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

Dave Jacoby on December 12, 2017

“Do I Want To Use Windows Subsystem For Linux?” I dunno. Maybe. … Yeah, that might not be helpful. “What is Windows Subsys... [Read Full]
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The biggest problem to work WSL in my opinion is that your FS stay NFS. There's no symbolic link possible with Windows FS and that's really annoying. Most of modern web tools like npm, composer or framework (Symfony cache, assets) will not work.
That said, it's not possible to use WSL for serious work.

Maybe one day if Windows's FS change, but not today..


I keep bin/ and lib/ in Dropbox, using symbolic links to make Dropbox/bin into bin.

jacoby@Lion 10:58 ~
$ ls -l
total 240
lrwxrwxrwx 1 jacoby jacoby     31 Jun 16 16:15 bin -> /mnt/c/Users/jacoby/Dropbox/bin
lrwxrwxrwx 1 jacoby jacoby     31 Aug 10 14:22 dev -> /mnt/c/Users/jacoby/Dropbox/dev
lrwxrwxrwx 1 jacoby jacoby     27 Jun 16 16:15 Dropbox -> /mnt/c/Users/jacoby/Dropbox
lrwxrwxrwx 1 jacoby jacoby     31 Aug 10 14:22 lib -> /mnt/c/Users/jacoby/Dropbox/lib
lrwxrwxrwx 1 jacoby jacoby     19 Jun 16 16:15 win -> /mnt/c/Users/jacoby

I swear and affirm that this works. WSL is a work in progress.

Being said, I do my work on a Linux box and use the Windows for testing.


I was using Docker in my WSL and Postgres, the impossiblity of symlink made my persistent storage unable..

It's maybe something new but my biggest problem was the PostGres docker persistent storage..


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.


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.

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