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Ask HN: What tools make using Windows more bearable (for Linux folk)?
5 points by mkeedlinger 53 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 8 comments
I've used Linux exclusively on my devices for years, and it's been great! It's hard for me to articulate how wonderful using an OS that's part of an ecosystem (FOSS software) that favors user freedom over profit has been.

But a situation has come up that forces me to use Windows again, so does anyone have suggestions for tools that make it more acceptable?

There are some things I imagine I could search for like something to stop forced updates and built-in ads (looking at you Candy Crush), but I would love to hear about tools I wouldn't even know to look for!

(PS, Before I make anyone angry, I'm sure there are plenty of people who prefer Windows to Linux and find it quite bearable! I mean no disrespect, use what you will.)

edit: formatting (which didn't work how I expected)

Probably the biggest hurdle is psychological; if you come at it with the mindset that Linux is the One True Way To Do Things(tm), which it isn't and never was, it'll just frustrate you. It's a different lineage with different design decisions and assumptions. Think of it as traveling to a foreign country with a different language and customs.

If it's an option, you'll want to use the enterprise or even server editions. The home/pro editions are squarely aimed at non-technical consumers and, as so many have complained about, do things aimed at preventing them from shooting themselves in the foot, e.g. forced updates. (Speaking of which, I never have a problem with them because I manually check for updates once a week when it's convenient, the same as I am required do for my Linux boxes, so I never wind up in a situation where a forced update interrupts my work. Again, you need to think differently about Windows.)

You have access to both WSL2, if you need to do Linuxy things, and PowerShell, which has inelegant syntax (IMO) but is quite powerful and will give you similar CLI-based control over the workings of Windows if you invest the time to learn it.

Beyond that, you haven't said what you're using Windows for (coding, office apps, games) and in what context (home/work/school) so it's hard to give advice beyond that.

Hello. To make your Windows acceptable there is a good Win10 Tweaker utility. This utility removes all Windows tracking and other stuff. I highly recommend using the official website. Official: Win10tweaker.ru

MSYS2. It’s bash+coreutils and a gcc/clang environment out of the box, and many more packages can be installed with pacman. And it doesn’t depend on POSIX emulation, it’s all native win32 builds of popular *nix tools (contrasted to Cygwin for example)

Cygwin is faster and has way more packages

If you can't get enterprise, maybe you can get pro for education, which seems a little less pushy.

Personally, I like Windows to run Firefox and maybe some games or spreadsheets, and putty to connect to a unixy computer. VcXsvr seems like a decent X server these days for the ocassional things that need a GUI from Unix. All caveats about remote X still apply, of course. Some people like WSL, too.

For me, it's a VirtualBox VM with full RAM and CPU allocation and Manjaro Xfce inside it, full screen. :)

With two machines on your desk, Synergy.

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