22 votes

Microsoft announces first paid-for $20 Linux Distro for Windows 10 October 2018 update

21 comments

  1. [11]
    Deimos
    Link
    I removed the "possible gpl violation" tag (please don't use tags as a way to comment on a story), but I'm curious why you thought that. Because they're charging money for it? The GPL explicitly...

    I removed the "possible gpl violation" tag (please don't use tags as a way to comment on a story), but I'm curious why you thought that. Because they're charging money for it? The GPL explicitly doesn't restrict people from selling the software (from GPLv3):

    When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price. Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for them if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs, and that you know you can do these things.

    29 votes
    1. [10]
      Eva
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Fair. I believe it's a possible GPL violation because Microsoft has a history of skirting the GPL with distributions they release. (Azure Sphere, for example, and to a lesser extent SONIC.) You...

      Fair.

      I believe it's a possible GPL violation because Microsoft has a history of skirting the GPL with distributions they release. (Azure Sphere, for example, and to a lesser extent SONIC.) You obviously can charge money for software with the GPL; but not distributing source on things running locally is a no-no.

      5 votes
      1. neon
        Link Parent
        The article is fairly misleading. While forked from Microsoft code, WLinux is neither developed nor endorsed by Microsoft. See https://www.whitewaterfoundry.com/

        The article is fairly misleading. While forked from Microsoft code, WLinux is neither developed nor endorsed by Microsoft. See https://www.whitewaterfoundry.com/

        10 votes
      2. [7]
        teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        Is MS not providing source code for WLinux?

        but not distributing source on things running locally is a no-no.

        Is MS not providing source code for WLinux?

        3 votes
        1. [6]
          Eva
          Link Parent
          They haven't for Sphere, and I don't see any source for WLinux anywhere, though to be fair it isn't available just yet.

          They haven't for Sphere, and I don't see any source for WLinux anywhere, though to be fair it isn't available just yet.

          1. [3]
            Deimos
            Link Parent
            This appears to be it: https://github.com/WhitewaterFoundry/WLinux
            14 votes
            1. [2]
              Eva
              Link Parent
              That's interesting - so it's not actually a MS product?

              That's interesting - so it's not actually a MS product?

              3 votes
              1. Deimos
                Link Parent
                Yes, I don't think there's any official Microsoft association with it. This article has a little more info: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/09/26/wlinux/

                Yes, I don't think there's any official Microsoft association with it. This article has a little more info: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/09/26/wlinux/

                5 votes
          2. [2]
            Diff
            Link Parent
            It says it'll be on GitHub and developed through GitHub so if nothing else the source will be available there.

            It says it'll be on GitHub and developed through GitHub so if nothing else the source will be available there.

            1. Eva
              Link Parent
              Things on GitHub/developed through GitHub can be closed source.

              Things on GitHub/developed through GitHub can be closed source.

              1 vote
      3. Grendel
        Link Parent
        My understanding is that WSL doesn't use any Linux kernel code at all. It uses a Microsoft proprietary kernel that is compatible with Linux applications. When you get "Ubuntu" from the MS store...

        My understanding is that WSL doesn't use any Linux kernel code at all. It uses a Microsoft proprietary kernel that is compatible with Linux applications. When you get "Ubuntu" from the MS store all your getting is the user space level stuff, for which the source is widely available.

        1 vote
  2. [5]
    ainar-g
    Link
    I mean, if Microsoft wants to make their own RHEL, why not? As long as they play nice and don't engage in the old E3 behaviour, I don't mind.

    I mean, if Microsoft wants to make their own RHEL, why not? As long as they play nice and don't engage in the old E3 behaviour, I don't mind.

    7 votes
    1. Crestwave
      Link Parent
      This is not by or supported by Microsoft; it's developed by Whitewater Foundry, forked from Microsoft's WSL-DistroLauncher.

