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Discussion on: “Do I Want To Use Windows Subsystem For Linux?”

contradicthelaw profile image
Minh Nguyen (he/him)

I used Windows Subsystem for Linux (like you, via the Insider Preview) after getting a new machine for development a few months back.

I found that while it was better in terms of performance compared to using a virtual machine, the experience wasn’t really up to it for me running it natively.

To be fair, I shouldn’t expect the performance to ever surpass running Linux by itself, but it might be important to others.

Using Ubuntu, one of the things I ran across was the fact that services don’t start up automatically—you have to run them manually or set them up to run on login. There were also a few different quirks I had while trying to work with it, including when trying to install Node.js dependencies.

That’s not to say you can’t do good things with it—I’ve been able to set up Apache, Nginx, MariaDB, and PHP for web development, and it works great!

If you’re still looking for a native terminal for WSL, I’d suggest wsltty, which is basically a modified version of mintty. I think it might do a better job of rendering Unicode characters.

jacoby profile image
Dave Jacoby Author

1) Thanks for "one of the things I ran across was the fact that services don’t start up automatically". I've been thinking "I wish I had cron" without thinking sudo /etc/init.d/cron start for a while now, but now it's going. I hate-hate-hate needing to Admin-up for task scheduling on Windows, and grumped on that without making that mental jump.

2) Other-OS-on-slower-OS is never going to be as fast as faster-OS. You are correct there. I use a lot of self-written command-line tools, and wanted to have them and be able to play Steam games and every other perk of running Windows on my personal laptop. Other people's performance algebra will not come up with the same answers.

3) Will look into wsltty. Thanks for that.