a couple years ago I wrote an article about the Tools I use daily. The last nine (9) months I am partial using win10 due to new job challenges and thus I would like to write an updated version on my previous article.
I will try to use the same structure for comparison as the previous article although this a nine to five setup (work related). So here it goes.
I use Win10 as my primary operating system in my work laptop. I have two impediments that can not work on a laptop distribution:
- MS Office
We are using webex as our primary communication tool. We are sharing our screen and have our video camera on, so that we can see each other. And we have a lot of meetings that integrate with our company’s outlook. I can use OWA as an alternative but in fact it is difficult to use both of them in a linux desktop.
I have considered to use a VM but a win10 vm needs more than 4G of RAM and a couple of CPUs just to boot up. In that case, means that I have to reduce my work laptop resources for half the day, every day. So for the time being I am staying with Win10 as the primary operating system.
Default Win10 desktop
Disk / Filesystem
Default Win10 filesystem with bitlocker. Every HW change will lock the entire system and in the past just was the case!
Dropbox as a cloud sync software, an encfs partition and syncthing for secure personal syncing files.
Mostly OWA for calendar purposes and … still thunderbird for primary reading mails.
WSL … waiting for the official WSLv2 ! This is a huge HUGE upgrade for windows. I have setup an archlinux WSL environment to continue work on a linux environment, I mean bash. I use my WSL archlinux as a jumphost to my VMs.
Using Visual Studio Code for any python (or any other) scripting code file. Vim within WSL and notepad for temp text notes. The last year I have switched to Boostnote and markdown notes.
Multiple Instances of firefox, chromium, firefox Nightly, Tor Browser and Brave
I use mostly slack and signal-desktop. We are using webex but I prefer zoom. Less and less riot-matrix.
VLC for windows, what else ? Also gimp for image editing. I have switched to spotify for music and draw for diagrams. Last I use CPod for podcasts.
I have switched to a majority of electron applications. I use the same applications on my Linux boxes. Encrypted notes on boostnote, synced over syncthing. Same browsers, same bash/shell, the only thing I dont have on my linux boxes are webex and outlook. Consider everything else, I think it is a decent setup across every distro.
Prerequisite is to have enabled WSL on your Win10 and already reboot your machine.
You can enable WSL :
- Windows Settings
- Apps & features
- Related settings -> Programs and Features (bottom)
- Turn Windows features on or off (left)
After rebooting your Win10, you can use Microsoft Store to install a Linux distribution like Ubuntu. Archlinux is not an official supported linux distribution thus this guide !
The easiest way to install Archlinux (or any Linux distro) is to download the wsldl from github. This project provides a generic Launcher.exe and any rootfs as source base. First thing is to rename Launcher.exe to Archlinux.exe.
ebal@myworklaptop:~$ mkdir -pv Archlinux mkdir: created directory 'Archlinux' ebal@myworklaptop:~$ cd Archlinux/ ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux$ curl -sL -o Archlinux.exe https://github.com/yuk7/wsldl/releases/download/18122700/Launcher.exe ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux$ ls -l total 320 -rw-rw-rw- 1 ebal ebal 143147 Feb 21 20:40 Archlinux.exe
Next step is to download the latest archlinux root filesystem and create a new rootfs.tar.gz archive file, as wsldl uses this type.
ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux$ curl -sLO http://ftp.otenet.gr/linux/archlinux/iso/latest/archlinux-bootstrap-2019.02.01-x86_64.tar.gz ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux$ ls -l total 147392 -rw-rw-rw- 1 ebal ebal 143147 Feb 21 20:40 Archlinux.exe -rw-rw-rw- 1 ebal ebal 149030552 Feb 21 20:42 archlinux-bootstrap-2019.02.01-x86_64.tar.gz ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux$ sudo tar xf archlinux-bootstrap-2019.02.01-x86_64.tar.gz ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux$ cd root.x86_64/ ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux/root.x86_64$ ls README bin boot dev etc home lib lib64 mnt opt proc root run sbin srv sys tmp usr var ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux/root.x86_64$ sudo tar czf rootfs.tar.gz . tar: .: file changed as we read it ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux/root.x86_64$ ls README bin boot dev etc home lib lib64 mnt opt proc root rootfs.tar.gz run sbin srv sys tmp usr var ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux/root.x86_64$ du -sh rootfs.tar.gz 144M rootfs.tar.gz ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux/root.x86_64$ sudo mv rootfs.tar.gz ../ ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux/root.x86_64$ cd .. ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux$ ls Archlinux.exe archlinux-bootstrap-2019.02.01-x86_64.tar.gz root.x86_64 rootfs.tar.gz ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux$ ebal@myworklaptop:~/Archlinux$ ls Archlinux.exe rootfs.tar.gz ebal@myworklaptop:~$ mv Archlinux/ /mnt/c/Users/EvaggelosBalaskas/Downloads/ArchlinuxWSL ebal@myworklaptop:~$
As you can see, I do a little clean up and I move the directory under windows filesystem.
