I suspect RAM issues. OS X isn't great if - say - Chrome eats all the memory. And if the RAM itself isn't rock solid, you will get crashes.

A lot of issues went away when I installed 32GB.

> I get kernel panics, waking from sleep crashes, weird issues with external monitors not being detected as connected, or worse, disconnected.

This is a real problem for me as well. Not enough to make me want to ditch my Mac, but it's a real PITB.

Like I said, maybe it's my perception, but I've lost count of the number of times it has failed to connect to a Wi-Fi network, randomly crashed... it's been unable to connect to any links from http://t.co for months, for goodness sake (this has recently been fixed).

I think part of my objections are that OS X used to be absolutely rock solid, around the Snow Leopard era. An entire release dedicated just to tuning up the OS! Unheard of now - I will never install a new version until the x.1 patch is out, there are always huge bugs.

I don't expect Windows to be rock solid, I just don't expect it to be any worse than OS X any more.

I haven't had any bugs at all on El Capitan.

There's no Surface Pro equivalent for OSX (the iPad Pro not running a real OS is too bad), and Mac machines are crazy expensive for what's inside. At least, that's why I switched.

> Well, this has increased the changes of my next laptop being a Surface Book by around 100%.

And thus MS has achieved their goal.


Yes of course. Anyone who doesn't recognize that your opinionated development style is superior has to be a shill.

Have you forgotten about privacy issues in Windows 10 or you just don't care?

I thought you could turn them all off if you were really diligent?

The leaking random machine ID is pretty bad. The other things seem rather harmless, or you can turn them off.

Me too, but to be honest I am not quite sure what I don't like about Mac OS X anymore. At work I got Arch with i3 which is (extremely) addictive, but at home I have Mac OS X (and I use for work too). I don't really have any specific problems (compared to Arch :) with Mac OS X. Still I was thinking to put Arch on it, but I don't want to tinker to be able to watch netflix after a long flight in that 'weird' network which the wifi driver version X.Y doesn't like :) Windows felt weird after getting used NIX-ish systems so it was out of the question.

I have tried to figure out why I want a non-mac for my laptop and concluded I just like change... :) I was almost settled on that dell xps with ubuntu, but if the Surface Books get thunderbolt 3 and this before the autumn I am pretty sure I can't resist anymore...

EDIT: typo

Why don't you just use Linux in a VM on Windows? I don't really understand why native bash (and full Linux ABI) would make Windows a better development environment than just running a Linux VM.

If you plan on using the Linux environment and having it interact with the Windows environment you're going to have the same limitations that you would with a VM, OR you'll have to change your workflow because the way a program running under a Linux environment interacts with some windows service is going to be a completely new thing.

Will I be able to use a windows only service to interact with a command line program written in python running in the Linux layer? If I can't interact with the windows layer completely then it's very much like a VM or a container running inside a jail.

What happens when I install python or nodejs and stuff just doesn't work right? Like say I have a database running on windows and I want to interact with it with python. Will I have to rely in Windows making sure the compatibility layer always work?

So, VMs are effectively a completely different machine. Different memory space, different disk space, different process space, etc. This is linux applications running on the same machine as your windows applications. Yes, they'll be able to talk to each other. Your windows service will be able to talk to a database running from linux and vice versa. The linux processes are still processes running on your windows machine (evidently they're some sort of "lighter process" but that hasn't been explained well... but it was explained that they'll be able to be communicate directly with other processes via sockets, ports, etc).

The demos are VERY convincing. Basically everything works exactly like you would want it to work. It's exactly ubuntu and windows running through the same kernel at the same time.

Honestly: don't know... :) I suppose when looking for a new fancy (and expensive) gadget I would like it to work like I want it to out of the box. I can admit it is not a rational thing: I would have to install stuff either way, but it makes me _want_ it less... I know it doesn't make sense, but I believe that is it... :)

Oh, and I don't think I am afraid if something doesn't work (like node in your example or what not) with the barebone ubuntu on windows as long as the minimals: drivers, etc etc work... I am pretty used to tinkering and figuring out those things and I really enjoy that barebone speed. Willful waste makes woeful want, my mom always said :)

EDIT: idiom

Just use linux.

Increasing a ~0% chance by 100% is still ~0ish%

No, it's ambiguous whether he was talking about percentage or percentage points.

