Monday, April 4, 2016

Native Ubuntu in Windows

As a feather in cap of Open Source Strategy by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Linux BASH (Bourne Again SHell) and Ubuntu binaries are part and parcel of Windows 10.

During this week's BUILD conference, keynote speaker Kevin Gallo announced that you can now run "Bash on Ubuntu on Windows."  This is a new developer feature included in a Windows 10 "Anniversary" update, partners over at Canonical - creators of Ubuntu Linux.

Why does it matter? It lets you run native user-mode Linux shells and command-line tools unchanged, on Windows.

Strategic Hire
Wim Coekaerts is well known for transforming Oracle into a Linux-dominated company. Few hours ago, Fortune confirms his movement to Microsoft.

In his Oracle tenure, he brought the company its first Linux products; moved Oracle's programming staff from Windows to Linux desktops; and turned Oracle into a Linux distributor with the launch of its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clone, Oracle Linux.

Interesting times lie ahead for both Microsoft and Linux - MS-Linux, as part of his entry.

How do I start playing?
After turning on Developer Mode in Windows Settings and adding the Feature,
you just to need to run bash and are prompted to get Ubuntu on Windows from Canonical via Windows Store.

Isn't it so cool ?

Historical Model
Highly scaling IIT assignments, urged me to run Bash on Windows with few choices in recent times

1. Cygwin
Cygwin is GNU command line utilities, compiled for Win32 with great native Windows integration. But it's not Linux.

2. HyperV and Ubuntu
Run an entire Linux VM - Virtual Machine (dedicating x megs of RAM, and y gigs of disk) and then remote into it (RDP, VNC, ssh)

New Model
Now, the current release is not Bash or Ubuntu running in a VM. This is a real native Bash Linux binary running on Windows itself.
This is an genuine Ubuntu image on top of Windows with all the Linux tools like awk, sed, grep, vi, etc. It's fast and it's lightweight.
The binaries are downloaded using apt-get - just as on Linux, because it is Linux. You can apt-get and download other tools like Ruby, Redis, emacs, and on and on.

Let me put it in simple term. We used to access the local file system using Windows Explorer; the same can be accessed using Bash Linux command-line (ll) tools

Video Tutor
As the tutorial, Rich Turner and Russ Alexander recorded a Build 2016 session introducing and demonstrating Bash running on Ubuntu on Windows.

Interestingly, this product is fast and lightweight; itz the real binaries.

This disruptive technology is brilliant for developers that use a diverse set of tools like me. Enjoy, if you wish.

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