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      How messed up would it be if “the year of the Linux desktop” happens on Windows…

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        Given that video acceleration is supported on Nvidia too and that this tech uses Wayland, Windows has the best Wayland experience on Nvidia…

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          Fedora 34, currently in beta, will support accelerated nvidia GPU + wayland, according to https://blogs.gnome.org/uraeus/2021/03/15/what-to-look-for-fedora-workstation-34/

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      By 2030, Windows is going to be a userland on top of the Linux kernel, with the necessary machinery to load Windows programs in PE format as well as ELF.

      I don’t think I’m kidding.

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        load Windows programs in PE format as well as ELF.

        For what it’s worth, the future is now. There’s some kind of compatibility layer already, and the Windows PATH is appended to the WSL PATH. (This concept makes my head spin a little bit.)

        $ uname -a
        Linux DESKTOP-4C9SPCE 5.4.72-microsoft-standard-WSL2 #1 SMP Wed Oct 28 23:40:43 UTC 2020 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
        $ cat /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc/WSLInterop
        interpreter /tools/init
        flags: F
        offset 0
        magic 4d5a
        $ ipconfig.exe
        Windows IP Configuration
        Ethernet adapter vEthernet (WSL):
           Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
           Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : fe80::1cd9:4a78:34a0:de22%42
           IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . :
           Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
           Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :
        Wireless LAN adapter Wi-Fi:
           Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
           Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : fe80::f538:e424:ed91:82f6%16
           IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . :
           Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
           Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :
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        By 2030, Windows is going to be a userland on top of the Linux kernel, with the necessary machinery to load Windows programs in PE format as well as ELF.

        Wonderful, combining the worst of both worlds.

        I don’t think I’m kidding.

        I certainly hope this doesn’t happen.

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          !man Linux


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      I wonder what GUI apps people really want on Windows. There’s a few I like, but not enough to justify the pain of actually running them in WSL, and they almost always have superior alternatives elsewhere.

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        I want emacs running next to node & rails projects without having to go through SMB or NTFS.

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          Can you have something like ext4 on WSL?

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        I teach occasionally and I would love to be able to have my students run an IDE in WSL to avoid dealing with a bunch of Windows “stuff” that doesn’t matter. That’s a pretty minor use-case, though, to be fair.

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        I use gitg pretty often on Windows because I tend to do git checkouts in WSL to avoid any line-ending issues and generally use the command line, but sometimes run gitg when I want to add a subset of my changes to a commit. I used to use Konsole until the Windows Terminal got better.

        The sound bit might be interesting, but vcXsrv from Chocolatey makes it very easy to run X11 apps in WSL or in a VM. It’s interesting that this is using a separate VM, because that implies that it probably isn’t specific to Linux: I’d expect a FreeBSD VM to be able to talk to the Wayland and PulseAudio server just as easily.

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      Eric Raymond, writing last September …


      So, the end state this all points at is: New Windows is mostly a Linux kernel, there’s an old-Windows emulation over it, but Edge and the rest of the Windows user-land utilities don’t use the emulation. The emulation layer is there for games and other legacy third-party software.

      Economic pressure will be on Microsoft to deprecate the emulation layer. Partly because it’s entirely a cost center. Partly because they want to reduce the complexity cost of running Azure. Every increment of Windows/Linux convergence helps with that – reduces administration and the expected volume of support traffic.

      Possibly because I vividly remember the Halloween Document days, I’m still concerned about this being the “embrace” step of embrace -> extend -> extinguish. DRM might be the leverage, here. Imagine if Widevine et al were convinced to support only WSL …

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        I think Raymond’s scenario is pretty unlikely. It just doesn’t make much sense for them to give up control and all their historical advantages.

        But my silly projection is that Microsoft is embracing broken things like Wayland and PulseAudio since then it makes it easier for Linux to kill itself outside the server….

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      I really wonder why they used Weston. Is it still the “reference” Wayland compositor? I thought wlroots now fits that.

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        Yes, Weston is still the reference implementation. wlroots isn’t really in a position to change that; it’s just a really good implementation, but with no special ties to the Wayland project.

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        Collabora has sold in Weston in quite a few places you’d perhaps not look (the RDP implementation is also a reason in this specific case) - and they had their hands in the WSL cookie jar as well. See the slides to https://aglammjapan2019.sched.com/event/L8Vr for a treat.

