Windows And Ubuntu: “Cygwin Can Suck It”

For the last ten years or so, computing has been divided into two camps: Windows, and everything else with a *nix suffix. Want a computing paradigm where everything is a file? That’s Linux. Want easy shell scripting that makes the command line easy? Linux. Want a baroque registry with random percent signs and dollar symbols? That would be Windows. Want to run the most professional productivity apps for design and engineering? Sadly, that’s Windows as well.

*nix runs nearly the entire Internet, the top 500 supercomputers in the world, and is the build environment for every non-Windows developer. Yet Windows is the most popular operating system. The divide between Windows and *nix isn’t so much a rivalry, as much as people who still spell Microsoft with a dollar sign would tell you. It’s just the way personal computing evolved by way of legacy apps and IT directors.

Now, this great divide in the world of computing is slowly closing. At Microsoft’s Build 2016 developer’s conference, Microsoft and Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent company, announced a partnership that will allow Ubuntu to run using native Windows libraries.

In short, this announcement means bash and the Linux command line is coming to Windows 10. The command line is great, but userland is where it’s at, and here this partnership really shines. Unlike Cygwin, the current way to get *nix stuff running in a Windows environment, Windows’ bash will allow unmodified Linux programs to run unmodified on Windows 10.

It is not an understatement to say this is the most important development in operating systems in the last 10 years. For the last decade, every developer who is not purely a Windows developer has picked up a MacBook for the sole reason of having BSD under the hood. If you’re looking for a reason Apple is popular with devs, it’s *nix under the hood. This announcement changes all of that.

229 thoughts on “Windows And Ubuntu: “Cygwin Can Suck It”

  1. Lets see, they’ve destroyed what Low level API had access to in Graphics and Sound Thanks “Vista” used the excuse about it causing issues/crashing with the kernel blah blah, They then release the Xbox 360 to compete with the PC market on top of the intentionally crippled [GRAPHICS AND SOUND] then along this same path they Destroyed Networking and created excuses about it being SAFER this way BS M$, and have now pissed off fairly competent daily desktop users with windows 10 enforcing downloading updates which will rudely interrupt everything if your internet is not so good and remove focus causing an issue.

    And no doub’t this crossplatform support will be enforced on their UWP which is like a POW camp for software and users.

    This current CEO is taking the AppleTree path and trying to lock everything else up inside with it.

  2. I hope this is as good as I hope it will be. Android dev on windows can be very hard as you need drivers from the manufactures. In Linux adb uses libsub and so no special drivers needed.

    I would love to drop Windows for Linux but the inescapable truth is that I am far more productive on Windows, mostly because of visual studio. If the parts of Linux I love is found on Windows then it’s rock’n’roll.

    Maybe it’s time for MS to write a Windows from end for Linux. :-P LoL

  3. Two operating systems with each one having their own niche market so what’s the big deal? There’s no MS vs Linux, it’s all just in your heads and this whole debate of which is better, as the Borgs say, is futile.

  4. People should really try to just use a Linux guest OS via VirtualBox on their Windows Host OS if they need good dev tools. Any developer worth his/her salt that’s not using .NET should be on Linux.

    This Microsoft move is a typical embrace, extend, extinguish attempt that could very well backfire on Microsoft. As more tech savvy developers start seeing the benefit of using Linux cli and Linux based dev tools, they’ll be less inclined to continue adopting the Microsoft way.

    I’m no lawyer, but I’m also pretty sure that this move by Microsoft is very likely going to violate GPL in more than one way. It definitely violates the principles of the GPL license.

  5. Does this mean that the various gcc’s for windows can finally be moved away from cygwin? Somewhere deep, deep inside that is a mismatch between fork() and CreateProcess(), thus making gcc in windows 10x slower than in linux. This shows up in arm-gcc and pic-gcc, where they are just so much faster in a linux environment that you may as well run them in a virtual machine instead of native windows.

  6. Hi, does anybody know if it is possible to install an nVidia graphics driver in Cygwin (assuming a physical nVidia graphics card has already installed and works fine in Windows) so that it seems as if a new machine comes out in the network?

  7. Oh just shut up! Imagine doing it all on paper or a fking typewriter like I did growing up. Both windows and Linux are better than that. The best of Windows is probably the commercial support, and imho the best of Linux you don’t even need X or a wm to access. So having them together is great. I tried to have these things together by getting a MacBook Pro three years ago, but the terminal is painfully slow. I run Windows 10 and Xubuntu Xenial on my home laptop, a Lenovo B50-30, which is a piece of shit by comparison to most other things, bit they both run great. And I couldn’t be happier with the news of WSL because it takes away some of the temptation to try and dual boot my new Surface Book… Which btw I jeffing amazeballs! Microsoft certainly are a different company. Having hated their guts forever, I’m starting to warm to then (not like Apple, who I still hate because I feel they are very good at marketing ideas that are not unique… Like Google advertising the internet! But I don’t hate Google. I don’t really hate Apple either). We all have our own opinions, experiences and needs. I love Linux. I need Linux, spiritually and emotionally. But I need Windows to run Thermo Xcalibur and MaxQuant (no dice on wine) so that’s that. Thanks to computing, I can now do in 30 minutes what was practically impossible in the 1990s. For me, it always feels good to sit at any computer and I’m very thankful to have grown up with this technology.

  8. It’s awful – I’ve seen it just screw up files, and having that happen ONCE is too much. Why would I bother to use a version of Linux that is SLIGHTLY incompatible to an actual Linux system, when I have virtual machines and a wide variety of Linux systems to use on that system? One guy at work has played around with it, swore at it a few times, then went back to his VM.

    I’ll use Wine because it’s free, but that’s the only reason I would use Wine – but since I have windows anyhow, I’ll just use Windows in a VM.

  9. It’s only compeling to me part of win10, for now Im still on win7 with cygwin and I am not bothered by win10 BS.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, I could in theory make win10 behave not like 4-year mentality kid that wants to do anything that isn’t allowed but more like 13-year mentality kid that kindda knows how to behave but I prefer mature, reaible and more proffesional behaviour of windows7.

    And yeah, until M$ re-employs actual testing team (their software isn’t manually tested at all! Automation only, that’s probably why it breaks so often and does annoying AF stuff) I will use $ in their name, becouse that’s plain cheaping out on quality.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.