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The new Windows subsystem for Linux architecture: a deep dive - BRK3068

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The WSL community has given amazing feedback on how we can improve through platforms like Twitter, Github, and UserVoice. Our team has taken that feedback to heart. In this session, they’ll be showing off how the new WSL architecture will improve your development environment with: faster file performance speed, Linux file access from Windows, better support for Linux applications, and more.
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Text Comments (333)
Vladislav Kozlov (17 hours ago)
I cant really move to HyperV machines because of it's unable to operate with USB devices :( VMWare can passthrough iPhone to VM MacOS and it works seamlessly. With HyperV it becomes a real pain
Shenghan Gao (19 hours ago)
Audio is a mess.
Ray Lee (1 day ago)
microsoft build their own operation system and run other operation system inside their operation system. Why not just run other operation system instead?
Prince Patel (1 day ago)
GPU interaction with Docker is still not supported
Kira Backes (1 day ago)
@Microsoft Developer We're interested in using WSL2 in our office for some designers so they can run our linux server app locally. You said that docker works, will we also be able to run LXC (Linux Containers) via WSL2?
Pasha Bolokhov (1 day ago)
As soon as he said "it's (linux kernel) fully managed by Microsoft, will be kept up to date, kept secure, you don't have to worry about it" — it immediately made me start to worry
sebastian gomez (2 days ago)
So, once I install docker on WSL2, will I be able to see the same docker images from either windows or wsl? Talking about Linux containers of course
V. B. (3 days ago)
idk what to think about this yet, jesus
K1ngjulien_ (4 days ago)
The next step is creating a reverse WSL which translates Windows NT System calls to Linux System Calls so Wine finally works 100% of the time :D
Casper S� (4 days ago)
When he said everyone's favourite editor, I expected him to say "pico" to mock both eMacs and vim people.
Scr34mik (4 days ago)
damn audio level is so low
retgab (4 days ago)
more microphones!
Grandma Bullet (4 days ago)
Schneefackel (5 days ago)
You had me at "fuse".
Ybalrid (5 days ago)
37:40 And that's how you exit Vi folks! :O
Vladimir Vasiltsov (5 days ago)
Based on this overview it seems like it would be impossible to run windows binaries from linux envinroment in wsl2. In wsl1 I can run ipconfig /all | less, looks like that would be gone.
Nabeken (4 days ago)
34:52 they said you could launch cmd.exe . I hope that means it works for all executables
AwesomeMediaify (5 days ago)
Those pigs! They are using free and open source kernel to ship and sell it at a price. I don't give a two shits about windows. Stay away from the Linux!
hanspetervollhorst1 (5 days ago)
Expected to see a Windows Subsystem for Linux, not a Linux Subsystem for Windows. Chapeau nonetheless
Yeah that would be way better but at least we made progress
ivailogeimara (4 days ago)
I think it's called Windows Subsystem for Linux because it's a subsystem in Windows that translates Linux (kernel) calls to Windows (kernel). WSL is kinda short for "Windows' subsystem for translating Linux kernel calls to Windows kernel calls" or "Windows subsystem for Linux kernel calls" or "Subsystem within Windows for Linux calls". Now WSL2 running Linux kernel I think makes the name wrong (unless it still translates Linux kernel calls to Windows kernel call despite actually running Linux kernel) but it's known name so it'll be stupid to change it.
Merlin Grim (5 days ago)
I’d rather see MS create a windows UX on Linux and provide WINE updates to ensure windows apps run on Linux. Then I’d prefer if MS would ditch windows and support Linux 100%.
Legendary Defender (6 days ago)
This is BAIT
Chris Moore (6 days ago)
Does it support ZFS?
David Landry (6 days ago)
Just open source Windows and let the real Opensource community use the 'best of class' code and features.
Gohel Darshan (5 days ago)
杨之垚 (6 days ago)
goeiecool9999 (6 days ago)
At 40:00 he realises that he's said "That's pretty cool" too much.
beardymonger (6 days ago)
Linux, shminux, i'll keep on using NT kernel servers and IIS ;-)
Saad (4 days ago)
Clearly not a popular opinion but you're entitled to it!
Caleb Whiting (6 days ago)
It's kinda difficult to get malware on Linux, but damn, you did it!
Punished Chen (6 days ago)
linux in windows is great, but why would i WANT windows in the first place?