      This is not by or supported by Microsoft; it's developed by Whitewater Foundry, forked from Microsoft's WSL-DistroLauncher.

      4 votes
    2. [4]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [3]
        wirelyre
        Link Parent
        I'm hilariously unqualified to talk about this, but I just can't see that happening. Or, at least, it doesn't seem like it would be a good move. There would be a lot of users stuck with legacy...

        I'm hilariously unqualified to talk about this, but I just can't see that happening. Or, at least, it doesn't seem like it would be a good move. There would be a lot of users stuck with legacy WinAPI applications and drivers. Granted, they could use Wine (it's LGPL) or something, but Microsoft would still be left supporting the whole API. Not much gained, and the greater part of the code is FOSS.

        On the other hand, I'm not sure there's anything inherently desirable about the NT syscall surface or ecosystem. The continuing draw for Linux, I think, has been a stable ABI and a huge set of drivers — despite the bazaar userland. I don't see WSL being attractive enough to overwhelm the GPL Linux community, especially being a second-class interface (it has to coexist with NT/WinAPI).

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          lordpipe
          Link Parent
          I'm not necessarily talking about replacing Windows, but rather to provide an alternative to windows server that is compatible with linux stuff. A separate version of windows that drop-in replaces...

          I'm hilariously unqualified to talk about this, but I just can't see that happening. Or, at least, it doesn't seem like it would be a good move. There would be a lot of users stuck with legacy WinAPI applications and drivers. Granted, they could use Wine (it's LGPL) or something, but Microsoft would still be left supporting the whole API. Not much gained, and the greater part of the code is FOSS.

          I'm not necessarily talking about replacing Windows, but rather to provide an alternative to windows server that is compatible with linux stuff. A separate version of windows that drop-in replaces the linux kernel.

          2 votes
          1. wirelyre
            Link Parent
            That makes sense. I bet Windows Server users are generally tied more strongly to software frameworks than to the hardware. And with .NET Core targeting Linux, it might not be a crazy move.

            That makes sense. I bet Windows Server users are generally tied more strongly to software frameworks than to the hardware. And with .NET Core targeting Linux, it might not be a crazy move.

            1 vote
  3. lordpipe
    Link
    People are already largely unwilling to pay for open source software. Open source software trapped inside WSL sounds even less likely to see much attention. I'm curious what kind of distinguishing...

    People are already largely unwilling to pay for open source software. Open source software trapped inside WSL sounds even less likely to see much attention. I'm curious what kind of distinguishing features they might add to this.

    6 votes
  4. lionirdeadman
    Link
    I don't understand why you'd make a WSL Debian and make people buy it.. it feels extremely slimey to do.. especially when you consider Debian doesn't charge and I doubt they'll give money to...

    I don't understand why you'd make a WSL Debian and make people buy it.. it feels extremely slimey to do.. especially when you consider Debian doesn't charge and I doubt they'll give money to Debian.. who even is this for? I don't get it..

    6 votes
  5. [3]
    clerical_terrors
    Link
    Does anyone here have any experience working with WSL? I feel like I'm missing some extra context to know whether or not this is potentially interesting or another half-baked solution.

    Does anyone here have any experience working with WSL? I feel like I'm missing some extra context to know whether or not this is potentially interesting or another half-baked solution.

    3 votes
    1. Grendel
      Link Parent
      WSL is almost like a WINE equivalent for Windows. It will let you run some Linux programs but contains no Linux kernel code.

      WSL is almost like a WINE equivalent for Windows. It will let you run some Linux programs but contains no Linux kernel code.

      5 votes
    2. liberty
      Link Parent
      I use WSL daily - it's nice because i work on a team where I have to be on Windows but some teammates are on unix based systems. I can still run the same commands as them to install things and run...

      I use WSL daily - it's nice because i work on a team where I have to be on Windows but some teammates are on unix based systems. I can still run the same commands as them to install things and run servers for example by using WSL.

      1 vote