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.



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.


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
ArchLinux WSL


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


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)





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$ ls
Archlinux.exe  rootfs.tar.gz

ebal@myworklaptop:~$ mv Archlinux/ /mnt/c/Users/EvaggelosBalaskas/Downloads/ArchlinuxWSL

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

 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

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"

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 > /etc/resolv.conf

[root@myworklaptop ArchlinuxWSL]# cat > /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist <<EOF
Server = http://ftp.otenet.gr/linux/archlinux/$repo/os/$arch

[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:

 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


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

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


Go to

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