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Re: native Linux userland in Windows 10


> Andrew Schulman <> wrote:

> By now I guess most of us have seen the reports of bash, and in fact a full
> Linux userland, running natively in Windows 10:
> It's in beta release and doesn't seem to have been widely tested yet.
> Apparently
> Microsoft has developed an API translation layer, similar to the Cygwin DLL,
> to
> make this work. But unlike with Cygwin, Linux apps don't have to be rebuilt -
> they can run native as-is in Windows 10. So you can get, allegedly, the full
> Linux userland out-of-the-box.
> The first link cited above suggests that if this is all it claims to be, it
> would remove the need for Cygwin. I can see the point.

There follows a small list of some points that distinguish cygwin from Windows
Subsystem for Linux (WSL) in my opinion.

 - There is no plan to add X11 or Mir (or any equivalent) to WSL.
   It is not possible to install X11 stuff since the grapical device drivers are
not ported.
 - Native windows applications cannot be started (yet?) from WSL.
 - Windows and WSL have separate users. (How do access rights work then?)

This list comes without any warranty. That are just items that I believe I've
read in the jungle of existing articles about this topic. I did not have the
opportunity to try WSL yet.

>From my point of view it depends on the use case whether WSL or Cygwin is the
right choice for you.

One interesting use case concerns some of my co-workers. They automatically
generate source code for Linux with a Windows program and want to compile the
source code with gcc and test it. It seems to me that this is a good use case
for WSL.

On the other hand I am used to Unix and Linux environments but I have to develop
software under Windows at work. I want to be able to write my private notes on
numerics, physics and stuff like that in my Linux environment at home and under
Windows at work. This includes for an example LaTeX files, orgmode files with
octave, gnuplot, c++, and python snippets and so on. The easiest way to get this
all to work seamlessly is Cygwin for me. I cannot see how I could replace cygwin
with WSL if WSL does not integrate as nicely into Windows as Cygwin does and if
it does not support X11 or Mir.

With best regards,
Tobias Zawada

 1st: It would be nice if there existed a list of differences between WSL and
Cygwin in some wiki as a criterion for the decision which system to choose.
 2nd: It would be really nice if Microsoft would give Corinna more support with
fork and acl. For an instance Magit is not really usable for me on Cygwin.
(Somebody already mentioned something similar.)

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