Valerii Shynkarenko (7 days ago)
I tried to launch VirtualBox hypervisor beside of Hyper-V (running docker host), it doesn't work. Will it be a possibility to run WSL 2 and VirtualBox VMs simultaneously?
Valerii Shynkarenko (13 hours ago)
Just checked - VirtualBOX 6.+ already can run whith Hyper-V
Shawn Thuris (1 day ago)
I will probably wait to use WSL2 until I can do without VirtualBox. I get that only one hypervisor can run at a time, this is just unfortunate. Microsoft has been embracing Docker over the past couple of years. Wouldn't be too surprised if they bought them (no inside info, just might make sense for msft)
junielkatarn (5 days ago)
Valerii Shynkarenko No :(
lostheptapod (7 days ago)
Looks like microsoft is desperately trying to attract more developers to its platform from the unix side. What next, embed Android into Windows Phone?
Adam Crockett (7 days ago)
As a node developer I feel a little uncomfortable saying full stack because js is a scripting language. I'm not working directly with libuv.
Antonio Noack (7 days ago)
Pls next time a little louder...
Fuseteam (7 days ago)
wait if windows runs on the hypervisor along with linux can we really call windows the 'host' 🤔🤔🤔
Fuseteam (1 day ago)
+Shawn Thuris imo it feels like the can or will everything put everthing on kvm under to "outsource" the whole kernel development xD
Shawn Thuris (1 day ago)
Was thinking the same thing. It seems like putting everything on top of Hyper-V will give some flexibility in the future. Maybe consigning some of the crustiest backwards compatibility stuff to a container that's always on but not in the way (if that's workable)
Fuseteam (7 days ago)
if they sold a anbox like solution for windows on linux i'd be inclined to buy that :3
Fuseteam (7 days ago)
the sound quality is soooo *bad*
igor giuseppe (7 days ago)
those slides are avaliable for download?
queenannsrevenge100 (7 days ago)
They keep calling them virtual machines — they sound more like containers! Fascinating!
TheGameMakeGuy (7 days ago)
Linux: barely supports windows games windows: supports linux
Nabeken (4 days ago)
+Lufen Martofilia And thats pretty much because off awesome Valve work
Lufen Martofilia (7 days ago)
Totally false. Linux gaming nowdays is so easy. From the 203 games i have installed from my steam library only one has a small issue (keyboard mapping issue) and it’s a microsoft game. (Age of empire 2hd). All the others works just so perfect. Not to say that all valve games support natively linux and that i swear that never in my life game loaded so fast since I use my linux distro.
Qisong Wang (7 days ago)
So can it access hardware like GPU?
Ricardo Jesus (8 days ago)
Why dont you just call it Wesley.
GuiPoM - G. testé ! (8 days ago)
What about symbolic links ? I currently have that limitation in WSL that I use git/npm and links between my projects. But links in WSL are linux symlink on a windows filesystem. But then, when you combine that with VSCode under Windows, this app can't understand that symlink. Will WSL2 somehow improve that state ? I can't really imagine how, but I would love to know if there is any option in WSL1 or 2 to overcome it !
Olivier Keun (5 days ago)
They say in the video that WSL2 natively supports EXT4 instead of rewriting FS syscalls, so i think symlinks should work as expected.
Schpankme Verimuch (8 days ago)
Oleg Vi (8 days ago)
Hm, and what about GUI ? Can i just open program from WSL2 ? In linux i just create some files and open it in vim, and all this in terminal, can i do it by WSL2? Naw in Windows 10 i have vim in WSL and vim in Windows... and its 2 different programm... and its so drammaticaly
Scott Palmer (8 days ago)
"Developers, developers, developers" were moving to Mac OS in droves so it was time to "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish". What better way to put a huge nail in the failing Desktop / Gaming Linux development sphere than this?
queenannsrevenge100 (7 days ago)
Scott Palmer - I’m not sure how so; this is awesome for interoperability, to be sure, but none of this changes the deep systemic problems in the windows kernel and operating system overhead - at best it just continues to make it easier to perform real workloads on Linux and offer a way to easily move between the two. If nothing else, maybe developers are more likely to support both, since both may be used from windows.
Scott Palmer (8 days ago)
The above said, I am super excited about this (Amazing work Microsoft!) and will likely be leaving my Ubuntu 19.04 partition to die a slow death and use Windows 10 Enterprise as my daily work OS again.
Cisco Zweihundertelf (8 days ago)
I tried WSL once, which caused a bluescreen because of Avira. Is that fixed?
