Hands-on test of Windows Subsystem for Linux

Undercover

Domain Sockets

Implementing Domain sockets only seems to working partially according to a blog post [5]. The attempt to create such a socket with

sudo nc -U /var/tmp/sockted

fails with nc: unix connect failed: No such file or directory .

Similar to the path problem, the solution here is to run interprocess communication via TCP/IP, as in the case of the D-Bus system. If you are not afraid of a bit of extra work, you will find another blog post on this topic online [6]. To sum up, you need to install an X server such as vcxrc or Xming, add the export DISPLAY=:0.0 entry to .bashrc, and use the command

sudo sed -i 's$.*$tcp:host=localhost,port=0$' /etc/dbus-1/session.conf

to tell D-Bus to communicate via TCP/IP. Then, Firefox launches and – so people claim – the Ubuntu desktop too.

Conclusions

The Windows Subsystem for Linux shows a lightweight, container-based virtualization approach that relies on its own process class. In practice, there is a still scope for improvement, if you want to work with Linux in the usual way or require at least the level of maturity that Cygwin already has. However, a few simple steps help to create a system fit to work and harmonize with the Windows superstructure. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft is willing to complete its subsystem.

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