mintCast 252 – World Domination, The IoT, PowerShell, and Ubuntu on Windows




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Hosts: Rob, Scott, Joe and Isaac
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Podcast Entry and exit music provided by Mark Blasco ( Podcast bumpers provided by Oscar.

10 Replies to “mintCast 252 – World Domination, The IoT, PowerShell, and Ubuntu on Windows”

  1. Will

    People have gotten Linux desktop environments working on Windows. It doesn’t have graphics capability, but you can run an X server on Ubuntu on Windows and connect to it with Windows X client.

    Isaac, maybe you should install Windows 10 in a virtual machine on Linux and then try out Ubuntu on Windows in there.

    • Michael

      Xming seems to be the easiest X server to get running on Windows. I’ve used it in the past to run some linux apps in a hosted mini-VM called coLinux, which runs the Linux kernel as a subprocess on Windows. Much the same effect as the MS Linux subsystem.

      I played around with the Linux layer the other day and I got several graphical apps to install and run, including Firefox for Linux. I’m running Windows in a VM on top of Linux, so this is quite the layering: Linux on top of Windows on top of Linux!

      To run an X11 app, you make sure Xming is running, then at a linux shell prompt type “export DISPLAY=localhost:0” and then just run the program. I haven’t tried full desktop environments yet, but to one degree or another they should run under Xming.

      So far the interface to the Linux layer is underwhelming. Bash.exe just launches a fairly standard windows console window, so cut and paste are kind of poor, and no shift-page-up for history like a real unix terminal emulator would have. There doesn’t appear to be an obvious way to launch an arbitrary linux app through a windows shortcut. I assume it can be done by passing parameters to the bash.exe launcher, but I haven’t had success there yet.

      Also, the security concerns expressed over the linux subsystem may or may not be of any consequence. Though you could run a full Linux server setup in there, MS never designed it for that. This is first and foremost a tool for developers who are working with Linux but apparently want to do it from the comfort of MS Windows. Time will tell whether this subsystem gets any real traction and use. If all you want is a real command prompt in Windows, there is Cygwin.

  2. Kevin

    Regarding the discussion about Bash/Ubuntu on Windows and Powershell….

    While I enjoy a few rounds of Microsoft bashing with my Linux geek-out… this was utterly silly and uninformed. My lunch was ruined.

    I’m a windows developer (nearly 20 years) who has been a full-time user of Linux since 2008 (It was nearly 2 years before the wife or kids realized I’d replaced all the windows installs with Linux Mint).

    I feed the family with C# but choose to use LInux ’cause I believe in the cause and love the “freedom”. That being said, fanatical fan-boyism is still just fanatical.

    You do realize, that these are all developer tools! And the idea that the MS devs have no understanding about the difference between Bash and Linux and Ubuntu, is ludicrous!

    So how have they managed
    Linux VM’s on Azure
    Dot Net Core
    Sql Server on Linux

    Also all of these languages/tools run on windows, so I’m confused about what languages and technologies am I missing.
    The experience on Windows invariably sucks, but they work quite fine.

    –> NPM, Bower, Grunt, Gulp, etc, etc

    This is all about keeping Windows devs from bolting to linux to do their web development work. Its about the experience.

    Issac should know better.

    I need the Linux command line interface (from a programmer’s perspective) so that I can do a “npm start”. I don’t give a hill of beans what code is actually running bellow Bash: so all of that “link bait” about insecure environments and security concerns is pointless. Does the diner care what knife the cook is using?

    Rant done…

    Love the show… keep up the good work

    • mintCast

      Regarding what Microsoft “knows” about Bash and Ubuntu, I think we were quoting the article’ author in saying that the Microsoft *executives* seem oblivious to that fine distinction. We perhaps got a bit carried away with poking fun, but it wasn’t our idea to begin with. 🙂

      I’m also a bit puzzled about what problem Microsoft is trying to solve. As you correctly point out, most of the popular suite of languages around run fine on Windows. It’s different to be sure, but it’s functional.

      Oh, and I think it’s fair to say we specialize in silly… at least Rob does. Isaac is a bit brighter and better informed. 🙂

      • Kevin

        >>… what problem Microsoft is trying to solve….It’s different to be sure, but it’s functional.

        Functional is fine when you are at least free (as in beer) and it’s a major problem they are having. They can clearly see developers leaving the walled garden of Visual Studio and Sql Server.

        1) Open Source is no longer seen as a threat, so long as it’s under a permissive license 🙂

        On my last contract job, I actually sat in a meeting and had a serious discussion about using MongoDB in place of Sql Server for a portion of a project. I threw out the idea in a fit of sarcasm and was blown away when he said “Sure, Kevin. That’s a great idea.” They even asked me to give a talk about using DotNet core.

        2) The browser is new OS and in that environment it doesn’t matter what’s on your server, thus freeing you to use whatever technology you want. Virtually all new web development is built around NodeJs and that means you need a POSIX shell

        4) Chrome is the new OS

    • dshimer

      Well said. So many of the knee jerk reactions floating around just seem so ill informed and short sighted they just seem hard to seriously take in. It seem especially so since this has been out for long enough for even semi technical people (me) to try it out and there are so many really in depth explanations of what can be done, how it is accomplished, and why some folks will find it life changing. I really appreciate everything Dustin K has done since the day of the announcement at the Microsoft developers conference to bring some reason and actual information to the table.

    • mintCast

      I’m not seeing the same problem. Not sure what to suggest. Chrome seems to be able to access the podcast without difficulty, and BeyondPod downloaded to my phine without complaint.

  3. dshimer

    re: Bash on Windows
    For anyone interested in the why and how there was a great discussion on the Ubuntu Community QA a while back.

    A couple caveats.
    1) This isn’t 100% bash on Windows, it is a community QA on any topic, but Dustin K was there and spent a good deal of time answering questions on the topic.
    2) Dustin works for Canonical, if you dislike them, or Ubuntu, understand that he is going to talk nice about both.

  4. mikef90000

    I keep hearing the audio equivalent of ‘deer in the headlights’ on Mintcast :-). This time was the whining about identically named apps in the menu – happens especially when multiple DE’s are installed. It also doesn’t help when GNOME Always leaves out the package name. C’mon, you guys are experienced enough to remember the solution.
    Solution – take a minute and go the /usr/share/applications folder, then edit the appropriate .desktop files as root. Now I have ‘File Manager (thunar)’ and ‘File Manager (pcmanfm)’ in the menu and panel balloon help. You can also create dups in ~/.local/share/applications, but that can get confusing.

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