Linux for a Die Hard Windows fans

In many places in this world there are many people have love-hate relationship with some products. Example: they enjoy using bash in Linux terminal but in same time they got stuck at Windows platform; or you are die hard Apple ecosystem but you wanna try other alternative platform like Windows because you know OEM products price for Windows product for many people is more reasonable in many places. I know it’s very difficult to understand what Windows team is thinking when they were developing this product.

But as a developer I think I know what they want; they wants us get stuck and never look at other platform like apple does with their ecosystem but I can’t say this is prohibited. They created feature that sounds interesting they called Windows subsystem for Linux. Sounds weird for some people because in the past ex-Microsoft CEO said that Linux is like cancer, but, now, maybe their mind have changed a lot.

So what they created? What is windows subsystem for Linux or wsl? Well, you can say that there are Linux live in Windows system and they talk each others sound interesting right? So let’s take a look.

First when you want to use wsl feature you need to enable that option first from control panel -> Program and Features -> check the Windows Subsystem for Linux and then click OK.

Enabling WSL feature

After you click OK, your machine will request you to restart the PC, and you can grab available Linux distro from Microsoft store.

Download avaliable distros from store

After download you could take a cup of coffee, and it would take a few minutes to install.

Installation of the distro

After the installation process it would request to set username and password.

Configure the username and password for distro

Woala!!.. your Linux installation is ready to use.

Distro ready to use

How? Sounds interesting right? And you don’t need virtualization software to run so it’s more lightweight for RAM consumption. Hold on, but how if you already have wsl distro running on your machine and want to use same configuration for other machine. Don’t worry you could import and export the distro to other machine. really? Yeah what you need to do is just export the distro via powershell or command prompt using this command.

wsl.exe --export <DistributionName> <FileName>

But if you couldn’t remember what name or version distro you want to export don’t worry you could show all list of installed distro using this command

wsl --list --all
Show all installed distro in your PC

after export process complete it would show up into file explorer and ready to use.

alright all files you need to export the distro is complete. so it’s time to import that into another machine using command

wsl.exe --import <DistributionName> <FileName>

and wait a couple minutes depending file size and your drive speed too.

after import the distro

And finally after import process complete. Congratulations! You could open the distro and could start using it. Okay, okay, I understand there are some caveat to such as you still couldn’t use systemd features and other feature. but i think it’s great step from Microsoft who in the past really hate Linux to give a features like this and I really hope they will give us more like this.

After they did this, do you still think that Microsoft still hates Linux? Please share your thoughts.




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Fajar Satria

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