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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  • haukionkannel - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    That is so true. But they can now play with this new toy and in two or three years from now, we may actually see ten or more games to use it! And after that some more...
    New trend has to be started one day. But early bird in this case may not to be the best place to bee. The second or third generation of ray tracing cards will be a heck of lot better in ray tracing than these and there will be more of them. Then we will have Nvidia, Intel and AMD competing the best ray tracing card title and also hopefully some price competition too!
    Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    That's true, but I'm still curious to see if Raytacing is worthwhile from a graphical point.

    That and if the RTX cards are crap at pumping out rays, then maybe the pricing will come back down to earth. So far the high prices are sort of justified by this big mythical feature that no one can verify.
    Reply
  • Martijn ter Haar - Friday, November 16, 2018 - link

    Yup. The Battlefield V is the first game where raytracing can be enabled, albeit only for reflections. There's still some bugs though. Hardware Unboxed has a video on it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpZmH0_1gWQ Reply
  • houtek - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    this OS has been buggy for decades. After spending three days on the phone with HP, and reinstalling Win 10 at least twice, i'm done. I had a high end HP laptop with a unreliable OS. I wiped the hard drive, installed Ubuntu Linux, immediately got $200 in refunds on Windows support utilities, never looked back. Reply
  • Spunjji - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    This OS hasn't been out for decades. Next troll, please. Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    Refunds for support utilities? What support utilities? Reply
  • PeachNCream - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    While I totally support your decision to switch to Linux and would encourage people that are interested in something other than Windows to give it a try, my experiences with Win10 haven't been like that. I use it at work on a daily basis with very few problems. I use Linux at home on a daily basis, also with very few problems. Every modern operating system will have bugs regardless of whether or not you go with something open or closed source. I've run into a variety of mostly minor issues Linux since picking up shop and moving to it so I'd hardly call it a perfect experience. Mint Tara, version 19 and the latest from the Mint team, has resolved some instability with Audacity I've been experiencing while making recordings for video production so I'm a pretty happy clam at the moment. I would argue that it runs neck-and-neck with 10 (or at least so close that there isn't a notable difference) in terms of reliability which is to say that both operating systems are quite usable and each has its own set of pros and cons. Reply
  • haukionkannel - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    Yep. I have has much less problems with win10 than I did have with win7. Win7 was quite nice at the end of its career, but all in all win 10 has been more stable operation system to me.
    On worst nitpick is that win10 has to keep so much legacy support in it that many setting are too numerous places (so that old programs can also work in it...) But stability has clearly been quite good. I did reinstall win 7 4-5 times. Win 10 I have not installed it again a single time. But it is all up how lucky you get with hardware vs firmware, vs software lottery that is quite excessive in windows machines.
    Reply
  • Targon - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    Talking to clueless support reps in India or wherever that only read from a script and expecting THEM to be able to help you just shows you should have checked online first for help. Windows 10 has been fairly solid for over a year now, even with the bugs that only apply to .05 percent of the user base.

    The big 1809 problem was due to people who redirected Documents for example to point to another directory instead of c:\users\USERNAME\Documents. If you had set up a proper JUNCTION link in the filesystem to do the job, it wouldn't have been a problem as well.
    Reply
  • Laitainion - Thursday, November 15, 2018 - link

    Given that redirection is redirection is the only method exposed via the gui and not working across hard discs/partitions I don't think that's entirely fair. I find it quite reasonable that Microsoft check the use-cases that they expose for people to use than expect people to use a method that isn't. Reply

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