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Discussion on: Epic Development Environment using Windows Subsystem for Linux

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bmarkovic profile image
Bojan Markovic

Given WSL limitations and assuming that the laptop is to be used solely for software development on those personal projects, what's stopping you from going all in and running a Linux distro directly?

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johnbwoodruff profile image
John Woodruff Author

So personally the limitations with WSL are such that they haven't affected me in the stuff I use it for. I've definitely gone full Linux before, I used it as my primary driver for something like 4 years. However I only used it to the extent that I can do with WSL, and I MUCH prefer the stability and application quality of Windows 10. With WSL I get both things with no compromise! (again, in terms of my stuff I use it for) I absolutely acknowledge that there are many people for whom a full linux distro is absolutely the better option.

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bmarkovic profile image
Bojan Markovic

Fair enough. I must admit that I haven't used WSL for about a year (and I must admit that even then it was a begrudging compromise because Win10 was a company policy at a former employer).

I ran into multiple issues with symlinks and filesystem access from Windows to Linux and vice versa, various networking problems and also, some software simply did not run.

Containers (and on my dev boxes I run both Docker and LXC, the latter as low cost VM hosting for Ops/networking related emulated setups) simply weren't an option.

Very happy to be back on Linux. Also software stability isn't, in my experience, better on Win10, I'd actually put it the other way around. Admittedly that greatly depends on what software we are talking about.

But then, I have not been that happy with Mac either, especially Python situation on it though my experience with homebrew was overall better than with WSL. Still, nothing beats the real thing.

I do understand people have issues with incompatible hardware but I select my hardware with Linux compatibility in mind (which is kinda what Apple does).

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johnbwoodruff profile image
John Woodruff Author

All valid concerns! I'm a Mac user at work and I personally love the stability, along with the unix shell. I don't do much Python on my Mac so I can't speak much to that.

In terms of symlinks back and forth between the WSL and Windows filesystems, they absolutely were not well supported 1+ years ago. The anniversary update fixed all those issues, and I personally am using symlinks with no issue.

I should say that I do really enjoy using a full Linux distro. I just hate switching back and forth between my Windows and Linux partitions, so the marriage between the two works great for my needs. :)