16 votes

Microsoft releases source for the version of the Linux kernel used in WSL2

5 comments

  1. [3]
    imperialismus
    (edited )
    Link
    Who would have thought 10 years ago that Microsoft would ever ship Windows with an actual Linux kernel? It's not a replacement for the Windows NT kernel, but exists to support the new version of...

    Who would have thought 10 years ago that Microsoft would ever ship Windows with an actual Linux kernel? It's not a replacement for the Windows NT kernel, but exists to support the new version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL2). WSL allows you to run Linux software on Windows. The old WSL would translate Linux/POSIX syscalls to NT syscalls, but this was too inefficent. The new version is essentially a built-in virtual machine running a stripped-down, actual Linux kernel.

    I don't think the people predicting the NT kernel will eventually be replaced by Linux have it right. But it's pretty cool to be able to use a Linux dev environment in Windows. I ran Linux as my primary OS on the first computer I ever owned, but these days, I need Windows to support various software I use including Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop and games. But as a hobby programmer I always felt more at home in a Unix environment, and I've never learned much about the Win32 API. I've used WSL1 to support the Crystal programming language, which unfortunately hasn't got a native Windows release yet, and it's worked well. This new version should work even better.

    It's amazing that when I started getting seriously into computers, programming and the internet in the early 2000s, the anticompetitive ways of MS in the 1990s, including the browser wars, were fresh in memory and Google was positioned as the "good guy" while MS was an enemy of the people, it seemed like. These days, public opinion has largely reversed. Both Google and MS open source a lot of stuff, but whenever Google does so, people suspect them to be going the route of "embrace, extend and extinguish" which used to be Microsoft's tactic. Being able to stop supporting the outdated, nonstandard mess of Internet Explorer was a dream when I wrote my first lines of HTML/CSS. Now, Google owns the browser space and even Microsoft Edge runs Chromium, and people find this horrifying.

    And now we have an honest-to-GodStallman Linux Kernel in Windows 10.

    12 votes
    1. HanakoIsBestGirl
      Link Parent
      Well I'm not sure how honest to Stallman it would be unless Microsoft licensed windows under the GPL and got rid of their nasty practices in regards to user privacy.

      Well I'm not sure how honest to Stallman it would be unless Microsoft licensed windows under the GPL and got rid of their nasty practices in regards to user privacy.

      1 vote
    2. gpl
      Link Parent
      This reminds me of an article I just read in the Washington Post about how and why Microsoft has gone largely uncriticized in an environment increasingly skeptical of big tech. An interesting...

      It's amazing that when I started getting seriously into computers, programming and the internet in the early 2000s, the anticompetitive ways of MS in the 1990s, including the browser wars, were fresh in memory and Google was positioned as the "good guy" while MS was an enemy of the people, it seemed like. These days, public opinion has largely reversed.

      This reminds me of an article I just read in the Washington Post about how and why Microsoft has gone largely uncriticized in an environment increasingly skeptical of big tech. An interesting observation from the article

      Microsoft, the largest company in the world measured by market capitalization, has its own massive stash of consumer data, everything from information about how consumers use its Outlook email service to the job history and professional contacts of members on LinkedIn. But because online advertising isn’t the engine that drives its revenue, the company hasn’t pushed limits in its use of that data, Gavil said.

      rings very true.

      1 vote
  2. HanakoIsBestGirl
    Link
    Well it's GPL'd so they kinda have to release it. Don't view this as purely Microsoft being nice.

    Well it's GPL'd so they kinda have to release it. Don't view this as purely Microsoft being nice.

    3 votes
  3. Crocodile
    Link
    With this (and WSL in general) plus the ever-increasing popularity of Chromebooks and how Google is allowing users to use the actual Linux kernel, 2019 is most likely the closest we will get to...

    With this (and WSL in general) plus the ever-increasing popularity of Chromebooks and how Google is allowing users to use the actual Linux kernel, 2019 is most likely the closest we will get to the "year of the Linux desktop."

    2 votes