Nabeken (4 days ago)
That should be fixed by Avira. If your Anti Virus gives you a Bluescreen because of a Windows App, thats their error
WSL == Windows Bluescreen Subsystem for Linux
ABOhiccups (8 days ago)
I think the world is coming to an end. Seriously, like, fire and brimstone coming down from the skies, rivers and seas boiling! 40 years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes! The dead rising from their graves! Human sacrifice! Windows and Linux living together, mass hysteria!
Max Coplan (8 days ago)
Where can I hear more about WSL2?
Amrish Pandey (8 days ago)
Satya revived a dying company and obsolete product lines
Stevan Allen (8 days ago)
Why not make WSL open source or add a plug and play extension manager so that new linux enhancements can be rolled out with WSL2 enablement?
VibeX MaTxeMa (8 days ago)
woow... wokring linux i windows...while the Apple rots
Xiaochen Li (8 days ago)
Victor Castillo (8 days ago)
So basically WSL is exactly the same as Solaris 10 branded zones for Linux. Interesting, I love the technology. How will Dtrace integrate with WSL and applications running in the subsystem?
Michael ODonnell (8 days ago)
darekf77 (8 days ago)
Finally microsoft is doing right things...
EfficiencyVI (8 days ago)
Nice, now do it the other way around as I will never use Windows as my main OS. 🙈
Nico Tolvanen (8 days ago)
But is this going to be in win 10 home?
zoomosis (7 days ago)
Scott Palmer (8 days ago)
Check out the very end of the video during Q&A. I believe he said yes.
// REDACT3D (8 days ago)
oh the new DLC is out ... but I haven't beaten the game yet
袁野 (8 days ago)
It seems that we won't be able to see linux processes in Task Manager any more. Also just run a Alpine and eat 600 MiB RAM seems a little expensive.
Tech Noboundary (8 days ago)
Does WSL 2 support libusb? If yes, we can pretty much dump native Linux boxes in most of dev use cases.
Zex Li (8 days ago)
The next Linux distribution, Windows
daniel1112417 (8 days ago)
so... has powershell been thrown out the Windows now?
Shawn Thuris (1 day ago)
You can use PS6 (Core) to ssh into a remote machine and run bash commands (I do this). Or install PS6 on that Linux machine and do administration that way. Fun fact, if your WSL distros are acting up you can stop and start lxss-manager from PS6.
zoomosis (7 days ago)
No, it's still an important part of their Windows platform.
Devanand Reddy (8 days ago)
Don't celebrate too much, your Anti Virus will kill your joy any way..
Digby the Dog (9 days ago)
Is it now possible to access USB devices from bash ?
multiplexed (9 days ago)
So MacroBloat, CIA, NSA and DIA can spy on whatever you would do in Linux now too! Let's sign up for windoze11!
Srini R (9 days ago)
Wsl2 have support for graphics nvidia and own network ?
northshorepx (8 days ago)
The talk touched on the fact that those advanced features will come in time.
Lucas Sanctus (9 days ago)
Pure r/unixporn
Bagus Hanindhito (9 days ago)
Does WSL2 support direct access to GPU (CUDA/OpenCL)? It will make machine learning using GPU easier in Windows :)
Bagus Hanindhito (8 days ago)
Cannot wait! Docker support is already very nice. Extend that to nvidia-docker :)
northshorepx (8 days ago)
They said not yet but they asre looking forward to getting that working in time
Parth Ghughriwala (9 days ago)
THIS IS DAMN COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!🤩🤩🤩
JoshuaMuench93 (9 days ago)
All that white. My eyes burn 🔥. They make a Talk for developers and then burn their eys. I could hardly watch it. Sadly. Wsl2 sounds amazing an i am looking forward to it
Henrik Ræder Clausen (9 days ago)
And when will the Linux-based Windows appear..?
Henrik Ræder Clausen (9 days ago)
I can run any Linux app on Windows..? Pretty damned cool!!
caetydid (5 days ago)
Well... technically you could have done that already years before. It just meant pain and suffering due to performance and usability-loss due to VM integration. Thus the question is how well MSFF solves these issues with WSL2.
Lynx (9 days ago)
if I can replace Windows Desktop Environment with KDE I might consider it. Maybe.
Chris Carson (9 days ago)
I have been able to use windose file systems in Lunix for many years. Using Lunix file systems in windose just seems wrong, so I keep a Mint thumbdrive around if I might need to do that.
