16 comments

  • transpute 4 days ago

    If this reaches production status (e.g. with a new Hyper-V Hardware Qualification List and HHQL logo program like WHQL), it could be the biggest news for Linux since Dell started shipping a laptop with pre-installed Linux.

    Such a logo program could provide OEMs with a test suite for Hyper-V with Linux hardware drivers, which means Microsoft could start contributing test cases to upstream Linux projects like CKI.

    Most importantly, a Hyper-V for Linux logo qualification program could require that OEM/ODMs pass HHQL before shipping supported hardware, when they still have engineering resources allocated for system and device firmware fixes.

    In short, Hyper-V for Linux has the potential for positive ripple effects throughout the supply chain for Linux "secured core" hardware. When combined with WSL2, Direct X paravirtualized graphics for Linux, and Azure Sphere (based on OpenEmbedded/Yocto), it's a major endorsement for Linux and the flexibility of Type-1, CPU-assisted virtualization pioneered by open-source Xen.

    The Microsoft Linux license for IoT/embedded devices includes support for 10+ years of security updates, which will hopefully extend OEM firmware support timelines for edge hardware, https://www.platformsecuritysummit.com/2019/speaker/seay/

    > This talk will cover ... device security from the chip to the Linux kernel, user application isolation, network communication, cloud interaction, and what it takes to keep a system secure for 13 years.

    • Ok, sure.

      Given Xen is battle tested at scale and k8s/etc for microservices, why bother to learn to manage this?

      • transpute 4 days ago

        > why bother to learn to manage this?

        Even if primarily adopted by existing Microsoft customers familiar with Hyper-V, this would benefit Xen, KVM and any Linux distro running on the same hardware targets.

        If a theoretical HHQL motivates OEMs to prove that Linux drivers work in a Hyper-V root partition on new hardware, with driver fixes upstreamed to the Linux mainline kernel, then everyone wins.

        There is also ongoing work for nested virtualization, to enable KVM, Xen or Hyper-V to be a bare-metal (L0) or a nested (L1) hypervisor, e.g. in a cloud environment where the bare-metal hypervisor cannot be changed by customers.

        These interoperability improvements increase hardware support for hypervisors, which can then compete at multiple architectural layers. Users can choose based on optimization of the HL0-HL1-VM-App stack which works best for their specific workload.

    • aunty_helen 4 days ago

      >Windows 10 is on a path to becoming a hybrid Windows/Linux system

      This sounds promising, something closer to OSX would give apple competition for devs like myself that want a linux based system and a fluffy "it-just-works" gui

      • phkahler 4 days ago

        >> This sounds promising, something closer to OSX would give apple competition for devs like myself that want a linux based system and a fluffy "it-just-works" gui

        No, don't. That seems to be what they want. It's not about running linux apps on Windows. It's about blending the two so that even Linux apps are dependent on Microsft APIs and such. What is the point of bringing native DX12 to linux if not that? BTW they floated that a while back and the kernel folks said no.

        It's the "extend" phase they are in now. Once they extend linux and you jump on with that gui, then the work to extinguish the other options, or just dont care because they get to take in money for every user of MS/linux hybrid.

        This is painfully obvious and a bunch of people on here are saying "STFU" unless you have proof of their intentions, which is a stupid argument given the history and current efforts to "extend".

        • derefr 4 days ago

          > What is the point of bringing native DX12 to linux if not that?

          Oh, easy: it’s so games written for DX12 on Windows—that are currently run on Linux using Wine—can have a direct, low-overhead GPU driver path, rather than Wine needing to translate DX12 calls into OpenGL/Vulkan calls first.

          Of course, if you’re a game-engine developer, you know you can achieve the same by just writing your engine to target Vulkan instead of DX12.

          But if you’re e.g. Steam, you’d love to see more games “automatically made” multi-platform (with comparable performance), so that you can sell them to your Linux userbase.

          Microsoft themselves are—maybe surprisingly—in the same boat as Steam here. The various game studios they own publish multi-platform games. Those platforms don’t necessarily include Linux, but they do often include Android. And merging code into the upstream Linux kernel is one way to get it to appear in Android.

          —————

          This change would also allow the graphics of Linux programs running in a VM on Windows to be accelerated through virtualization (i.e. having the X/Wayland server on Linux act as a Windows DX12 client.) It’s analogous to the reason that some VM software offers special-purpose “host-guest filesystem” drivers to the guest, that allows the guest to just pass through filesystem requests at a high level, rather than needing a virtual block device or a networked-filesystem protocol.

          This is the reason Microsoft themselves offered. I feel like there’s a lot more money on being able to easily port Windows games to Android, though.

          • paulryanrogers 4 days ago

            Right but the larger point is that it's less healthy long term since Microsoft controls DX, full stop. So it makes direct Vulcan support less appealing.

            • 013a 4 days ago

              Sure, but its been, like, thirty years. The biggest advancement specifically Linux gaming has had in that time is a highly optimized DX interpolation layer from Valve (Proton, an extension of WINE).

