Microsoft Offers New Tool to Grow Linux in Windows

Microsoft Offers New Tool to Grow Linux in Windows

Microsoft Offers New Tool to Grow Linux in Windows

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April 05, 2018

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Microsoft has released an open source tool that makes it easier for programmers and developers to run Linux on Windows 10. The new tool, released last week, also helps Linux distribution maintainers bring their distros to the Windows Store to run on Windows 10’s Windows Subsystem for Linux. Microsoft developed the project for distribution maintainers and for developers who want to create custom Linux distributions to run on WSL. The development team hopes open-sourcing this project will help increase community engagement through bringing more distros to the Microsoft Store. The goal is to bring WSL closer to the open source software community, according to Tara Raj of Microsoft’s WSL team. WSL enables programmers to build a full Linux development environment for testing production code on a Windows machine. It also lets them run Linux shell tools and popular open source programming languages, the Apache Web server, and Oracle MySQL. WSL should help Microsoft retain developers and related communities’ interest and enthusiasm, said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. “More tangibly, the WSL could result in an increase in the number and variety of compatible Linux distros and apps available in the Windows Store. That’s no small thing,” he told LinuxInsider.

Linux Limited

The release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update lets anyone use WSL to install and run command-line interface tools for several Linux distributions. Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux distro was the first to run on WSL, followed by Suse, Fedora, Kali Linux, Debian and others. One key advantage of distributing through the Windows Store is the ability to install multiple Linux distributions and run them side by side. However, WSL does not support Linux graphical user interfaces. Microsoft’s open source tool provides developers only with Linux alternative command-line interfaces. Developers cannot distribute custom Linux distributions on the Windows Store. However, they can use the new tool to create custom Linux distribution packages that can be side-loaded onto a machine running Windows 10 in developer mode. To publish their distros on the Microsoft Store, Linux distribution maintainers must work with Microsoft’s WSL team. Only distro maintainers can submit custom Linux distro packages. The new tool has plenty of pros for distro developers, noted Ian McClarty, president of PhoenixNAP Global IT Services. One is that it makes it easier for them to reach a new community of end users. “Being able to package and promote within the Microsoft ecosystem to a new generation is a major plus,” McClarty told LinuxInsider. Source https://www.technewsworld.com/story/85242.html
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