Interested in how long it will last this time. Windows NT were POSIX compliant long time ago, but that was discontinued.



The POSIX subsystem was so crippled that it was unusable (no graphics or network). SfU was neither free nor included by default, except for one free version which also happened to be its last. Also at those times Linux did not have the market penetration that it currently has with Android.

Right. As I've heard it, the POSIX subsystem was essentially a checkbox feature to meet some government contracting requirements.

You confuse the POSIX subsystem with SFU/Interix (originally called "OpenNT", but soon renamed to "Interix". Later bought by Microsoft and rebranded as "Services for UNIX"):

> https://www.samba.org/samba/news/articles/low_point/tale_two...

> http://brianreiter.org/2010/08/24/the-sad-history-of-the-mic...

I specifically remember that I read that (it was a checkbox feature) about the ancient POSIX subsystem. The SFU/Interix system was a bit more capable, I think? I did install it at one time, but never really used it.

Edit: yes, that is in fact exactly what the first link you gave says: The POSIX subsystem was added as the POSIX standard had become very prevalent in procurement contracts. [...] This original subsystem was, I think it's fair to say, deliberately crippled to make it not useful for any real-world applications. Applications using it had no network access and no GUI access, [...] SFU contains a full POSIX environment, with a Software development kit allowing applications to be written that have access to networking and GUI API's.

I remember trying to use the Services for UNIX Version 1.0 Korn shell for a job. Coming from bash/zsh, I loathed it. I opted for Cygwin's bash ASAP.

What I heard was that they took advantage of every function that could technically be "implemented" by setting errno appropriately and returning an error value, rendering the subsystem useless while still allowing the box to be checked off.

How about GUI applications?

I worked at a place that developed a "Linux on Windows" thingy back in the Windows XP days. It was essentially like WINE. A user-mode Windows program would load the Linux binary into the Windows program's address space and execute it, trapping any attempts by the Linux code to issue system calls, and the Windows program would then service those system calls.

For non-GUI stuff this worked remarkably well. I was able to grab the binary for rpm off of my Red Hat system, and the then current Red Hat distribution disc, and install successfully almost all of the RPMs from the disc and have almost all of the non-GUI ones work.

I had expected big problems from the case-insensivite vs. case-sensitive filesystem issue, but in practice there were only a handful of things that ran into this. Mostly Perl stuff that used both "makefile" and "Makefile".

GUI stuff was another matter. We could run XFree86 under Cygwin, and then the Linux apps under our WINE-like program would work. However management was not keen on the idea of including Cygwin and XFree86 if we turned this thing into a project. Also, we wanted an X server that would fit in better with a mix of X and native Windows apps running at the same time.

I spent a while trying to write a Windows X server straight from the official specifications. I got as far as being able to get xcalc to display a window and all the controls to show up right, but weird things happened with events. Everything looked fine when I packet sniffed the communication. I still had not figured this out by the time management decided that this whole thing did not have enough of a commercial market to continue the project.

Want to make this absolutely clear - this is a command-line only toolset for developers.

It is not built to support GUI desktops/apps. It is not built to run production Linux server workloads. It is not suitable for running micro-services or containerized environments.


Any plans for it to become more than that?

GUI applications not currently supported, and as far as I've seen, not intended to be supported (but who knows in the long term).

I wonder if this will mean that Windows will ship a more up to date Bash than OSX!

Apple stopped updating Bash in OSX when the upstream license changed from GPL2 to GPL3, I believe. (Fortunately, they keep the bundled zsh more up to date)

wow, so... 2007?


    % uname -a; bash --version; zsh --version
    Darwin hostname 15.4.0 Darwin Kernel Version 15.4.0: 
    Fri Feb 26 22:08:05 PST 2016; root:xnu-3248.40.184~3/RELEASE_X86_64 x86_64
    GNU bash, version 3.2.57(1)-release (x86_64-apple-darwin15)
    Copyright (C) 2007 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
    zsh 5.0.8 (x86_64-apple-darwin15.0)

thank goodness zsh is the superior shell anyway

It really should be the default shell by now. I don't the see the point in Apple maintaining the 2007 version of bash with security updates when they can just promote ZSH which has near 0 breaking changes from bash

Apple can't do that or many people will just move away to... Well, Windows now.

