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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  • brshoemak - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    "but that’s really a bad thing" - I assume you're missing a 'not' there. Not trying to be that guy but some people don't get context. Reply
  • Brett Howse - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    If you don't want to be "that guy" you can always send me an email, but either way thanks for the feedback :) Reply
  • BenJeremy - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    I tried to update this weekend, and it was a disaster. About an hour into the new update, everything on my system started hanging/freezing for minutes at a time. Simply emptying the recycle bin took agonizing minutes. My system is a monster system (64GB RAM, i7-6700K, 2xNVMe in RAID-0 for boot). It's probably a driver issue, but it was inexcusable that this was released into the public. After rolling back, my system was once again usable. Reply
  • IdBuRnS - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    It's a bit much that you think it's "inexcusable" that they released it because you happened to have an issue. I updated last night and it went perfectly fine. Reply
  • Holliday75 - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Its inexcusable that Microsoft did not account for the 325,643,324,962,789 hardware, software, driver, firmware and bios combos. Damn them! Reply
  • nico_mach - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Some updates are better than others. Our IT dept actually sent instructions to delay Windows updates on home machines because they considered this so shaky. I didn't see it in time, updated and have been fine. You never know. I do have very recent hardware, ryzen, though. Reply
  • basroil - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    No issues with 3 machines, haswell, kaby, and sandy bridge (yup, good old 2600k is still a beast!) Reply
  • Samus - Monday, May 28, 2018 - link

    The last update I had issued with was the anniversary update two years ago. It broke Asus AI Suite for the Z97 motherboard I have so I just uninstalled it and set the fan cooking curves in the bios. But I know people who also had issues with anniversary update breaking other software that used drivers, specifically monitor software controls (really common on HP professional monitors) Reply
  • hansmuff - Saturday, May 26, 2018 - link

    Any IT should have set the update frequency to "Semi-Annual Channel", not "Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)", in which case no PC would have updated yet. That setting is specifically for organizations. Reply
  • leexgx - Sunday, May 27, 2018 - link

    or more specifically for windows 10 Pro and enterprise (windows 10 home users cant easy limit unless they buy a windows 10 pro key for £$ 3-5) Reply

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