Tag: WSL

Download the new Windows Terminal Preview

How to open Windows Terminal from Command Prompt or Run

This is a really short blog post and more of a reminder than anything else. You might have seen the new Windows Terminal for Windows 10 was just released in the Windows Store as a preview. However, in the last couple of updates to the Windows Terminal app, it got to a state which already makes it my default terminal. The Windows Terminal allows you to run Windows PowerShell, PowerShell Core and even Bash using the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). Especially the integration of the Azure Cloud Shell is a great plus for me. In this blog post, I am just going to show you how you can open the Windows Terminal from command prompt or Run (WIN + R).

To open Windows Terminal from the command line (cmd) or in Windows Run (WIN +R) type:

wt
Open Windows Terminal start wt

Open Windows Terminal start wt

 

If you want to know more about the Azure Cloud Shell integration, read the blog of Pierre Roman (Microsoft Cloud Advocate) on the ITOpsTalk blog.



Docker Desktop WSL 2 Tech Preview

Run Linux Containers with Docker Desktop and WSL 2

Today, Docker launched the first Tech Preview of the Docker Desktop WSL 2. This means you can now use Docker Desktop and the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL2) which is using the hypervisor in the background to run Linux containers on Windows 10. With the significant changes to the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2, you can now take advantage of these improvements with your Docker Desktop client.

Docker Desktop WSL 2 is currently in Tech Preview, and it also requires the Windows 10 Insider Preview builds. That means you should only use for not production environments.

WSL 2 introduces a significant architectural change as it is a full Linux kernel built by Microsoft, allowing Linux containers to run natively without emulation. With Docker Desktop WSL 2 Tech Preview, users can access Linux workspaces without having to maintain both Linux and Windows build scripts.

Docker Desktop also leverages the dynamic memory allocation feature in WSL 2 to greatly improve the resource consumption. This means, Docker Desktop only uses the required amount of CPU and memory resources, enabling CPU and memory-intensive tasks such as building a container to run much faster.

You can find more information about the Tech Preview here.

Prerequisites

To run the Docker Desktop WSL 2 Tech Preview, you will need to set up the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2) first. You can do that using the following guide, or follow these steps:

Install Windows 10 Insider Preview build 18932 or later.

Install the Windows WSL feature and the Windows Virtual Machine Platform feature running the following commands:

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux
 
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName VirtualMachinePlatform

Download WSL Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 18.04 from the Microsoft Store. You can read more about Linux on Windows 10 here. The distribution needs to be set as the default WSL distro.

Enable Virtual Machine Platform

Enable Virtual Machine Platform

Make sure that the WSL distro is running in WSL 2 mode. You can check the list of distros installed on your Windows 10 machine, with the following PowerShell command:

wsl -l -v

To set the distro to WSL 2, you can run the following command. Change the name of the distro:

wsl --set-version DistroName 2
Install WSL 2

Install WSL 2

To find out more about installing WSL 2, check out the Microsoft Docs page.

How to set up Docker and WSL 2

First, you will need to download the Docker Desktop WSL 2 Tech Preview here. Make sure you already configured all the WSL 2 steps described in the prerequisites, before you install the Docker WSL 2 Tech preview. If you are prompted if you want to use Linux containers or Windows containers during the installation, select Windows containers. If you choose Linux containers, you will have the classic Docker experience with a Hyper-V VM.

Docker Desktop WSL 2 Tech Preview Menu

Docker Desktop WSL 2 Tech Preview Menu

Run the installation wizard, and after a successful installation, the Docker Desktop menu displays the WSL 2 Tech Preview option. You can select WSL 2 Tech Preview from that menu to start and configure the daemon running WSL 2.

Docker Desktop WSL 2 Tech Preview

Docker Desktop WSL 2 Tech Preview

You can switch between the classic daemon or the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 with the following commands:

# Switch to classic deamon
 
docker context use default
 
# Switch to WSL 2
 
docker context use wsl
Linux Container on Windows 10

Linux Containers on Windows 10

You can now also do crazy things like run SQL Server on Linux in a Docker container on Windows 10.