Skylark (9 days ago)
Windows is losing relevance on a daily basis.
northshorepx (8 days ago)
MS are investing heavily in their cloud - Azure. That's where they seems to be planning to make a lot if not most of their revenue. To get everyone on the cloud you need to be more open to anyone in your ecosphere. They are just saying that windows sans linux is no longer the future on the desktop and that full cooperation between the two is needed to allow the max number of people access to their ecosphere. It's just as AWS happily paying to train your staff if you want so that they can entice you use their cloud.
Karsten Kruse (9 days ago)
Embrace, Extend, Ext....
**Linux subsystem for windows
madd_step (8 days ago)
Mr QoSz (9 days ago)
Can you just update your ugly UI or just work with Ubuntu.
Andrei Agulescu (8 days ago)
UI is subjective. I prefer the windows UI after years of using Ubuntu and other distros. To each their own
Mr QoSz (9 days ago)
Abdul Ghani (9 days ago)
and at the end u use linux kernel
Mikael Sofi (9 days ago)
So does this mean i don't have to buy Windows 10 pro to get access to Hyper-V, can u run docker with WSL?
northshorepx (8 days ago)
From what they are saying at the moment (I tried this yesterday) wsl 1 works across the board w10 home upwards. On WSL1 you need docker for windows to run linux containers and these run in a hyperV VM (MobyLinux). Since hyper V VMs are not available on W10 home and docker. However WSL2 uses a linux kernel running directly in the base hyper visor and it's a new full kernel and will be available on W10 home. This full kernel will also mean that the docker for linux will run on this kernel in WSL2. This means, if I understand correctly, that docker for linux will run on W10 home (though other hyper V featurers like other VMs may not), and thus you should be able to run Linux containers on W10 home. I hope that helps.
Paul-Sebastian Manole (9 days ago)
"Linux kept up to data and delivered via Windows Update...", and then one side of the curtain dropped on the stage, the other side barely hanging by a nail. Thankfully no more profanities were spoken that night and no-one got hurt.
Andreas Weinzierl (9 days ago)
What is the future of WSL 1?
Karsten Kruse (9 days ago)
Grim, dark and full of death. What do you think?
hercion (9 days ago)
Honestly Microsoft: fix the privacy issues with Windows 10 and I might return, and if it's only for visual studio. Otherwise you have lost me and others forever.
hercion (9 days ago)
+Lilian Thanks, i need to check clion again. Currently I am using codelite, but that is of course not nearly as powerful as vstudio.
Lilian (9 days ago)
I think CLion is more powerful at this point.
vincent fong (9 days ago)
Don't need to have separate partition to run Linux anymore. Can we run every gui program in Linux natively with wsl2 like gimp with x11 in Windows ?
Andreas Weinzierl (8 days ago)
+vincent fong I used to use it, too - and will use it soon again, obviously ;)
vincent fong (9 days ago)
+Andreas Weinzierl I can't be bothered to get it working in Windows. I simply use Linux.
Andreas Weinzierl (9 days ago)
+vincent fong didn't try gimp but with xming it worked quite well ;) But there are alternatives (e.g. x410, VcXsrv and many more:
Andreas Weinzierl (9 days ago)
+Lucas Sanctus the X server should be local ;)
Lucas Sanctus (9 days ago)
It had to go through a remote xserver via a emulated ethernet.
Croft (9 days ago)
when will Windows Os just become a Linux distro??
Pawel Protas (9 days ago)
WSL made me realize how useful Linux is when it comes to development and how little i use Windows features. I removed Windows from my laptop and downloaded a Linux distro on it :) Thanks WSL!
zoomosis (7 days ago)
It's honestly not a bad advertisement for Linux. But prior to WSL, nothing stopped someone curious about Linux running it under Windows in a virtual machine. So ultimately Microsoft isn't losing much here and probably have more to gain from it.
Karsten Kruse (9 days ago)
Ranvir Singh (9 days ago)
Year 2019 will be the year of Linux Malware on Desktop <3
zoomosis (7 days ago)
If you install software (into WSL) from official Linux repos, Linux malware is extremely unlikely.
Mr_Beezlebub (9 days ago)
Malware already exists for Linux, it just isn't as common as on Windows
Albert Zhang (9 days ago)
they shouldn't do that.
Restia Ashdoll (9 days ago)
Linux is open source. Not allowing them to do that is illegal
John Knight (9 days ago)
Isn't the name the wrong way around? Isn't it a Linux subsystem for Windows?
