Are you one of that guy who just loves the three finger swipe in Windows and almost always ends up using windows for basic web surfing and media consumption? You have tried so hard to install touchegg which promised you the three finger gesture but still failed up anyway. These and many other small reasons have been one of the many reasons that I have been using a dual booted system (Windows & Ubuntu) for the past few years. So you will say, why not just Windows. In programming, it is just not that you need a C compiler, or a Java Development Kit, or a conda Environment. There are small things like syscalls, doing Operating System assignment which has given you a Linux executable. I am a Computer Science student and it’s almost certain that you are expected to own a Linux machine while being part of the curriculum.

So that was the reason on dual boot. But there is a solution in the market, not that new but still not that popular. First of all, WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) is not a virtual machine. It’s a just a layer of mapping from your Linux system call to Windows System call with a lot of programming beauty which will surely be appreciated once you know that they have a different way of naming path of a file, and this is one of the thousands such details that they have solved while developing WSL.

So how good is it?

My current system while Competitive Coding

Honestly speaking it’s awesome. My current configuration has X-server running through MobaXterm which is the reason of sublime editor. Terminal here is ConEmu which has zsh with agnoster theme running inside it. So terminal CHECKED, any GUI related program CHECKED. All basic bash commands run fine. Tried jupyter on conda, so python CHECKED.

So I don’t know if this configuration ideally replaces the dual boot, but for me, it’s doing all the tasks I have thrown to it without any hacks or hiccups. It’s just pure Linux Kernel mapped to Windows syscalls.

Is it perfect? No way and 559 issues, at the time of writing, on its GitHub page is the proof of it. But should you try it? Yes, specially if you have the mindset of a hacker, you will really appreciate the achievement of WSL team and enjoy their offering.

This is the exhaustive list of resources I have followed on setting my system, but I highly suggest to search for your own flavor of configurations and combinations.

Originally posted on Medium