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2017 is the year of Linux on Windows Desktop

Yes, Microsoft makes it very easy to run the Ubuntu Linux Bash shell of SUSE or Fedora on Windows 10 and no hell's not frozen…

Carmen Crincoli of Microsoft Storage tweeted: “2017 is finally the year of Linux on Windows Desktop. "

With the help of Canonical (Ubuntu's parent company), Microsoft has managed to add Ubuntu's Bash shell to Windows 10 from last year. It can run not on a container or virtual machine (VM), but with natural libraries and Windows programs: Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).Linux

As Dustin Kirkland, a member of Canonical's Ubuntu product and strategy executive team, explained at the time, "Cygwin's open source utilities are compiled from source to run natively on Windows. Here we are talking about bit-for-bit, checksum-for-checksum Ubuntu ELF binaries running directly on Windows. ”

Continuing Kirkland reported on the WSL: "It basically translates Linux syscalls to Windows OS syscalls in real time. Linux geeks can think of it as the opposite of 'WINE' - the Ubuntu binaries that are native to Windows. ”

Since then, Microsoft has continued to continuously improve WSL The Windows 10 Creators Update update has added more than a hundred new features to WSL. Even before Windows 10 Creators Update appears, the SUSE showed us that you can run an openSUSE Bash shell on WSL.

The only thing that has changed really lately is that it is now much easier to install WSL and Bash with their availability in the Windows Store.

As explained by Terry Myerson, Microsoft's Executive Vice President for Windows:

"We have simplified the installation of Ubuntu by bringing it to the Windows Store. We also announce that we are working with SUSE Linux and Fedora Linux to run on WSL, to bring them to the Windows Store. Now, Windows is the only platform that can run both Windows and Linux applications side by side. ”

In fact, that it's not true. Thanks to VMs and WINE, an open source project that translates Windows application programming interfaces (APIs) into Unix-Linux, POSIX calls, one can run Windows applications on Linux for decades.

Except for Terry Myerson's inaccuracy, the new feature gives unlimited capabilities to developers and system administrators. Although the Bash shell will not be very useful to ordinary users, IT is a very serious tool to make Windows more useful in a server and cloud world that is increasingly dominated by Linux. Even in Windows Azure, over one third of the servers are Linux.

With Bash and WSL, you can run most shell tools. These include: apt, ssh, rsync, find, grep, awk, sed, sort, xargs, md5sum, gpg, curl, wget, tar, vim, emacs, diff, and patch. You can also run popular open source programming languages ​​such as python, perl, ruby, php and gcc.

In addition, WSL and Bash support server programs such as the Apache web server and the Oracle MySQL database management system. In short, you can have a capable Linux-based development environment that works with Windows.

That's why, while the news about Bash shell running in Windows 10 does not make bigger headlines on news sites, the most important news is that Microsoft is well on the way to transfer Bash shell to Azure Portal :

Azure Cloud Shell and Windows Server.

There, developers and administrators can use the same scripts, tools, and container images they use on Linux containers on Azure and Windows Server container hosts using Hyper-V isolation. Here, WSL and Bash will really present their IT benefits.

So, yes, Linux comes to the Windows desktop, but where it really is going to change things making it even easier to run Linux server applications on Azure and Windows Server.


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