SQL Server on Linux Docker Container Windows 10 WSL 2

SQL Server on Linux Docker Container Windows 10 WSL 2

I hope this gives you a good overview of how you will be able to run Linux containers on Windows in the future. Again this is still a Tech Preview, and we might see many changes to that feature. If you want to know more, read the full blog post on the Docker page. Also, check out the current Linux Container on Windows documentation. If you any questions, feel free to leave a comment.



Download the new Windows Terminal Preview

Install the new Windows Terminal (Preview)

At Microsoft Build 2019, the team announced a new Windows Terminal which will be open-source. There are a couple of improvements which are coming to the new Windows Terminal like; multiple tabs support, GPU accelerated DirectWrite/DirectX-based text rendering engine, advanced configuration settings, and much more. It allows you to run different shells like Windows PowerShell, PowerShell Core, Command Prompt, WSL, and also WSL 2. Today you can download the Windows Terminal Preview from the Microsoft Store. It is still a very early preview and the team, as well as the community, are still working on it. The team’s goal is to work with the community and launch version 1.0 end of 2019. Here is how you can install the new Windows Terminal.

Windows Terminal is a new, modern, fast, efficient, powerful, and productive terminal application for users of command-line tools and shells like Command Prompt, PowerShell, and WSL.

You can find more information about it here on the Microsoft announcement blog.

Download and Install the Windows Terminal

You were able to download the sources for the terminal from GitHub and build it yourself. However, the preview release in the Windows Store makes it much easier to try it out and stay more up to date.

Windows Terminal

Windows Terminal will be delivered via the Microsoft Store in Windows 10 and will be updated regularly, ensuring you are always up to date and able to enjoy the newest features and latest improvements with minimum effort.

Provide Feedback and get involved

Windows Terminal is a new, modern, feature-rich, productive terminal application for command-line users. It includes many of the features most frequently requested by the Windows command-line community including support for tabs, rich text, globalization, configurability, theming & styling, and more.

The Terminal will also need to meet our goals and measures to ensure it remains fast, and efficient, and doesn’t consume vast amounts of memory or power.

You can file bugs and share feedback with the community and us, as well as fix issues and make improvements on GitHub. If you come across any bugs or want to share feedback, you can do that on GitHub issues for detailed issues/discussions or with the Microsoft Store release in the Feedback Hub. You join the development on GitHub.

Azure Cloud Shell

Windows Terminal Azure Cloud Shell

Windows Terminal Azure Cloud Shell

I also want to mention that you can run the Azure Cloud Shell directly from the terminal.

Try out the new terminal today, and if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.



Install WSL 2

Install WSL 2 on Windows 10

With the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18917, the team also ships the first version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2), which was announced at the Microsoft Build 2019 conference. In this post, I am going to show you how you can install WSL 2 on your Windows 10 machine.

The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL 1) was in Windows 10 for a while now and allowed you to use different Linux distros directly from your Windows 10 machine. With WSL 2, the architecture will change drastically and will bring increased file system performance and full system call compatibility. WSL 2 is now using virtualization technology (based on Hyper-V) and uses a lightweight utility VM on a real Linux kernel. You can find out more about WSL 2 in the release blog or on the Microsoft Docs Page for WSL 2.

WSL 2 Architecture

Requirements

To install WSL 2, you will need the following requirements:

Install WSL 2

To install the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2), you need to follow these tasks.

