Windows Subsystem for Linux

The developer reaction to Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) has been quite good, and Microsoft continues to update it with pretty much every release of Windows 10. There’s some really great functionality with this update which should improve the experience even further.

Distros

There’s now additional Linux distros available in the Microsoft Store. If you are an Ubuntu fan, version 18.04 is now available, and Microsoft has a guide on how to update to the latest version. Also, Ubuntu 18.04 can be run on ARM devices, which is interesting.

There’s also WLinux, OpenSUSE 15, and SLES 15 available in the store now.

Microsoft has also added the ability to install WSL distros right from the command line, which should make setting up a new dev machine quite a bit easier.

Notepad

Announced at Build to much fanfare, Microsoft has updated Notepad to support Linux line endings, which means you can use Notepad to open files from Unix/Linux, macOS, or Windows.

Shift Right Click Menu

If you’ve ever been in explorer and thought wouldn’t it be great to be able to launch a Linux shell from right here, today is your lucky day. The shift right click menu will now have entry to launch a Linux shell here, which will open your default WSL distro to that path, much like the existing PowerShell option did already.

Improved Per-Directory Case Sensitivity Support

Case sensitivity is now off by default on new directories created in WSL, which fixes an issue introduced previously when new directories were created in WSL which would then not work well in Windows where applications expected the directory to be non-case sensitive. You can switch directories back and forth with the setfattr command as needed. If this has been a pain point for you, check out Microsoft’s blog on the topic.

Copy and Paste

With the latest update, there’s a new option in the console option window to allow copy and paste from the keyboard shortcuts of Ctrl + Shift + C and V.

Shell Updates and More Edge Updates
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  • GreenReaper - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    The default for the shell-based deletion call is to delete all files and subdirectories within it a directory - as compared to just removing the directory if it's empty. Unfortunately whoever seems to have been unaware of this, or otherwise failed to properly check that it was empty first. Reply
  • FreihEitner - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    If the major feature of the 1809 update is the Your Phone app, then I shouldn't need it. I'm only on 1803 and I've got the Your Phone app which I installed from the Microsoft store. *confused* Reply
  • Spunjji - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    Lucky then that it isn't "the major feature", as even a casual glance at this article illustrates. Reply
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    I've been using Samsung SideSync on and off for a while with my phones, but that's a bit more like a remote desktop/screen sharing for your phone. It really eats up the battery in my experience. Not only that, it requires a bit of manual effort to connect and disconnect. I'm tempted to see how this Your Phone feature works. All I really want to do is reply to messages from my PC and transfer files/photos between devices without killing the battery. Reply
  • ads295 - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    SideSync has serious issues in transferring files, too - it's so tedious to select "Transfer files" and have to click through each file in the list! Reply
  • PeachNCream - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    USB cable? Reply
  • Wingartz - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    so how do we get it?? from the meadia creation tool 1809 is this november update or still october?? Reply
  • Targon - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    It's still considered 1809, so yes, the Media Creation Tool 1809 is the right one. Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    1809 also brings DirectX Raytracing with it, right? I'd love to see how that pans out. Reply
  • Targon - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    Even with 1809, software developers need to enable support for ray tracing in their programs, and the vast majority will not waste the effort on a feature that only three GPUs on the market will actively support right now, but with two of those not having enough performance for people to even bother keeping it turned on. Reply

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