Microsoft & Canonical Bring Ubuntu to Windows 10 Desktop - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 2016-03-30, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Cool Microsoft & Canonical Bring Ubuntu to Windows 10 Desktop

Today there are tons of media reports out that Microsoft is working with Ubuntu's corporate owner Canonical to have Ubuntu running WITH Windows 10 in real time without the need of a virtual machine or emulation. Further, Microsoft has announced that they've ported the Bash shell environment to Windows 10.

My first thought about all this is that cross-platform developers are the big winners, especially with Microsoft's recent joining of the Eclipse Foundation. For consumers this is a nice-to-have idea, but it may end up causing further desktop erosion for the Windows platform as people see that they can do their web surfing, email, tweeting, facebooking, etc. etc. in Ubuntu too, meaning that they can do the same in Linux or BSD OSes if they so choose.



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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 2016-03-30, 08:33 PM
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I've read this is an offshoot from the work that was done on the (now cancelled) Android emulation layer.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 2016-03-30, 08:38 PM
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An interesting side question I have is, will Ubuntu usage stats *leak" back through a Windows 10 portal of some kind to MS?

This is an interesting development.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 2016-03-30, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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That's a good point about Android - Microsoft is also involved with Cyanogen (not Cyanogenmod) to bring an Android-like competitor environment to AT&T phones made by ZTE.

For developers it may be a godsend to have a combined Windows 10-Ubuntu-pseudo Android box to work with, although this is possible in many other ways than on Windows 10 itself (I think Microsoft knows that).



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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 2016-03-30, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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CamDAB, both Microsoft and Canonical are devout fans of tracking, telemetry, and phoning home. It is possible that they might bake in some locks that prevent alternative Linux distros from being used, but we'll see.



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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 2016-03-30, 08:45 PM
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^^^ Not totally pleased to hear that, but the Ubuntu live CD's run great here, just haven't had time to grab another HDD to do a proper install.. But that's another discussion for a rainy day. :-)

Thanks for the heads up.

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Last edited by CamDAB; 2016-03-30 at 09:00 PM. Reason: Obliterated typo... bad typo... bad bad typo... :-)
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 2016-03-30, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Bash, Perl, and Powershell

One other thought about this, from a sysadmin perspective, is that the move to port Bash to Windows 10 is a huge asset to admins of mixed shops. Up until now it was necessary to write scripts for the Unix/Linux portion of machines by using any of the many available shells, while separately using Microsoft's Powershell for the Windows boxes. Unfortunately Powershell is incompatible with the Unix/Linux shells in almost every way, and I've been irritated with MS about that ever since they rolled it out. Sensible admins have been using Perl for cross-platform admin tasks over the years. With Bash on Windows 10 it will now be possible to use it and/or Perl to write grand-unified scripts and ditch Powershell once and for all. If you are purely a Windows admin and love Powershell, so be it, but learning Bash and/or Perl is a great career move.



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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 2016-03-30, 10:45 PM
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Further, Microsoft has announced that they've ported the BASH shell environment to Windows 10.
That's been available for years with Cygwin.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 2016-03-30, 10:53 PM
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My reaction to this headline is that it's a little bit early for April 1.
In fact, wasn't there a big "April Fools" joke about MS Linux a few years back?
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 2016-03-31, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
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How it works

SVN wrote up a good description of it over on ZDNet:
Quote:
Yes, Microsoft is going to enable users to run Bash natively on Windows 10, and yes Ubuntu on the next major Windows 10 update, Redstone. How the heck did they do that? First, Ubuntu parent company Canonical and Microsoft will be running it not on Linux in a container or virtual machine (VM), but on Windows native libraries and programs: Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).
Ubuntu (not Linux) on Windows: How it works | ZDNet



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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 2016-03-31, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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That's been available for years with Cygwin.
True, and Cygwin has been a terrific tool for mixed shops, as was Microsoft's own Unix Services For Windows product at one time, but having Bash directly as part of Windows 10 means that no matter which machine you're administering, whether Unix, LInux, or W10, you know it has the required shell on it without having to install anything.

I just hope they make sure it is a 100% compliant Bash implementation. I remember the time Microsoft announced that their Korn shell implementation was fully compliant, only to have an audience member repeatedly insist that it was not. The gentleman in the audience turned out to be David Korn himself, from Bell Labs. What a hoot! Anyways, I don't think MS staff want to go through that sort of humiliation again.



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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 2016-03-31, 06:08 AM
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^^^^
Well, there are both BSD & Linux versions of Bash available that they can include.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 2016-03-31, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Ubuntu != Linux, and More Clarifications

For those not sure, Ubuntu has been a Linux distribution, and not "Linux" itself (which is the kernel). The title of this post says "Ubuntu Does Not Equal Linux" the way you'd see it using the Bash shell. Glad to get that out of the way.

Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu, has been working towards having their Ubuntu distibution run equally on the Linux or FreeBSD kernels, and now, based on clarifications coming out in various tech news stories, they've been working with Microsoft to run Ubuntu in similar fashion on Windows 10 without Linux.

So, to clarify, this is not a case of Linux-on-Windows. It is actually an upper portion of Ubuntu that will ride on Windows 10 instead of on the Linux or FreeBSD kernel.

For multi-OS devs who prefer just one device, this is not a solution. It pretty well means staying with virtual machines for simultaneous testing on Linux and Windows, let alone on OSX, BSD, Android, iOS, etc.



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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 2016-03-31, 12:29 PM
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My understanding is that Win10 will provide a kernel level compatibility layer that lets most Linux applications run directly on Win10. In that respect, it will be similar to an emulator. Ubuntu simply takes advantage of that compatibility layer. As it is built into the Windows kernel, Win10 has the opportunity to provide better compatibility and efficiency than existing emulators. Whether that will happen remains to be seen.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 2016-03-31, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Here is an article given in SVN's story on ZDNet about Windows 10's Linux subsystem:

Windows 10 build 14251 has Linux subsystem files, but what could it mean?

The specifically crafted Ubuntu image would ride on top of that Windows 10 subsystem in real time.



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