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Back to Microsoft: Using Windows again so I can use Linux effectively (eldrid.ge)
21 points by eldridgea 8 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 38 comments





So how exactly is using the WSL using Linux more effectively ?

Is that not the same as claiming that : Using Wine so I can use Windows more effectively ?

I'm really not sure from your article what you were missing, on either Windows/Linux side.. You didnt mention any Windows/Linux specifics, just that you tried the WSL and it worked. Which is cool..

But if you're just worried about using linux more effectively.. Just use linux ?


As he said:

“ I began looking for dockable tablets with USB-C and the ability to do Linux work on them while also having good battery life, and relatively painless wifi and bluetooth. While there are some great preloaded Linux devices out there (e.g. Dell XPS, System76, Purism Librem) all either lacked a tablet mode, USB-C , or both. Macs lacked tablet mode, and also have been using a keyboard design recently that I don’t personally like very much.”

None of the OOTB Linux laptops offered either a tablet mode, usb-c or both, same for the Mac. The clue was in the content.


Yeah I kinda get it now, but it's still a bit strange for me. I've never shopped for an OOTB linux laptop, nor do I understand why thats a requirement, gnome as supported tablet mode for years too. So was all a bit confusing what the relevance of those 'clues' where.

Not everyone wants to spend time on setting up drivers and figuring out why something no longer works after an update, even if they have the skills. I can setup Linux on almost any HW, I choose not too, and use Mac and Windows instead because I have better things to do with my time. Out of the box hardware works out of the box and allows you to do something you actually enjoy. If you enjoy setting up and maintaining Linux, by all means, you should do so, but other people have other hobbies.

Mind you, it’s not like MacOS or Windows are a joy to setup either, especially on obscure hardware, but if you buy first party hardware, that hard work is usually done by people who get paid to make it their full time “hobby” so I don’t have to.

As an example, there is a YouTube dude who does nothing but installs Linux distorts. He is an expert VIM user even though he doesn’t code, just edits config files and plays in the terminal while looking super serious. I spend time in VSCode writing actual code. It’s less cool looking but far more productive for me to use MacOS for that. To each their own.


> Not everyone wants to spend time on setting up drivers and figuring out why something no longer works

Cool, for starters, linux is not like that anymore, I remember setting up BSD from a copy from a magazine, that's not how it is today thank god so that point is as useless for this context.

> it’s not like MacOS or Windows are a joy to setup either, especially on obscure hardware

Ok; now we are loading full OS's up,(on obscure hardware?) bit of change of focus from your last comment. But whatever. Nobody in their working mind needs to load up a bootstraped OSX+n so unless you're a complete pirate who requires sketch, you better have a hook and an eye patch before i'll entertain your fallacy. Windows is super easy, maybe more than your mom, as we're all throwing ideas out?.

Your last one is kinda too comical to make fun of..

> As an example, there is a YouTube dude who does nothing but installs Linux distorts. He is an expert VIM user even though he doesn’t code, just edits config files and plays in the terminal while looking super serious. I spend time in VSCode writing actual code. It’s less cool looking but far more productive for me to use MacOS for that. To each their own.

Yeah, to each their own. But, we're talking about one article, one very specific article, actually, we are again talking about 1 article. Not examples.

But, this was fun. Moron.

I'll be sure to take all your comments/nonsense with a glacier of salt.

If you'd like some attention for your work, do something and share it, the OP had the balls to do write something and accept my criticism, where is yours ? You're a bit worse than that little shit i take after I've taken a shit.. The inconvenience.


Using linux doesn't mean spending time setting it up and maintaining it...at all. Not every distro is arch or gentoo.

Plenty of people using linux have other hobbies, and certainly don't want to bother dealing excessively with configs and the like.

Insinuating that people use Linux because it's 'cool looking' but less productive for writing software is patently absurd.


Yeah, but most surfaces do run Linux,why not dual boot?

I worked with Windows 10 WSL/WSL2 for a year now just to understand how one could setup windows as a good workspace for my colleges. And I do have to say even with the vastly more performant WSL2, docker is slow and annoying if you are used to Linux docker or xampp under windows.


...so he wants a Pixelbook?

EDIT: Realized he had a pixel slate first, I felt as if the newer releases fixed BT.


And he tried one, and bounced off because of problems with chrome os

> I began looking for dockable tablets with USB-C and the ability to do Linux work on them while also having good battery life

An iPad Pro with keyboard remoting into a Linux system?


I use an iPad pro sometimes and an iPad mini other. I greatly appreciate it over a full laptop 95% of the time.

Mostly working VIM or VSCode server.


I think the point of it was that he wanted a tablet with a keyboard attachment, and the ability to use Linux. After looking at all his options, the surface was the best for his use case (And it only runs windows). The point being, it works for his use case.

It's not quite there yet, but the linux-surface kernel is getting there. I run it as my daily driver.

https://github.com/linux-surface?tab=repositories


That's awesome!

Ah okay, that would make more sense, so its an article about a hardware preference. I was under the impression also that there was a specific linux distro for the surface (variant of ubuntu afaik) but okay, could be a bit more clear then about the restrictions of loading a full blown linux distro on the surface specifically.

