Thursday, March 31, 2016

Microsoft supporting Ubuntu apps running on Windows

By Vasudev Ram


Seen today on HN:

Ubuntu on Windows (

(It's the top post on HN at the time I'm writing this, and for a while before.)

Original post here: Ubuntu on Windows -- The Ubuntu Userspace for Windows Developers by Dustin Kirkland of Canonical, the maker of Ubuntu.

I commented a few times and asked a few questions too.

It's a pretty interesting thread, IMO, for those with interest in the Windows and Linux operating systems.

There are a lot of technical topics discussed and also some business ones, related to this move. Senior people from the Linux and Windows camps participating.


[ > So do Cygwin and/or MSYS emulate the fork() system call

Yes. That's one thing we spent considerable engineering effort on in this first version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux: We implement fork in the Windows kernel, along with the other POSIX and Linux syscalls.
This allows us to build a very efficient fork() and expose it to the GNU/Ubuntu user-mode apps via the fork(syscall).
We'll be publishing more details on this very soon. ]

There was also discussion of the POSIX subsystem that was there on Windows for a few Windows versions (from NT). I had used it to run some of my Unix command-line utilities (that used mainly the stdio and stdlib C libraries [1]) on Windows, in the Windows NT and Windows 2000 days.

[1] Because the POSIX subsystem support on Windows was limited.

Here is another HN thread about it, at around the same time, though this one is off the front page now:

Microsoft and Canonical partner to bring Ubuntu to Windows 10 (

- Vasudev Ram - Online Python training and programming

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