  • Enable the Windows Subsystem for Linux Optional feature (WSL 1 and WSL 2)
  • Install a distro for the Windows Subsystem for Linux
  • Enable the ‘Virtual Machine Platform’ optional feature (WSL 2)
  • Configure the distro to use WSL 2

Enable the Windows Subsystem for Linux

To run the WSL on Windows 10 you will need to install the optional feature:

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux

Install a Linux distro for the Windows Subsystem for Linux

If you don’t already have installed a WSL distro, you can download and install it from the Windows 10 store. You can find more here: Crazy times – You can now run Linux on Windows 10 from the Windows Store

Enable the Virtual Machine Platform feature

WSL 2 Enable Virtual Machine Platform

WSL 2 Enable Virtual Machine Platform

To make use of the virtualization feature for WSL 2, you will need to enable the optional Windows feature. You can run the following PowerShell command to do this. You will need to start PowerShell as an Administrator. After you run this command, you might need a restart of your computer.

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName VirtualMachinePlatform

Set WSL distro to use version 2

After you completed the first two steps, you will need to configure the distro to use WSL 2. Run the following command to list the available distros in PowerShell:

wsl -l -v

To set a distro to WSL 2 you can run the following command:

wsl --set-version DistroName 2

You can also set WSL 2 as the default:

wsl --set-default-version 2

To find out more about installing WSL 2, check out the Microsoft Docs page.

If you are now running your distro using WSL 2, you can now see that there is a Virtual Machine worker process running and if you search a little bit more, you can also find the VHDX file of the distro.

WSL 2 VHDX file

I hope this helps you and gives you a quick overview, if you have any questions, let me know in the comments and check out the WSL 2 FAQ. The Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 Kernel is also open-source, you can follow the project on GitHub.

By the way, you can now also start using Docker Desktop together with the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2.



WLinux WSL Setup Wizard for Windows 10

WLinux – The best WSL for Windows 10

A couple of Windows 10 releases back, Microsoft delivered the Windows Subsystem for Linux. The Windows Subsystem for Linux allows you to run Linux distros, like Ubuntu, Debian, Suse, and others, on Windows 10. Around the Microsoft Ignite 2018 timeframe, another distro was released to the Windows Store called WLinux. WLinux is a Linux environment for Windows 10 built on work by Microsoft Research and the Debian project. WLinux is a custom Linux distro built from Debian specifically for use on the WSL. While other distros are available for WSL, WLinux is the first optimized for use by users of WSL for WSL. It helps developer run Linux tooling on Windows and integrates into perfectly into Windows.

With the latest Windows 10 Insider builds, you can also run the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2).

WLinux Setup

WLinux WSL Setup Wizard for Windows 10

WLinux comes with a custom setup to prepare your environment in a straightforward and easy wizard. It lets you set up some predefined software and settings and configure integration into Windows.

WLinux WSL Docker Bridge to Windows

WLinux Docker Bridge

If you want to run Docker in the Windows Subsystem for Linux, you can bring the Docker Client to the Windows Docker Engine. This allows you to run Docker directly from WSL and PowerShell at the same time.

Microsoft Tooling

WLinux Installing Azure CLI

Of course, WLinux brings the usual Linux development tools and easy setup for Ruby, NodeJS, Go, Java, Python, editors like emacs and even different shells. You can also easily add Microsoft tooling by adding Azure CLI, PowerShell Core, and even Visual Studio Code.

Windows Explorer Integration and WSL Utilities (wslu)

It easily lets you set up Windows Explorer integration and brings wslu, a collection of utilities for WSL, preinstalled. Wslu brings the following features to the WSL

  • wslusc This is a WSL shortcut creator to create a shortcut on your Windows 10 Desktop.
  • wslsys This is a WSL system information printer to print out some basic system information.
  • wslfetch This is a WSL Screenshot Information Tool to print information elegantly.
  • wslupath This is a WSL Windows path Converter that can convert Windows path to other styles of path.
  • wslview This is a fake WSL browser that can help you open link in default Windows browser.

WSLfetch

If you want to know more about WLinux, check out the website Whitewater Foundry.

Or download WLinux from the Microsoft Store.

You can also contribute to the project on GitHub.