Users with zsh as their default shell are a tiny minority.

The former is nonsense, and the latter sheer unsupported guesswork.

The actual evidence from history of changing shells, from the Ubuntu and Debian worlds where they actually did make a change of shells (from Bourne Again to Debian Almquist) a few years ago, is that it doesn't drive people away in the first place, let alone away to Windows.

Even if one did a survey to make the latter not unsupported guesswork, one would have (if my experience of StackExchange is anything to go by) to account for all of those who answered that "My shell is Terminal.app." or "I have oh-my-zsh as my terminal.".

    $> uname -a
    Darwin K2523 15.4.0 Darwin Kernel Version 15.4.0: Fri Feb 26 22:08:05 PST 2016; root:xnu-3248.40.184~3/RELEASE_X86_64 x86_64
    $> which bash
    $> bash --version
    GNU bash, version 3.2.57(1)-release (x86_64-apple-darwin15)
    Copyright (C) 2007 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

No surprises there. You will find that the tone towards GPL across the tech world change with the intro of GPL3.

This might be the most exciting news I've heard in a long time. Being able to use Visual Studio and .NET for web development while using zsh and all the other Linux tools? Dreamland.

The only reason I can't really use Windows as development OS are the inferior terminal emulators. As good as ConEmu is, it is still worse than Terminator etc. Unless I can run a native Linux terminal emulator, it doesn't make much of a difference to me. Also, the filesystem differences don't help.

I was also running into Haskell compilation problems that were fixed by running Ubuntu in a Vagrant environment but speed was slow. There isn't good NFS support on Windows either (there is some).

I love tiling window managers...and real package management... and free software.

Windows still has a ways to go. I think this might make some Windows stuff easier to deal with, but I still prefer jobs where I can run Linux natively on my workstation.

I was always grumpy about switching to OS X because I missed xmonad, but then I found amethyst and rebound the keys to be the same :)

I would call powershell anything but inferior.

PowerShell isn't a console or terminal emulator. It's a shell that uses conhost just like any other console application on Windows.

Powershell ISE is quite a good terminal emulator (even tho it wasn't intended as one), it's also extensible via addons and there are quite a few nifty ones like git integration and the likes.

This is the ISE in a default configuration https://imgur.com/xz9Kfpt On the left just an open terminal, in the middle a script which can be edited and executed at any time with F5, and on the right all the powershell commands which could be either immediately executed or inserted into your script with ease.

Unless you need tab browsing that much, which you can get via addons, the ISE is one of the best "terminals" out there imho.

I'm always put off by the ~five second startup time when I open PS to start learning it. Any tips for speeding it up?

On my i5-2400 with 8 GB of RAM and a 7200 RPM hard drive, it takes six seconds to start the first time and four seconds to start subsequent times.

On my i5-3550 with 16 GB of RAM and an SSD it takes a couple seconds to start the first time and less than a second for subsequent times.

Both machines are running Windows 10.

Right now, the machine with the spinning rust is loading a bunch of files with an I/O priority of "background" because it just got booted into Windows; that might slow it down a bit because of the seek times and I don't know if Windows is willing to starve background I/O for seconds at a time to speed up interactive requests (I doubt it).

Update: once all the background preloading is done, PowerShell restarts in three seconds on the spinning-rust machine.

Long story short, I think getting an SSD will be the thing that makes PowerShell start acceptably fast.

We did a lot of work on PowerShell startup in this next release - I think you'll be happy.

Jeffrey Snover [MSFT]

Ancient Thinkpad dual-core with 512Mb RAM and 5400 legacy spinning rust disc running OpenBSD 5.9.

Left click in fwvm, select xterm, window appears in less than my blink response time.

Seriously: I think I might pop Win10 on an old Dell i5 that came with Win7 and play with this.

Many thanks for the comparison! I'm indeed with a 7200 RPM disk. I guess I should invest into some new hardware soonish :)

Speed was an issue on Windows 7 (PSv2), but they sped it up considerably in Windows 8 (PSv4, I think). Maybe installing the current PowerShell version helps; I doubt it's inherent in the OS.

I'm on Windows 10 and I agree it has improved a lot since Win7, but it's still not pleasant. I'm rocking a 7200rpm spinning disk, so as suggested by adiabatty, getting an SSD might help.

