Unix | Coursera Community


  • 10 April 2021
  • 3 replies

Badge +2

Hi there!Is there any downturn to the system for installing Windows Subsystem for Linux on Windows 10 operating system? Many thanks

3 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +13

Hi, the subsystem itself is the way of getting rid of troubles. Generally, you may find it complicated to setup, a lot of passages (you will surely refer to the WSL2 setup page by Microsoft), but it’s all right. 

As a current mentor of The Unix Workbench, I can honestly say that for an experienced SysOps it’s a way of getting rid of some troubles (true), e.g. dual-booting, constant need of switching between two OSes / connecting remotely. But for a beginner it’s a way of inviting new troubles - just read some posts in the discussion forum for this course.

In general, acquiring basic knowledge about Unix(-like) systems is recommended by using an actual Unix(-like) system (either installed/booted physically on your hardware or in full-fledged VM), and not by using another “lightweight-VM” / abstraction layer (which WSL kinda is) over the Unix tools/applications.

If you already know in depth (or have at least some medium-level experience with):

  1. Windows system internals
  2. Unix(-like) system internals
  3. (eventually) multi-platform software development

and you want to combine the knowledge from these fields to achieve something more, then WSL will definitely help you converge all of the above, to speed-up some of the processes related with software development (e.g. CLI-based applications testing).

Though, if you’re Unix beginner, I’d strongly suggest booting a LiveDVD/LiveUSB of some popular GNU/Linux distribution (e.g. Mint, Ubuntu, CentOS, etc.) or installing it in a “normal” VM (e.g. in a VirtualBox or VMWare Workstation Player or Hyper-V or other similar software) for more immersive, more “Unix-compatible” experience, with lower risk of damaging your main OS used on a daily-basis. (Although most Unix and Unix-like systems are not even 100% compatible among themselves - due to vast diversity of their applications and highly flexible configurability - as you may learn, sometimes ‘the hard way’, from the course).

Struggling with Unix basics AND with WSL-specific issues at the same time would definitely make the learning-experience less pleasant and harder for you.

Badge +2

Very helpful, thank you ever so much!