In a previous post in 2016, we already reported on this move of Windows. At that time, a real BASH – shell was available. In this application, only text based programs without GUI could be run. Today, we have WSL2 (Windows Subsystem for Linux), which works with a real Linux-kernel and allows to call GUI-programs from the command line.
WSL-Ubuntu can be run as in a terminal of (as an example) MobaXterm. The X-server of MobaXterm (free for home-use) makes the GUI possible. We have succesfully installed and used
- GNU FORTRAN
- Mousepad and Gedit editors
- GNUplot to show our data
- LibreCad to make 2D drawings
- Qpdfviewer to show pdf-files
- Krusader to search and navigate in the filesystem.
- Zenity to write BASH scripts with GUI
It is possble to enter the Windows filesystem, which is mounted under /mnt and in this way, Linux and Windows-applications can be run on the same files. A C-complier and Python2 and python3 interpreters are already standard availbale with WSL-Ubuntu. The ordinary scientist has everything for his standard scientific work with this WSL-Ubuntu.
We may speculate about Windows 11. Will it be totally based on LINUX and in that way make all other LINUX-distros unnecessary? I would not be surprised. In the mean time, I enjoy the feeling that a community of free of charge working programmers clearly influence the decision of a large multinational.