Can confirm, it starts immediately in 2012r2.

Depending what you open, powershell.exe should open as fast as cmd.exe pretty much, the ISE can take a few seconds to load based on the addons you have and how many PS cmdlets you have registered on your system.

As people have mentioned the biggest factor here is probably your hard drive since you are loading maybe couple of 100's of small files when you load the ISE.

PowerShell is great. But I agree it starts slowly.

Just upgraded to WMF 5.0 on Windows 7. Start time is much better now. 4 seconds vs 8 seconds on a 2nd gen i5.

Serious, non-snarky question:

What does this give you that you would not already have with cygwin? The latter installs .exe versions of the usual command line utils, and I'm almost certain ZSH and the others you speak of are included.

I do not understand the practical implications of this move by Canonical/MS other than PR - what's actually changing from a user/dev standpoint?

Cygwin is and always will be only an emulation-layer, never the real deal. For most day-to-day things it works perfectly, but when you run into some corner-case, most of the time you are out of luck.

My only real problem with Cygwin is, that it misses a command-line package manager. If they could adopt pacman for package management like MSYS2 does, I'd be a happy camper.

edit: To deploy Cygwin based applications you need to get a commercial license from RedHat (if it's not FOSS). Which could be a deal-breaker.

> My only real problem with Cygwin is, that it misses a command-line package manager. If they could adopt pacman for package management like MSYS2 does

There is babun (https://babun.github.io/). It is essentially a wrapper around cygwin and comes with a package manager.

This is a good answer. I always feel limited in Cygwin, it doesn't feel quite right. And it takes quite a bit of tweaking to get working correctly. Case in point: Try getting gvim to work properly from Cygwin.

I've always used apt-cyg to install things, which works OK.

You realize cygwin's setup.exe package manager has a CLI, right? The issue with pacman in msys2 is that it's posix dependent, which fails badly at updating the core posix layer itself. Cygwin's setup.exe is a native Windows executable and doesn't have this self hosting problem.

That doesn't solve the problem that if it is trying to update the Cygwin DLL, you need to shut down everything. And if there's an update to something like bash or coreutils, same thing (since Windows does not allow writing to executables that are running).

Sure. But self-hosting pacman makes it literally impossible to do correctly. Updating cygwin itself should be done by an outside-of-cygwin solution to invoke setup.exe, just write a little powershell provisioning script or something.


Arch is certainly capable of updating pacman via pacman,and it's been a while but I'm pretty sure you can update apt/dpkg via the usual apt-get upgrade on Ubuntu

Those aren't operating under the restrictions imposed by Windows.

apt-get install whatever from any ubuntu repository

Not sure about X11 apps, but whatever. Largely this makes running a special win32 build of redis for whatever dev you're doing unnecessary.

I'm currently running windows on this laptop, but I have a virtualbox instance running Lubuntu for doing any UNIX specific dev. Ports and files are shared across windows and linux transparently, which means there's far less need for need for running+maintaining a separate developer's VM.

I would assume much better stability and integration. If this works as I expect, I will be able to do things like apt-get install which is a huge improvement over cygwin. Another benefit is that since it's Ubuntu tools and projects will support it vs cygwin which is usually "we don't use it, so figure it out and then we'll post it here for all the other poor saps using cygwin"

I think so. Cygwin is good enough to use UNIX tools in Windows. But maybe they will support better packages than Cygwin.

Different strokes.. that sounds like an absolute nightmare to me. .NET is not a good web development framework, and Visual Studio is totally overkill for web development.

I'd like to know what kind of web applications you've built and what tech stack you've used for them for you to make such an uninformed statement like that.

I'm not really interested in posting my CV to HN. Suffice to say I've been the lead web developer at several companies and have been doing that for ~13 years now. I've used all the popular web development languages, and written everything from small applications to web sites with hundreds of thousands of users.

I personally think .NET is much worse than any of the more common web languages (even PHP or Perl) for the web. If I were writing a Windows application then I'd probably write it in .NET using Visual Studio, but not a web application.

As I said in my original comment "Different strokes.", you may like .NET. That's fine. It might be the right choice for you and the wrong one for me. I was more commenting that it was amazing to me that someone would think it was awesome because it sounds like the complete opposite to me.

I guess I should have asked what you find compelling about writing web applications in .NET.