              The linux community seems to believe that the world will just naturally bias toward open systems given enough time. Maybe Vulcan will own the world in a hundred years; we'll wait it out. But there's no evidence that this is the case. People just want their problems solved; they want working games, or a freakin' powerful office suite, or whatever. That's why Linux succeeded in the server in the first place; it wasn't (mostly) its libre licensing; it was just better at a lot of things, which led software to be written for it, which entrenched its position.

              We can solve problems and push for openness at the same time. Linux can have DX and HyperV and whatever, while we still make open solutions better. Vulcan may actually own the gaming world one day; its very good. But I doubt LibreOffice will; Microsoft Office is just too good. Why not try to do both?

              • paulryanrogers 3 days ago

                Did Linux start out better at a lot of server things? My experience was it was just cheaper, and significantly so.

                When my employer moved from Mac servers to Debian it was mostly slower performing and less obvious with the lack of a GUI.

            • phkahler 3 days ago

              >> > What is the point of bringing native DX12 to linux if not that?

              >> Oh, easy: it’s so games written for DX12 on Windows—that are currently run on Linux using Wine

              And why does Microsoft give two shits about that?

              • derefr 3 days ago

                I said above: because Microsoft (or rather, their Xbox division) owns a bunch of gaming studios, and acts as their publisher. And one of the roles of a publisher, is to get the games the publisher has rights to, ported to more systems, to get them into the hands of more people, to make more money.

                Make no mistake: any time an Xbox title isn’t explicitly chosen to be a “console exclusive” for marketing purposes, Microsoft would love nothing more than to port it to every system imaginable. Look at what they did with Minecraft.

              • phkahler 3 days ago

                You dont make games multi-platform by bringing an API from a closed platform to an open one. You do it either by writing to multiple APIs (extra work) or by using an API that is already multi-platform.

                Microsoft proprietary APIs are not and can not be part of a free software platform, that is a contradiction. They can be part of a new MS-Linux platform masquerading as the real thing until support for the real thing dries up.

                • derefr 3 days ago

                  The "you" here is nebulous. Games are made by a studio, but are often ported by that studio's publisher, who will often then subcontract the porting work to some other development house.

                  (Why? Because the original studio is busy making other new games. Or because the publisher got the game produced as a one-off work-for-hire, so the original studio has no ongoing contractual relationship for the publisher to lean on. Or, sometimes, because the studio is defunct, but customers are still interested in getting new ports of the game, so "you gotta do what you gotta do.")

                  Publishers can't change what engine a game is written in; and there's certainly no positive ROI in a ground-up rewrite. They just have to cope with the game's codebase as-is, relying on combining small tweaks with techniques like emulation/virtualization to get the port shipped. Pushing to get the target platform to natively support the APIs the game uses, is just another such strategy.

                  > Microsoft proprietary APIs

                  What is a "proprietary API"? APIs aren't IP. Even in Oracle vs. Google, the copyright case had to focus on plagiarism of header files, not of the API.

                  The moment there's more than one (popular) implementation of an API, its original creator loses de-facto control over it. Third parties interested in using that API will almost always focus on the lowest-common denominator subset of the API supported by both implementations.

                  Which is to say that, if anything, Linux implementing DX12 would be bad for Microsoft's control over DX12, since it means that Linux could "hold DX12 features hostage" by refusing to implement them. Just like Chrome and/or Safari are currently holding a lot of HTML5 features hostage from appearing in most web-apps, by being a hold-out on implementing them.

              • 013a 4 days ago

                > or just dont care because they get to take in money for every user of MS/linux hybrid.

                Oh my god, the horror. Are you suggesting that I could, I dare to think it, pay Microsoft some money for a working operating system that meets all of my needs? Someone needs to call the EU and get this shut down, this is unacceptable behavior.

                Look, this fear out of the linux community is why I'm hesitant to immerse myself in it. Lets say I decide to build a linux app that is dependent on Microsoft APIs, as you fear: what's stopping you from just not using it? If Microsoft allows this, and we're legal with the licensing, what gives you the right to (1) control how I build the software I want to build, and (2) control what kinds of software my users want to use?

                Well, I think if we dig deep enough, the reason is some variant of "because then developers will take the easy route and use the generally pretty good and well supported Microsoft APIs, and the open linux APIs will flounder". Which is a weird combination of 'not invented here' and self-loathing from the linux community that is startlingly unhealthy. Microsoft is making an effort toward openness and interoperability here; we can argue their intentions all day, maybe they're good or bad, but its (some members of) the linux community who's saying "no, we don't want to be open, we want to live in Linux world and pretend like no one else exists." Sounds a lot like 90s-00s Microsoft.

                And what's the worst case scenario? Microsoft suddenly removes their mask and admits they were the evildoer we all feared them to be, like a scooby-doo villain? Ok? They tried pulling that with the browser ecosystem, and Office, and Java, and the world is still spinning. Linux is healthier than ever.