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      What is the endgame for Microsoft here? Converting Linux and Mac users to Windows? Give less incentive to people to switch from Windows? I’m not sure what commercial end goal they have there.

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        Getting more devs on Windows, probably also to get more Azure users

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          Yep. Up until WSL came along I absolutely could not use Windows to do my job. Now I just prefer not to use Windows to do my job, but it’s not impossible.

          Ironically, the Outlook Web app makes it far easier for me to do all of my job in Linux, so it’s kind of a 2 way street.

      2. [Comment removed by author]

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          That’s not incredibly condescending to us windows users at all!

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            Ehm, sorry. I should have thought about what I wrote before posting. :V

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            It’s okay. Just wait a bit for a BSOD, and you won’t be able to read the mean comments ;-P

            (I’m only half joking. My wife just switched her XPS13 from Windows 10 to Ubuntu after a Windows Update pushed a driver or config change that reliably blue-screened her device within five minutes of booting. We tried re-imaging and it was fine; after the update, back to crashing. Ubuntu 20.10 has been rock solid on the same machine.)

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              My partner’s computer had similar a couple weeks back. Ended up trying reimaging twice, but inevitably the update would hit again and it would reliably crash within minutes of boot. Our “solution” — after a weekend of debugging and trying everything we could, isolating the problem in the graphics card driver but no particular version not crashing once Windows updated — was to swap graphics cards between our Windows PCs. For some reason, that works okay. Both NVidia cards, both on same Windows version and release. Just madness. It was working fine up until then.

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      It’s crazy how they’re adding all these features when Windows is STILL a huge pain in the ass to use

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      Nice, it’s possible to use Wayland on Windows.

      Too bad it’s still not possible to use it on my native Linux system ;( [Nvidia]

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        It’s all possible, even with GPU support in Xwayland apps. GNOME and KDE should just work. wlroots doesn’t like supporting nvidia’s API, but someone did fork wlroots to add that :D

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      I have used this. Not bad at all! I moved my mac mini to windows sick of apple shit. Windows seems less prettier but does seem faster for the same intel hardware than Mac. At this rate, I think Microsoft will buy Ubuntu at some point.

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      They spoke about the approach here during the fall (XDC2020): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkNBsBx501Q

      The architecture has about the taste and appeal of “Road-Kill Café - you kill it we grill it!”. Who wouldn’t want to run X11 over Wayland, multiplex in PulseAudio and translate over RDP with some hacks to get a GPU command-stream across if the socket on both ends is local. This stinks of a coming GitHub “deploy to Azure” and use an RDP viewer to test it out - kind of vertical integration.

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      I have never heard of this. Honestly, makes me more willing to move to Windows off of Mac. I use Covenant Eyes, and that only runs on Mac or Windows, and I only like using Mac because it’s UNIX under the hood.

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      Only tangentially related, but I learned the other day that WSL2 (currently) requires Hyper-V, which is (currently) only supported on Windows 10 Pro edition. Due to a wontfix incompatibility between GHC and WSL1, this prevents me from installing Haskell / GHC on my Windows 10 machine.

      Software development on Windows has come a long way, but it’s corner cases like these that prevent me from switching from Ubuntu. Generally things “just work” on Linux, but it’s a constant fight to get running on Windows.

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        Have you even tried enabling it on Home? WSL2 uses the Hyper-V runtime, which is also supposed to be included in Home edition.

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          Are you sure? I tried following the WSL2 upgrade instructions and ran into some errors about virtualization on the command line. I did some digging to try to resolve it, but there is no “Hyper-V” option available in the “Turn Windows features on or off” menu, and the “Upgrade to Windows 10” option in the Microsoft Store lists Hyper-V support as one of the benefits of upgrading.

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            It looks like it should be available: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wsl/wsl2-faq

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        I run WSL2 on Windows 10 Home with no problem.

        On one of my computers though, Id id have to restart into the bios* settings to enable it though, then the option appeared in Windows. You might need to do that too.

        • i know it isn’t bios anymore but i forget the new term lol
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          i know it isn’t bios anymore but i forget the new term lol UEFI?