18 things you should know about using Linux tools in Windows 10

Windows 10 can now run (many) Linux binaries. Yes, really. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of the Windows Subsystem for Linux

18 things you should know about using Linux tools in Windows 10

Last year Microsoft added an unusual new feature to Windows 10: Linux support. The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) — sometimes called Bash on Windows — is “Microsoft’s implementation of a Linux-compatible infrastructure that runs atop and within the Windows kernel,” senior program manager Rich Turner tells CIO.com. That means running Linux binaries without leaving Windows.

“Bash on Windows offers a toolset for developers, IT administrators and other tech professionals that want or need to run Linux command-line tools alongside their Windows tools and applications,” Turner explains. Developed with the help of Canonical (and a large community of Linux users), it’s not there to turn Linux into Windows, or Windows into Linux. It’s just that some Linux tools are so ubiquitous for development and deployment that it’s useful to be able to use them without spinning up a virtual machine (VM). That’s one of the reasons Macs are so popular with developers: MacOS is based on BSD, which is Unix, so it can run Linux tools like Bash. And now, so can Windows 10.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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