Why Ubuntu on Windows?

For programming purposes, I prefer Linux to Windows. However, Windows is really good at entertaining and office works. Beside, Microsoft Office is the best office suit I ever have experienced, and OneNote is one of my favorite note-taking software. Not to mention my beloved Bilizzard games such as Diablo, Starcraft and other video games.

A solution to integrate Windows and Linux in one machine is to install dual-boot. However, I am tired of switching between 2 OSs. In addition, we have to configure the systems so that it can easily transfer files between 2 different partition formats.

Another workaround is to run Windows or Linux on a virtual machine. Since I usually play video games, I could not use Windows as a client. Running Linux virtually seems promising. Unfortunately, my laptop is not strong enough to run the virtual machine smoothly.

Finally, M$ comes up with a new feature in Windows 10 named ‘Windows Subsystem for Linux’. Suprisingly, it works flawlessly except several minor issues.


  1. Turn Windows Subsystem On: find Windows features and select Windows Subsystem for Linux , wait for the installation and restart.
  2. Open Windows Store and install Ubuntu. I also saw OpenSuse on the store. Hopefully, there will be more distros adapted in future, especially Arch Linhx/Manjaro which is my favorite.

  3. After working around with Ubuntu and Tmux in cmder, I have found out that wsltty is the best tool to avoid fonts broken, key arrow issues. Besides, it run faster than cmder although cmder has many useful features.

Here is the result:

There are several tips:

  • Change the cursor to block.
  • Turn off the mouse support feature in vim (:set mouse=) in order to copy text from Windows to vim.
  • Copy from vim to Windows applications:
    1. Install xsel/xclip on Ubuntu.
    2. Install Xming
    3. Set export DISPLAY=:0 in the bashrc or zshrc

Installing ArchLinux on WSL

After several months waiting a better solution, finally I found ArchWSL which is easy to install and full of configuration. In addition, it turns out that wsltty is not a tool I really want since there are still some issues with Unicode font and delay. Now I am using xfce4-terminal with the help from Xming.

With a few steps we are able to run xfce4-terminal directly from Windows:

  1. Set Xming to run on startup.
  2. Use following command in Run to execute xfce4-terminal:
C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe -windowstyle hidden -Command "iex \"path\to\arch.exe run DISPLAY=:0 xfce4-terminal""

Windows Defender

It is so annoying that I have to turn it off. Somehow, the program always scans the Linux folder. Eventually, everything in Subsystem runs so slow. A better workaround is to add the Linux folder to the excluding list of Windows Defender.

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