Mar
19
2020
Tools I use daily the Win10 edition

almost three (3) years ago I wrote an article about the Tools I use daily. But for the last 18 months (or so), I am partial using windows 10 due to my new job role, thus I would like to write an updated version on that article.

 

I’ ll try to use the same structure for comparison as the previous article, keep in mind this a nine to five setup (work related). So here it goes.

windesktop.jpg

 

NOTICE beer is just for decor ;)

Operating System

I use Win10 as my primary operating system in my worklaptop. I have a couple of impediments that can not work on a linux distribution but I am not going to bother you with them (it’s webex and some internal internet-explorer only sites).

We used to use webex as our primary communication tool. We are sharing our screen and have our video camera on, so that everybody can see each other.Working with remote teams, it’s kind of nice to see the faces of your coworkers. A lot of meetings are integrated with the company’s outlook. I use OWA (webmail) as an alternative but in fact it is still difficult to use both of them with a linux desktop.

We successful switched to slack for text communications, video calls and screen sharing. This choice gave us a boost in productivity as we are now daily using slack calls to align with each other. Although still webex is in the mix. Company is now using a newer webex version that works even better with browser support so that is a plus. It’s not always easy to get everybody with a webex license but as long as we are using slack it is okay. Only problem with slack in linux is when working with multiple monitors, you can not choose which monitor to share.

I have considered to use a VM (virtual machine) but a win10 vm needs more than 4G of RAM and a couple of CPUs just to boot up. In that case, it 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. I have to use the winVM for some other internal works but it is limited time.

 

Desktop

Default Win10 desktop

I daily use these OpenSource Tools:

  • AutoHotkey for keyboard shortcut (I like switching languages by pressing capslock)
  • Ditto as clipboard manager
  • Greenshot for screenshot tool

and from time to time, I also use:

except plumb, everything else is opensource!

So I am trying to have the same user desktop experience as in my Linux desktop, like my language swith is capslock (authotkey), I dont even think about it.

 

Disk / Filesystem

Default Win10 filesystem with bitlocker. Every HW change will lock the entire system. In the past this happened twice with a windows firmware device upgrade. Twice!

Dropbox as a cloud sync software, with EncFSMP partition and syncthing for secure personal syncing files.

(same setup as linux, except bitlocker is luks)

 

Mail

OWA for calendar purposes and … still Thunderbird for primary reading mails.

Thunderbird 68.6.0 AddOns:

(same setup as linux)

 

Shell

Windows Subsystem for Linux aka WSL … waiting for the official WSLv2 ! This is a huge HUGE upgrade for windows. I have setup an Arch Linux WSL environment to continue work on a linux environment, I mean bash. I use my WSL archlinux as a jumphost to my VMs.

 

Terminal Emulator

  • Mintty The best terminal emulator for WSL. Small, not to fancy, just works, beautiful, love it.

 

Editor

Using Visual Studio Code for scripting. vim within WSL and notepad for temporary text notes. I have switched to Boostnote for markdown and as my primary note editor.

(same setup as linux)

 

Browser

Multiple Instances of Firefox, Chromium, Tor Browser and brave

Primary Browser: Firefox
Primary Private Browsing: Brave

(same setup as linux)

 

Communication

I use mostly Slack and Signal Desktop. We are using webex but I prefer Zoom. Riot/Matrix for decentralized groups and IRC bridge. To be honest, I also use Viber & messanger (only through webbrowser).

(same setup as linux - minus the Viber client)

 

Media

VLC for windows, what else ? Also GIMP for image editing. I have switched to Spotify for music and draw io for diagrams. Last, I use CPod for podcasts. Netflix (sometimes).

(same setup as linux)

 

In conclusion

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.

 

Thanks for reading my post.

Tag(s): win10
Jun
20
2019
Tools I use daily the Win10 edition

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.

 

Operating System

I use Win10 as my primary operating system in my work laptop. I have two impediments that can not work on a laptop distribution:

  • WebEx
  • 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.

 

Desktop

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.

 

Mail

Mostly OWA for calendar purposes and … still thunderbird for primary reading mails.

 

Shell

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.

 

Editor

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.

 

Browser

Multiple Instances of firefox, chromium, firefox Nightly, Tor Browser and Brave

 

Communication

I use mostly slack and signal-desktop. We are using webex but I prefer zoom. Less and less riot-matrix.

 

Media

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.

 

In conclusion

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.

 

Tag(s): win10
Feb
21
2019
ArchLinux WSL

 

This article will show how to install Arch Linux in Windows 10 under Windows Subsystem for Linux.

WSL

Prerequisite is to have enabled WSL on your Win10 and already reboot your machine.

You can enable WSL :

  • Windows Settings
  • Apps
  • Apps & features
  • Related settings -> Programs and Features (bottom)
  • Turn Windows features on or off (left)

 

wsl.png

 

Store

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 !

 

Launcher

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

 

RootFS

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

archwsl.png

 

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

 

Archlinux

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 8.8.8.8 > /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 !!

 

Remove

You can remove Archlinux by simple:

 Archlinux.exe clean 

 

Default User

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

 

Tag(s): archlinux, win10, WSL
Oct
15
2018
WslRegisterDistribution failed with error: 0×800703fa

Getting this error on Windows 10 [Ubuntu running on Windows Subsystem for Linux]

0x800703fa.png

Go to

this PC –> Manage –> Services & Applications –> Services –> LXSSMANAGER

lxssmanager.png