Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

WSL is not supported by CADES, who can not provide assistance in installing or debugging it. Users may explore it as a potentially easier method to run Linux apps like terminals and python on Windows systems, and share experiences and assist each other via the CADES slack channels and community self-support.

Note: WSL 2.0 will implement a full Linux kernel, and thus improved performance, Docker support, etc.

Advantages of WSL:


Ubuntu LTS, Debian, and Suse LEAP can be installed directly through the Windows store on ORNL systems running Windows 10 with WSL enabled.

Installers for other distros (Arch, CentOS, etc.) can are also available - your mileage may vary.

Brief Suse + Xcfe install Example

Install Suse LEAP from Windows Store

Install an XServer like

Run Suse Windows app, set initial username and password

Install packages:

sudo zypper install konsole
sudo zypper install -t pattern xfce
export DISPLAY=localhost:0

Add those so they occur on login:
echo "export DISPLAY=localhost:0" >> ~/.bashrc
echo "export LIBGL_ALWAYS_INDIRECT=1" >> ~/.bashrc

Run apps:

In windows, run XcXsrv, then within Suse run graphical apps - e.g.:


Tips and Issues

Forgot the root/sudo password?

 Within Linux distro:

 pae@LAP111759:~> whereis openSUSE-42.exe #or ubuntu.exe, etc.
 openSUSE-42: /mnt/c/Users/pae/AppData/Local/Microsoft/WindowsApps/openSUSE-42.exe

 Within Windows cmd:
 C:\Users\pae\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WindowsApps>openSUSE-42.exe config --default-user root
 Default UNIX user set to: root  

  Launch Linux, run passwd, and set default user back as appropriate.


Smartcard Readers *

chmod does not work on Windows filesystems (/mnt/c) - see here

Running Linux Applications

These run under Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and are not VMs - they use the Windows kernel. You do not need to register them in netreg. WSL or a traditional VM (or both) may be installed and used.

Running graphical applications (Konsole or gnome-shell, etc.) requires you install an X server in Windows as well. XcXsrv or Xming will do.

Common applications can be install via the Linux package manager, updates run, etc.

Windows filesystems is mounted a /mnt/c

You can install python module, virtual environments, compilers, debuggers, run a web server, etc.

It is possible to install a full graphical desktop environment such as xfce4, or even Unity and perhaps KDE. However, this requires varying degrees of tweaking. Start with running a few standalone apps first - you may find you don't need a full desktop environent. If you do want one, xfce4 may be the easiest to get working.



Ubuntu, Unity, xfce4

Suse, KDE