I would like hear arguments, what you don't like particularly? I'm not saying .net is the best web dev platform, not at all, but i wouldn't say it's worse than most. It has it's own set of pros/cons, like every other, but generally, to me it looks quite decent, despite heavyweight VS/IIS, which is another story. Looking at mvc, rest, looks pretty much like any other modern dev stack:/

It has a reasonable MVC model, it mostly boils down to it's just way overkill. Using t for web development to me is like using a 27 foot truck to get groceries. The beauty, to me, of even "large" web applications is that they can still be light weight.

What is "overkill?" The framework? The language? The UI? The CLR?

I have issues with Microsoft's MVC (mostly that there is no official way of splitting it across several solutions and keeping working routing) but I've never found it overkill for enterprise-style webapp development.

We used MVC/Entity Framework. It works well as a RAD for the backend with full HTML/CSS/JS for the front end that we can get creative with. Reminds me a lot of Java development.

Visual Studio is overkill for web development IMHO (and again, different strokes. I know some people like to write PHP in Eclipse.)

The MVC model itself is not overkill, sorry that sentence was not clear. I should know better than make contentious comments on HN that are going to spawn a bunch of aggressive responses when I'm trying to start my day.

Making contentious comments is fine, the problem is you have to back them up with anything solid. The basis of your argument is that Visual Studio is overkill for writing web applications. That has nothing to do with ASP.NET and more to do with the desire for simpler developer environment. This can be solved by using VSCode, or setting up Omnisharp for the various text editors out there.

You have not given any solid technical reason as to why ASP.NET is a bad framework. In my experiences, it's more or less as capable as Ruby on Rails, Clojure, Java, etc. You've stated it's overkill, meaning what exactly? Are you even aware of the changes being made to ASP.NET vNext? The dotnet cli tool? The only complaint you seem to have is that the tight coupling of ASP.NET to various Windows platforms is a little much for people who are used to Go or RoR.

Ok, so it sounds like you're objecting to Visual Studio, not to .net itself. Or not quite?

ASP.NET MVC Frawmework is the most popular web framework in dotnet. I think you don't know well about dotnet.

You still have not provided any specific reasons for "why" you believe Visual Studio/.NET is overkill for web development. I would like to actually know because I am curious.

That's true, MVC and Webapi can do everything, like Rails, all functionalities you need and don't need are inside. Most .net devs are expecting that, compared to node devs where they would have everything splited into small packages. One fx was designed in 2000, when that made sense, other one in 2010 ...

But, you don't have to use mvc; there's Nancy or low-level Owin. So why do people complain about MVC when there are other choices? Certainly not like in other platforms, but at least few good ones exists! Why judge whole platform because of one fx?

Similar like EF or Nhibernate. They are big and heavy and very slow if not used properly, but also there's Dapper, massive or simpleData.

I'm guessing its been a few years since you've touched web development in .NET? A lot has changed...

I think technical reason is much better than bringing up your CV.

Hey read the comment I was responding to. He asked for my CV, that's why I responded like that.

.NET is overkill for web application development, IMHO. But I tend to eschew large frameworks in general. YMMV.

Being stuck in "lead web developer" roles for 13 years probably rules you out of being an influencer though.

I'm not interested in being a manager, executive or a founder. I've had opportunities and pass. I like being a developer. It's not stuck.

As far as being an "influencer"; do you see any links on my profile? Again, that's something other people find appealing, not me.

If you can't develop with it on all platforms it sucks. Not to mention the job market for .NET devs is pretty shit and I don't know a single person who actually enjoys it.

I like using F# for web development. Check out Websharper. It's like Elm or Purescript but comes with all the amazing tools MS has developed for non-web-dev F# for free.

Yes, I agree, F# and Websharper are a whole different breed than the ASP.NET, C# apps I used to create. F# is a lot of fun too for more than just Web dev.

ASP.NET is a great. I've used it since it's existed (coming from what is now called "Classic ASP").

I think the HN intolerance towards Microsoft / zealousness for Apple is showing here. Certainly .NET isn't for everyone, but I don't think "is not a good web development framework" is justified. Check out http://nancyfx.org/ if you're looking for something more lightweight than the full ASP.NET / IIS stack.

NancyFX is pretty great! Nice and lightweight.

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