Wheel has come full circle

  1. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 6,363
    Windows / Linux : Centos, Ubuntu, OpenSuse
       27 Apr 2018 #1

    Wheel has come full circle

    Hi folks

    people for years have been trying to get Windows applications to run natively on Linux with varying degrees of success -- WINE I believe was the method used which "sort of works" for a limited number of programs.

    Now with the Linux subsystem on Windows we can run Linux apps natively on Windows -- even some GUI ones -- How things have turned around.

    I'm sure we will soon be able to have an entire GUI desktop under Windows as Ms develops the Linux interface on Windows further (probably not what Ms was intending).

    Anyway to those interested install an X server (that's the Linux thing that handles the screen so Windows / GUI's can run) on Windows -- Vcxsrv for windows (thats an X server which runs on Windows) start it up, install on the linux subsytem the program(s) you want to run and then run them from the command line--ignore console error / warning messages and you should see your windowed application running. Ensure though you have connected the display first with export DISPLAY=localhost:0.0.

    Turnround !!!! who would have thought it -- Linux apps on Windows without using a VM. !!!

    Not all will run but loads do.

    Have fun

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    27 Apr 2018 #2

    Who would have thought it? Cygnus Systems did about twenty years ago! They produced a product called Cygwin. I've been using it for around ten years. It works well, and it's free!

    (In the 90s Cygnus System created Cygwin. Red Hat bought Cygnus in the early 2000s. Red Hat sold it a few years ago and it's now independently maintained.)

    It offers a POSIX-compliant environment on Windows with no VM. A single dll translates POSIX system-calls into the equivalent Windows system-calls.

    It includes an X server and lots of packages that give you a complete POSIX/Linux system.

    The only thing "new" about Bash on Windows (aka Linux on Windows) is that it's from Microsoft, rather than Cygnus or Red Hat.

    BTW, Cygwin is mature and it's MUCH MUCH MUCH better than the Microsoft implementation. The latter is missing a lot. I hope that MS will improve it over time. But it's just not yet complete.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    27 Apr 2018 #3

    BTW, POSIX is not new to Windows. It's been there for over twenty years, ever since Windows NT. It was designed in by MS because POSIX-compliance has been a de-facto requirement of most government RFPs. That would prevent MS from selling Windows servers under government contracts. So they built in a POSIX subsystem.

    This subsystem was POSIX compliant so it met the "letter of the law" for RFP purposes. But it was essentially useless! MS built into it a mechanism so that a program using POSIX calls could not make Windows calls. Or a program using Windows calls could not make POSIX calls.

    Useless! That's why most of us have never heard about POSIX on Windows.

    But the world has changed. Linux evolved from a pet project into a world-changing server environment. As much as MS fought against it, the tide dictated otherwise. Linux is the dominant server platform. Not to be left behind MS had to embrace Linux. Bash on Windows is just the latest embrace.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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