Command Line and Windows Subsystem for Linux

The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) has dramatically changed the development opportunities on Windows, and has become very popular. Microsoft has updated it continuously as well, bringing requested features and updates to really improve the experience. With the April Update, there’s once again some nice additions to Linux support on Windows.

What was once a somewhat arduous task, installing Linux distros on Windows now is something that’s moved to the Store, and for the April Update, there’s a couple of new distros available. Kali Linux is now an option, as well as the very popular Debian GNU/Linux. For those that want to run multiple distros, Windows 10 supports having multiple versions installed and running simultaneously.

Likely a very vocal request, background tasks were previously available but would end if the console window was closed. With the April Update, that’s no longer the case.

The WSL team has now brought Unix sockets to Windows as well, so you can communicate over these sockets between Windows and WSL.

People that do Linux admin will be aware of OpenSSH, and Microsoft has brought both a the OpenSSH client and server to Windows. The client is enabled by default, and the server is an on-demand feature as it likely should be.

Both Tar and Curl commands have also arrived in Windows 10’s command line interface, and Microsoft has created a new tool called wslpath to let you easily convert paths between Windows and Linux.

You can now do Linux permissions on files, with the new permission added as metadata to the file, and case sensitivity is now an opt-in feature, although to start an argument, case sensitivity is one of the most annoying features of Linux.

Console Applications Now Supported as UWP

There’s often no easier solution to a problem than a quick console application, but before the April Update, there was no way to distribute these apps through the Store. With the April Update, Console UWP is now supported, so developers can ship and update through the store just like any other UWP app.

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  • prime2515103 - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    The size of everything was normal for me. Reply
  • prime2515103 - Sunday, May 27, 2018 - link

    Well it turns out the problem wasn't exactly what I thought it was, as it returned the day after I posted this. It turns out that the update broke Rivatuner Statistics Server (used with MSI Afterburner for the OSD). An update for that fixed it, but I went ahead and uninstalled it since I don't use the OSD anyway.

    At least I think so... For all I know the problem will return tomorrow.
    Reply
  • BurntMyBacon - Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - link

    Good to know. I haven't had issues myself, but several clients have had issues similar to what you describe. Rivatuner Statistics Server is common between the systems. Reply
  • Nozuka - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    I really hope they switch to a yearly update cycle. It's a pain to have these big updates twice a year on all devices.. Reply
  • Dahak - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Same here. Even when I delay it as much as possible. It just makes that much easier to manage Reply
  • Jimios - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Not sure why exactly it's a "pain". A reboot taking 5 minutes longer, twice a year? Reply
  • nico_mach - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    The 'pain' is the reset settings (which shouldn't happen anyway), the reinstalled bloatware and the teething issues of underbaked updates. Never mind having all the buttons moved around twice a year instead of once every two years, like the glorious good ol' days of Bill Gates and Andy Grove. Reply
  • piiman - Saturday, May 26, 2018 - link

    "the reinstalled bloatware"

    What bloatware does it re install?
    Reply
  • stephenbrooks - Saturday, May 26, 2018 - link

    5 *minutes* longer? The last two updates took 3 hours+ to install on my PC and laptop, requiring multiple restarts. These updates are huge. Reply
  • Alexvrb - Sunday, May 27, 2018 - link

    Holy crud that's a slow potato! It didn't take that long even on an old i5-4200U lappy with a HDD and flash cache. Reply

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