Install & Verify
Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.17134.619] (c) 2018 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. C:UsersEvaggelosBalaskas>cd Downloads/ArchlinuxWSL C:UsersEvaggelosBalaskasDownloadsArchlinuxWSL>dir Volume in drive C is Windows Volume Serial Number is 6C02-EE43 Directory of C:UsersEvaggelosBalaskasDownloadsArchlinuxWSL 21-Feb-19 21:04 <DIR> . 21-Feb-19 21:04 <DIR> .. 21-Feb-19 20:40 143,147 Archlinux.exe 21-Feb-19 20:52 150,178,551 rootfs.tar.gz 2 File(s) 150,321,698 bytes 2 Dir(s) 374,579,486,720 bytes free C:UsersEvaggelosBalaskasDownloadsArchlinuxWSL>Archlinux.exe Installing... Installation Complete! Press any key to continue... C:UsersEvaggelosBalaskasDownloadsArchlinuxWSL>Archlinux.exe run uname -a Linux myworklaptop 4.4.0-17134-Microsoft #523-Microsoft Mon Dec 31 17:49:00 PST 2018 x86_64 GNU/Linux C:UsersEvaggelosBalaskasDownloadsArchlinuxWSL>Archlinux.exe run cat /etc/os-release NAME="Arch Linux" PRETTY_NAME="Arch Linux" ID=arch BUILD_ID=rolling ANSI_COLOR="0;36" HOME_URL="https://www.archlinux.org/" DOCUMENTATION_URL="https://wiki.archlinux.org/" SUPPORT_URL="https://bbs.archlinux.org/" BUG_REPORT_URL="https://bugs.archlinux.org/" C:UsersEvaggelosBalaskasDownloadsArchlinuxWSL>Archlinux.exe run bash [root@myworklaptop ArchlinuxWSL]# [root@myworklaptop ArchlinuxWSL]# exit
C:UsersEvaggelosBalaskasDownloadsArchlinuxWSL>Archlinux.exe run bash [root@myworklaptop ArchlinuxWSL]# [root@myworklaptop ArchlinuxWSL]# date Thu Feb 21 21:41:41 STD 2019
Remember, archlinux by default does not have any configuration. So you need to configure this instance !
Here are some basic configuration:
[root@myworklaptop ArchlinuxWSL]# echo nameserver 184.108.40.206 > /etc/resolv.conf [root@myworklaptop ArchlinuxWSL]# cat > /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist <<EOF Server = http://ftp.otenet.gr/linux/archlinux/$repo/os/$arch EOF [root@myworklaptop ArchlinuxWSL]# pacman-key --init [root@myworklaptop ArchlinuxWSL]# pacman-key --populate [root@myworklaptop ArchlinuxWSL]# pacman -Syy
you are pretty much ready to use archlinux inside your windows 10 !!
You can remove Archlinux by simple:
There is a simple way to use Archlinux within Windows Subsystem for Linux , by connecting with a default user.
But before configure ArchWSL, we need to create this user inside the archlinux instance:
[root@myworklaptop ArchWSL]# useradd -g 374 -u 374 ebal [root@myworklaptop ArchWSL]# id ebal uid=374(ebal) gid=374(ebal) groups=374(ebal) [root@myworklaptop ArchWSL]# cp -rav /etc/skel/ /home/ebal '/etc/skel/' -> '/home/ebal' '/etc/skel/.bashrc' -> '/home/ebal/.bashrc' '/etc/skel/.bash_profile' -> '/home/ebal/.bash_profile' '/etc/skel/.bash_logout' -> '/home/ebal/.bash_logout' chown -R ebal:ebal /home/ebal/
then exit the linux app and run:
> Archlinux.exe config --default-user ebal
and try to login again:
> Archlinux.exe run bash [ebal@myworklaptop ArchWSL]$ [ebal@myworklaptop ArchWSL]$ cd ~ ebal@myworklaptop ~$ pwd -P /home/ebal