WSL & Console team ch…ch…ch…chaaaaanges!


Dear friends of WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux, nee "Bash on [Ubuntu on] Windows") & Windows Console:

I would like to share with you some changes to our org' that will benefit WSL, Windows Console and the Windows command-line in general moving forward.

After shipping a major new release, Microsoft often shuffles teams and people around to better align and optimize operations. After we wrapped-up engineering on Fall Creators Update a few weeks ago, we integrated the WSL engineering team into the organization that owns Containers and Hyper-V. This is a great move as it brings together several enormously talented teams all sharing the goal of making Windows a great platform upon which to run all your Windows and your Linux code!

Note: This doesn't mean we're merging products or code-bases: WSL, Containers, and Hyper-V continue to serve different segments of the spectrum of offerings that allow you to run Linux binaries on Windows. But it will mean we have a greater pool of people, experience, knowledge, and skills to draw from.

This integration also brought new PM's to WSL: For those that don't already know them, I'd like to introduce you to Sarah Cooley (@virtualscooley), and Taylor Brown (@taylorb_msft) are the key PM's working on the kernel-side of the WSL/Containers/Hyper-V house.

We've also been expanding our team here in Windows Developer Platform: Tara Raj (@tara_msft) recently joined our team and will be partnering with the base team, helping plan and deliver future WSL features. She'll also be helping-out with a lot of our public-facing conversations on Twitter, Reddit, Stack Overflow, GitHub, etc.

The addition of these new team members means I'll be able to dedicate more time to the Windows Console overhaul project, but I will still be working with Tara and Sarah & teams on WSL so I am not going to be far away! 🤪

Do please send Tara, Sarah, and team a tweet welcoming them the team.

And do feel free to reach out to us if you have questions/issues not already covered in our GitHub Issues (WSL, Console), asks on UserVoice, or after reading our docs (WSL, Console) and/or reviewing our WSL / Console learning materials.


Many thanks,

Rich Turner (@richturn_ms).


Comments (5)

  1. Gavin Groom says:

    Exciting changes indeed!

  2. Stéphane BARIZIEN says:

    The first GitHub link is broken, should be

    1. Many thanks – fixed! 🙂

  3. shevy says:

    Thanks for the updates Rich,

    I have not been able to keep up to date with the latest changes, mostly due to time constraints; so the blog series does help.

    I think that WSL in many ways works very well already and I am sure it’ll get better. For me, I have to admit that I struggle with keeping up to date in general; just way too much multitasking on my part and focusing on many other things – or getting distracted, too.

    There is a LOT of information in the various github issues. Some of the information there may even be better than the officially maintained documentation. 😀

    Perhaps in the long run, it would be awesome if WSL could also have some helper GUI attached; nothing big or fancy or compicated. Just something that would allow one to also do things via the GUI. Don’t get me wrong, linux people should know the commandline, no problem; and using programming languages such as ruby or python, people can automate stuff anyway as-is. But I was just wondering about simple GUI tools that allow one to do some simple tasks, such as:

    – install/remove officially supported distributions (I am sure the information where something is installed, is in the documentation and/or github issue, but I’d love a small GUI that could also show me where something is installed)
    – option to install another distribution, to some other permissive file location
    – ability to easily change the default bash terminal to default to one of the other installed/used distributions

    And so on.

    I am very comfortable with the linux system in general, or at the least I think so. Since I also tend to use a
    versioned appdir approach such as via GoboLinux, where, for example, bash would reside under
    /Programs/Bash/4.4.12/, which I think becomes /mnt/c/Programs/Bash/4.4.12, my idea was to actually
    just keep on using that for various different linux-distributions on windows (via WSL). I am not sure if I
    am able to explain the benefit here for me – I can just compile into /Programs/ and use my already written
    ruby script to keep symlinks there; and I could just very easily switch between different distributions,
    without having to recompile much at all once it is installed under /Programs/.

    My long term goal would be to just keep on having a /Programs/ hierarchy which I can just drop-in
    onto windows (via WSL) and have it work as-is (just doing a batch-symlink job via my ruby scripts,
    which already works on linux). Not sure whether I could explain why I need a simple GUI – it would just
    be useful to me to be able to have options gathered in a GUI for the WSL system. But anyway, don’t
    get too distracted about this – just something that may be considered at some later point in stage;
    as others have noted on the github issue, polishing WSL has priority which is fine.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts. A few responses:

      You can find and install official distros in the Windows Store
      You can uninstall distros just like any other store app – find in start menu, right click and hit uninstall
      Install to a non-system drive – working on it. Stay tuned!
      You can set your default distro using `wslconfig.exe`, and launch distros directly using, for example, `ubuntu.exe` or `opensuse-42.exe`
      We don’t currently show you were distros are installed because spelunking into Linux filesystems is currently verboten. We’re working to fix this in a future release, but for now, avoid spelunking from Windows into Linux
      Note that we do ask y’all to file feature asks on our UserVoice so that the community can upvote, helping us measure interest in feature asks


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