According to the article, they found Chrome OS extremely lacking, and it seems that tablet mode on a PC was a need, and something that standard "tabletable" PCs fell short when running a usual distro. Apparently Surface PCs with WSL hit the sweet spot for them. This makes sense: I think a common attitude is that the CLI for Linux is top-notch, whereas the UI and its shortcomings is something you learn to live with. Making Windows the "front end" for Linux seems like a good solution depending on your needs.

Modern WSL is more like VM. Actually it could make sense, if laptop support for Linux is poor, just run Windows and run Linux inside. At least you'll have properly supported drivers.

I tried using Linux a couple of times on laptops. Multiple distros and devices. Power management is a disaster. I want to close the lid and not think about the computer sleeping. Nope. Trackpad drivers are beyond help. High resolution screen support is still weird. List goes on.

Anyway, WSL allows using a sane desktop environment and the great Linux kernel together. I think it is exciting as it might finally be the year of desktop linux when the desktop is actually Windows.


I'm a heavy UNIX user and believer. I hate Windows enough to have run it inside a VM on Linux, taking the pains to set up GPU passthrough so I can get graphical acceleration without ceding control of my computer to Microsoft.

But that was on a desktop. And although the Year of the Linux Desktop may very well be upon us, I have to agree with the article.

There is a lot of really powerful, really slim, really convenient hardware that can't easily be used with Linux. I'm planning to buy a laptop soon. It's not going to be a Thinkpad.

Can someone provide a counterpoint to this article, perhaps in the form of a convenient tablet-like machine (like a Surface Pro) that can run Linux without too much hackery? I'm willing to compile kernels if that's what it takes. But I would like for those things to eventually work once I do.


You might have some deeper reasons other than those described in your comment, but I genuinely don't understand why you would vehemently oppose robust hardware, which not only enjoys industry wide acceptance, but also provides the most favourable conditions for running *nix, modding and upgrading. Instead, you have cornered yourself and seek an inferior alternative solution, without wanting to get your hands dirty ─ which consequently makes your life even harder?

I want something I can easily carry with me. You're not wrong in that it's mostly impossible to modify these devices, but I don't think being able to mod these devices really provides you with a ton of lift anyway.

And I'm okay with getting my hands dirty, but I'm just one person with hopes and dreams. Maybe I can write one kernel module but I don't think I could build everything needed for a comfortable experience.


Reddit R/surfacelinux is full of that what you are looking for.

WSL 2 is better in very critical ways. WSL 1 occasionally corrupts SQLite databases. It’s a problem for anyone, but especially if you use Nix, where an SQLite db is a single point of failure. I had it happen to me.

On the other hand, WSL 1’s network interface is the machine one, and WSL 2 is a VM. So X server setup is a bit more tricky.

Windows Terminal does not support the mouse — no easy Vim window / tmux pane resizing. I use WSLtty (but haven’t managed to set it up to render emoji. )

It’s a bit difficult to maintain configs for everything to work in WSL, on macOS, and in Linux.


After spending half day trying to get CygwinXFree and XMing to work properly, I just realized it's never going to be better, on Windows.

I’m mostly fine using native GUI apps. Not like I use much except a browser, messengers, and Office.

VcXsrv was largely painless, as far as I remember.


one thing about the tablets with detachable keyboards i don't like is the kickstand is the only way to prop up the body. that makes it tough to use one from your lap for example. i realize there are 2-1s (i.e. laptops that have a hinge) but i wish there were a tablet with a detachable keyboard that could prop up the tablet using a hinge. the problem of course is the keyboard aren't rigid themselves so you can't hinge anything from them.

I think you’re looking for something like the Surface Book: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/surface-book-2/8mcpzjjcc98...

like i said i'm familiar with 2-1s that fold over. what i'm looking for is a case like this

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C7AU8IY/ref=psdc_11548963011_t1...

but for my dell 5285 (basically a surface)


The surface book has a removable but rigid keyboard. So, it seems to fit the criteria. Am I misunderstanding your criteria?

oh interesting. sorry i didn't realize the keyboard was removable on the surface book. that is in fact what i was imagining. thanks!

+1 for the Surface Pro 7. I recently bought one as a companion for my mb pro (still the daily driver) and I love it. Windows 10 is not bad either.

No amount of cool hardware or linux integration will ever cause me to run Microsoft’s spyware OS ever again.

In many corporate and enterprise environments it's a requirement for the desktop. At a previous job I had this limitation, though all my work was managing their few hundred Linux servers. I used VMware Workstation to keep my head in the Linux environment, and because a proper bash and vim and ssh is my minimum. Now, I would use WSL2, as it's more than up to the task, and noticeably faster.

As for the Surface, I bought my wife a Surface X for Christmas, so of course my trusty Yoga needed depot repair right as she got it. She was kind enough to let me take it for the couple of weeks it's been away, and I went through the process of upgrading it to 10 Pro, installing WSL2, etc. It works mostly well, except for Docker.

There's not a functional Docker for ARM64 unless I build it myself, which I haven't felt a strong enough desire to do. But, the tablet itself is nice, once I got used to the smaller keyboard.


Someone made it a requirement. Using Microsoft software isn’t some universal law of nature.

If you use WSL2 you can use the version of Docker packaged for your Linux distro instead of using the Windows Docker, you have to start dockerd yourself but then it Just Works

Are there ARM64 binaries for docker? What about all the common images, they come in arm versions too?

The author works for a company that builds corporate spyware.

SNAP



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