OldPossum (3 days ago)
+LiveToLearn No, you are incorrect. See the following: Graphics Device Interface + (GDI+) is a *graphical subsystem of Windows* They don't call it a "Windows subsystem for graphics", because that would be stupid.
OldPossum (3 days ago)
Yes, grammatically it is the wrong way around. I can only assume that marketing wanted to place the name "Windows" before "Linux" in the product name.
John Knight (8 days ago)
+LiveToLearn I remain unconvinced.
Kangalioo (9 days ago)
+LiveToLearn It does make sense when you think about it but it's still misleading. I was confused the first 3 minutes of the video until I realized what WSL is actually supposed to mean
LiveToLearn (9 days ago)
Nope - it is subsystem inside Windows (so Windows subsystem) to run Linux apps (so for Linux). It's all good :)
beardymonger (9 days ago)
9p protoco is also used in crostini, the linux integration in chromebooks. So plan 9 (look it up on wikipedia) is starting to have impact (also /proc is a plan 9 invention).
beardymonger (9 days ago)
2019, the year of Linux on the desktop - for developers at least :-P
beardymonger (9 days ago)
Is WSL2 Windows pro only (since it's hyper-v based)? If so then :-( Yes i know it's only $100 for pro, but still...
northshorepx (8 days ago)
No they say it's on the level 1 hypervisor so wsl will be available for SKUs. However the rest of hyperV (windows feature) will not.
Atharva Kulkarni (9 days ago)
They used Golang. Google isn't feeling safe anymore.
beardymonger (9 days ago)
You (win develpoer) get linux, you (chromebook developer) get linux, every developer gets linux. Unix (via linux) has won, windows and win32 was just a (profitable) waste of time. I mastered the windows console API - lol Go back in time, a lot back like to 1985, learn ONLY Posix (linux/unix/command line/awk/vi/emacs/etc.) and in 1995 learn HTML/CSS/JS. Every minute invested in these was NOT wasted like win32 console or cmd.exe.
MrDavibu (9 days ago)
Microsoft shipped MS-DOS, because their Unix OS needed more resources than the IBM-PC had. Unix was always on top.
Atharva Kulkarni (9 days ago)
I have used WSL 1. Excited for WSL 2.
Andreas Weinzierl (9 days ago)
me, too
Khandar William (9 days ago)
Will docker finally run fast on windows?
igor giuseppe (8 days ago)
no, this will grant linux features to windows, but not the linux performance, security or stability
袁野 (8 days ago)
It seems that if you run Docker in WSL2, it would be similar to Docker in Docker (the distro - a privileged container)!
Avishka Dilshan (9 days ago)
bye bye ubuntu..
LimitedWard (9 days ago)
Windows Subsystem for Linux is a really misleading name. It implies windows is running as a subsystem for linux and not the other way around. Real opportunity missed not calling it LWS (pronounced Lewis)
Shawn Thuris (1 day ago)
Windows Linux Subsystem, or Linux Subsystem in Windows, or Windows Subsystem for Running Linux all make more sense than WSL...though the WSL acronym is easy to say, at least
queenannsrevenge100 (7 days ago)
@LimitedWard looking at slide around 29:36 - the windows NT kernel and WSL are BOTH subsystems of the hypervisor. :)
Skylark (8 days ago)
+Gwentarino Kripperino It does not. You're reading it wrong. It's their product, I believe they have a better idea about their own product than your interpretation
Gwentarino Kripperino (8 days ago)
+Skylark linux subsystem for windows makes way more sense
madd_step (8 days ago)
You're booting into a Windows system and running GNU/Linux inside of it. NT is the subsystem for the Linux kernel. NT does the Hardware translation from the Linux Kernel. Hyper V is part of the NT Kernel (Like KVM for Linux). Hence Windows subsystem for Linux.
Santosh Kumar (9 days ago)
One of the guy is away from the mic.
Ozuqam (9 days ago)
So are we finally getting nvidia-docker support.
Rowland O'Connor (9 days ago)
How about a Windows subsystem IN linux? For those apps that don't play with WINE such as Adobe Creative Suite, MS Visual Studio etc.
northshorepx (8 days ago)
I wonder if you can do this with running Windows Nano Server under the level 1 HyperVisor and then getting the Wine libs to splelunk there? Seems feasible. Won't have UI but will have all non ui features.
Skylark (9 days ago)
Arguably a VM, this has been readily available for many years now
Atharva Kulkarni (9 days ago)
I thought of that too.

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