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WSL File System Support (2016) (microsoft.com)
66 points by childintime 3 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 26 comments

There are some improvements listed here https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/wsl/2017/04/18/file-system-... and I'm sure the April 2018 update (build 1803) changed this further, but the blog stopped updating last year.

Edit: USB drives are now supported https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/commandline/2017/05/10/bash...

You can make special files now, and Windows Explorer understands WSL permissions https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/commandline/2018/01/12/chmo...

Per-directory case sensitivity https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/commandline/2018/02/28/per-...

What's new in 1803 https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/commandline/2018/03/07/wind...

It might be good for dang to please replace the link with at least the 2017 one.

It still feels surreal to read these kinds of blog posts from Microsoft, after they refused to recognize Linux’s existence/importance for so long, called it a “cancer”, etc... I don’t have words to describe what a different world it is.

EDIT: I know to some this kind of sentiment might seem cliché (is that where the downvotes came from?) but at least for years to come I’ll be repeating it. Life was very hard for Microsoft dissenters 15 years ago. (I’m only 35, and I’m already going on about “back in my day” :) Now get off my lawn.)

I heartily welcome the change.

I for one love it. It's nice seeing Microsoft contributing to Linux and FreeBSD and other open source projects as well as open sourcing some of their own projects. Also their share price is way up since Satya took over as CEO. So maybe these changes will be around for awhile seeing as Microsoft shareholders are happy.

One should note though, that WSL is not exactly contributing to Linux. It's a clean-room reimplementation of the Linux kernel on Windows.

Yea sure, but Microsoft has contributed a bunch of work to make Linux a first class citizen on Hyper-V. Meaning specific drivers for Linux on Hyper-V that are now in Linus's tree.

Queue the "but Microsoft really has a sinister plan, don't trust em" comments...

I really believe the sickness in Redmond has passed. For at least 5 years they have been acting as if they’re part of a larger world, not like they are the world.

It was hard to believe at first, but I think the new Microsoft is here to stay (hopefully for a long, long time).

It's a different world and company in 2018. I mean, could you imagine the diversity initiatives in 2000? A very large part of our economy is embracing a position of collaboration, choice, empowerment, user experience, etc. The mentality that "a rising tide lifts all boats" is no longer limited to Nintendo(I realize the irony when we look into indie support from previous generations).

I agree entirely though that I hope this is a long lasting change. Teams within Microsoft have been doing amazing work for a LONG time, and now more people are being exposed to that. I also hope the new Microsoft is here to stay.

I few things I find impressive:

* Event Tracing for Windows

* Azure engineering(their document store is built on their block store and is all exposed to developers; it's an impressive system from an API standpoint IMHO)

* Language services across TypeScript, C#, and F#. World class tooling that's nearly unparalleled

* Research and implementations for highly performant static analysis including flow control

* Tango white paper

* SeaDragon

* Holo Lens

* TypeScript

* VSCode

* Roslyn

* Dotnet

* Entity Framework

* Powershell; this thing is an impressive novelty whether you get along with it or not

* Etc and so on

I'm still skeptical.

Yes, they have been behaving better since they've been beaten into submission. But, at least as of 4 years ago, they are still charging a tax on Android phones[0]; Their "secure boot" shenanigans still require community workarounds on amd64 (and locking down their ARM stuff) to the point that on many consumer machines, you have to get microsoft's blessing to run an OS of your choice (and you have that blessing ... for now).

Windows 10 takes away user control of the user's own machines, and it was less than 3 years ago that they used the worst dark UI patterns to get people to move to 10 (... and, hid telemetry among the security updates for Win7/Win8.1 holdouts).

So, despite being beaten into submission, and thus not behaving like "they are the world", it feels to me like the mean old Microsoft is still just beneath the surface waiting to get out again.

[0] https://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/10/07/how_much_is_that_mi...

“Taking royalties on Android phones and some dark UX patterns in Windows 10” ... I don’t think you realize just how bad it was in the late 1990’s.

Imagine a parallel world where in 2018:

- Android is proprietary software and is the OS on 95% of smart phones worldwide; it costs $140 per copy and licensing is strictly policed

- GoogleOS (or some such) is similarly proprietary and commands 97% of the OS market on personal computers and data center nachines combined. $199.99 per license ($600 for servers), volume licensing arrangements available.

- Linux and Mac OS are used here and there, but they’re not for “real work” (except in a few narrow markets) and those who push for them are laughed at.