Ubuntu on Windows Server using WSL

Install Windows Subsystem for Linux on Windows Server

In 2017 Microsoft made it possible to run different Linux distribution on Windows 10, using a feature called the “Windows Subsystem for Linux“. With the latest official Semi-Annual Channel Windows Server release called Windows Server, version 1709 Microsoft also allowed to run the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) on Windows Server. With the next release of Windows Server called Windows Server, version 1803, Microsoft will also add some improvements to the Windows Subsystem on Linux, which also apply to Windows 10 as well as Windows Server. This blog post shows you how you can do this.

First, you have a Windows Server, version 1709 running. After that enable the Microsoft Windows Subsystem for Linux feature, running the following command (This will need a reboot)

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux

You can download the appx packages for your favorite Linux distribution; this can be today:

  • Ubuntu
  • OpenSUSE
  • Suse Linux Enterprise Server

If you are running on Windows Server Core (which is highly likely), you can use the following command to download the Linux distributions.

# For Ubuntu 16.04
 
Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://aka.ms/wsl-ubuntu-1604 -OutFile ~/Ubuntu.zip -UseBasicParsing
 
# For Ubuntu 18.04
 
Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://aka.ms/wsl-ubuntu-1804 -OutFile ~/Ubuntu1804.zip -UseBasicParsing
 
# For OpenSUSE 42
 
Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://aka.ms/wsl-opensuse-42 -OutFile ~/OpenSUSE.zip -UseBasicParsing
 
# For SLES 12
 
Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://aka.ms/wsl-sles-12 -OutFile ~/SLES.zip -UseBasicParsing

You can then unpack the file:

Expand-Archive ~/Ubuntu.zip C:\Distros\Ubuntu

Now you can open that folder and run the installer, for example ubuntu.exe. The first time this will do the setup where you also define the UNIX username and password as well as the root password.

WSL on Windows Server

After that, you can run updates for your distro, and you can start using Linux.

If you want to know more about the WSL, check out the Microsoft Documentation: Windows Subsystem for Linux Documentation and have a look at my WSL post in for Windows 10: Crazy times – You can now run Linux on Windows 10 from the Windows Store

You can also find the other Linux distro packages here: WSL distro packages.



Hyper-V HVC SSH Direct for Linux VMs

HVC – SSH Direct for Linux VMs on Hyper-V

If you are running Hyper-V on Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016, you probably know about a feature called PowerShell Direct. I also mentioned that PowerShell Direct is one of the 10 hidden features in Hyper-V you should know about. PowerShell Direct lets you remotely connect to a Windows Virtual Machine running on a Hyper-V host, without any network connection inside the VM. PowerShell Direct uses the Hyper-V VMBus to connect inside the Virtual Machine. Of course, this feature is convenient if you need it for automation and configuration for Virtual Machines. As this is great for Windows virtual machines, it does not work with Virtual Machines running Linux. In the latest Windows 10, Windows Server 1803 (RS4) and Windows Server 2019 (RS5) Insider Preview builds, Microsoft enabled a tool called HVC. HVC is a tool which allows you to do some command line VM management. HVC SSH is basically PowerShell Direct for Linux VMs.

This allows connecting to a Linux VM using SSH over the Hyper-V VMBus. You are also able to copy files inside a virtual machine using scp, similar to Copy-item -ToSession using PowerShell Direct. You can read more about PowerShell Direct on my blog or the Microsoft Doc pages.

How to connect to Linux VMs using SSH Direct

HVC SSH on Hyper-V

To connect to Linux VMs using SSH Direct (HVC) type hvc.exe into the command line or PowerShell. This will give you all the possible command options. Of course, SSH has to big configured inside the Linux virtual machine.

hvc ssh Thomas@VMNAME

To make this work, the SSH server inside the VM needs to be configured.

Final Thoughts

A pretty cool tool which will be available in the official releases of Windows 10 and Windows Server 1803, released this spring. Later this year this feature will also be included in Windows Server 2019. If you want to try it out today, give the Windows Insider Preview builds a spin.

Thanks to Ben Armstrong for pointing this out ;)