Worst, Google takes full advantage of their monopoly positions in OS markets:

- they sell essential apps that compete with 3rd party apps by using powerful secret APIs and system calls

- They pre-install some apps for free (most notably Chrome) to gain market share in other markets

- They copyright their APIs and threaten lawsuits against anyone who implements their interfaces elsewhere

- they fight against open standards and come up with their own, competing, proprietary standards. When that doesn’t work, they adopt the open standard (amidst a huge marketing campaign) but later add a large number of proprietary extensions to their implementations, to lock people in to their implementation and further edge out competition.

- when an open-source OS or competing product starts to gain in popularity, they spread FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) through their PR machine. It works marvelously, especially in the corporate world.

- they strong-arm and manipulate hardware manufacturers via hardball contracts to pre-install Google’s OSes on at least X% of machines sold (where X is a high percentage) with costly consequences if they fail to do so.


That’s a lot like the world where Microsoft was king. They seemed absolutely undefeatable. And if the cloud and mobile revolutions hadn’t happened, they certainly still would be.

Get off my lawn kid, I've been programming professionally since 1989, and using computers before that. I even worked at the time for a company that was almost wiped out by Microsoft's anti-competitive practices. I was tangentially there when Microsoft kept pissing into the ISO stnadards process pool (from the diving board, if I might add) with OOXML, and that was only 2009 (Not even 10 years ago). I know exactly how bad it has been.

I see the same data you do, but my interpretation is different: Microsoft is the same bully it always was, except the world doesn't let them bully as much. They still bully as much as they can get away with, though -- with the Win10 being a recent egregious example.

That's all I'm saying: Color me skeptical about the "new" kind, ethical Microsoft.

Goodness, somebody should tell them they have been beaten into submission! Quick, look them up on the list of top 4 companies in the world by market cap and give them a call!


I'm struggling to understand what exactly you are trying to say. I am not denying that whatever is doing is working for them -- though undoubtly, they have been beaten into submission, and they know it. Their more aggressive bullying and anti competitive behavior has worked for them in the past as well. It is not run by stupid people; just ones whose ethics I have problems with.

What I was trying to say, in case it wasn't clear is: "I believe Microsoft is inherently the same bully it was; It's just that the world is no longer cooperating with being bullied as much. I don't believe there is a "new" Microsoft".

I don't think it would have to be run by different people to be a "new" Microsoft, if it exists in a different world. Studies in human behavior have long shown that the same people can act very differently depending on circumstances.

Besides, a different person is in charge at the top now.

I might be misreading, but an implication of your first paragraph is : “and as soon as they are dominant again, they will go back to their old ways” which is what I am saying.

Nadella is not Ballmer, I agree.

In a way it is Microsoft recognizing that they should have never dropped the UNIX personality from NT, rather improved it and keep it on pair with Win32.

I bet Linux/BSD would never have grown as much if they had taken that route instead, because what most people care as proven by OS X is to be able to drop down into a POSIX like CLI experience, regardless of the kernel.

A very long and involved explanation of why when Notepad saves a file in your WSL directory, bash can’t see it.

Worthwhile as the various Unix-in-Windows efforts are, I still haven't particularly enjoyed the day-to-day experience of using any of them. It's been death by a thousand cuts that accumulate.

I replaced putty on day one, it is part of my workflow ever since and I use it more and more each day. WSL is probably the most used "application" on my workstation.

What do you find it is lacking?

Agree. The user experience of just running stock Ubuntu is so much better than Window 10 + WSL... Just reboot to Win when needing to do some gaming, graphics/video editing or excell voodoo and that's it.

Same as with Emacs and VIM, don't get the people using Emacs with Viper. I just use Emacs with default shortcuts for Org-mode, then VIM as usual.

Hybrid experiences always suck, and rebooting, changing apps, or changing the computer you use helps you focus on doing one thing at a time anyway!

Unlike the other poster below, I completely replaced my Ubuntu VM with WSL. The first version was a little rough but since then I haven't had any compatibility problems -- I can run all my exotic command line tools and even a few X apps (including QEMU emulators for embedded work).


Yeah, I was just going to say I think I remember watching this one.

Cygwin is kind of similar with it's limitations, except it's a bit more complicated. The files will show up but there is some "magic" happening to map the permissions and ownership between them.

Add noacl to /etc/fstab and you will be happy everafter ;)

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