                • phkahler 3 days ago

                  >> Oh my god, the horror. Are you suggesting that I could, I dare to think it, pay Microsoft some money for a working operating system that meets all of my needs?

                  You are free to do that now. Maybe Linux meets your needs, or maybe Windows, or something else.

                  >> Lets say I decide to build a linux app that is dependent on Microsoft APIs, as you fear: what's stopping you from just not using it? If Microsoft allows this, and we're legal with the licensing, what gives you the right to (1) control how I build the software I want to build, and (2) control what kinds of software my users want to use?

                  Nothing gives me that right. The problem isn't about you or your users. The problem is that longer term, developers like that end up using MS APIs on Linux and then all Linux users are forced to use MS APIs and we all end up paying for it. I don't pay MS anything these days, I use Apple and Linux systems and I don't want MS and other developers to ruin one of my options.

                  Fortunately the Linux Kernel folks are well aware of this type of thing and don't allow GPL licensed shims that serve no purpose other than supporting proprietary binary blobs.

                  • etripe 3 days ago

                    As someone who obviously cares about open software, how do you feel about Apple's increasingly consumer hostile actions and their walled garden ecosystem? Haven't they "embraced, extended and extinguished" Linux in a very real way?

                    • j-pb 3 days ago

                      Microsoft is no longer the enemy of OS, Apple is.

                      M$ knows this.

                      It's time the Linux community starts to realise it too.

                  • disown 4 days ago

                    > This is painfully obvious and a bunch of people on here are saying "STFU" unless you have proof of their intentions, which is a stupid argument given the history and current efforts to "extend".

                    It's even more stupid when you consider that microsoft is going in the data collection business like facebook/google/etc. Not just their ever expanding "telemetry", taking more and more control away from the users but their acquisitions like linkedin, github, etc ( which are fundamentally data extraction companies ).

                    The amount of "love" microsoft/bill gates/etc gets here is rather disappointing. I'm sure it's part paid PR and partly people making a living on the windows/microsoft stack, but still sad.

                    Billionaires are evil, but don't you dare say anything bad about saint gates. He is here to save the world. Eerie. Facebook, google, etc are evil and people should stop using it, but I need microsoft in my life. Strange.

                    • rusticpenn 3 days ago

                      >> It's the "extend" phase they are in now.

                      No, The OS is not their main money maker anymore. Even the team designing the windows OS has become much smaller ( inside sources). The focus is on the money maker - Cloud.

                    • severino 4 days ago

                      So what's wrong with Linux if you want a Linux based system? I don't remember the last time I got a Linux desktop which didn't "just work"; of course I try to avoid exotic hardware components, but the truth is that you can run into driver problems and issues too when running operating systems you pay money for, like Windows.

                      • nicoburns 4 days ago

                        Lack of support for GUI apps such as MS Office, Adobe Creative Suite, etc. It was actually workable with wine a few years back, but that was before everything went to an auto-updating subscription model.

                        • severino 4 days ago

                          I can understand some people have specific needs and have to use software like that, but I wouldn't say an OS doesn't work just because you can't use some software on it.

                          You can't also have Omnigraffle for Windows, yet nobody would say Windows doesn't work for that reason.

                          • sneak 4 days ago

                            Excel is, in and of itself, a single reason alone for many people in various industries to own or operate a computer.

                            If computers no longer ran Excel, they would buy a dedicated Excel Machine to do it, and put it on their desk next to their computer.

                            You can make a similar argument about Premiere and After Effects, although the fact that Resolve runs on Linux is helping the situation a little.

                            The Autodesk products are another case.

                            • sandworm101 4 days ago

                              >> Excel is, in and of itself, a single reason alone for many people in various industries to own or operate a computer.

                              I had a client that suffered an excel/windows ransomware attack. It started with a macro or something in an excel document that, for some reason, everybody seemed to open. My inbox was flooded with "do no open anything" emails. Then the CEO called me to check on the data I had stored on my systems. "Remember when I said I didn't use windows? Your data, at least the copy I have, is safe."

                              • justinclift 3 days ago

                                Hopefully they also had a reasonable (and known working!) backup regime in place beforehand. ;)

                              • severino 4 days ago

                                I know lot of people use excel, and can't live without it. Anyway, the point is that we can blame Linux for kernel or driver issues, its thousands of desktop environments for its bugs, etc, but I don't think it's fair to say that Linux "doesn't work" just because Microsoft will never release Linux versions of their desktop software.

                                I have a working Linux desktop and I also use spreadsheets in my day to day work.

                                • moomin 4 days ago

                                  Not to be funny, but OP didn't say it "doesn't work". OP said it wasn't workable, which is a synonym for practical. Something can be 100% fit for one purpose but not for another.

                                  • severino 4 days ago

                                    Well, he said "it-just-works", but it will never get to that point by its own merits, as it depends on one rival company releasing software for you.

                                    • wyattpeak 4 days ago

                                      Merits don't come into it. It's not an issue of intention or willingness to address problems.

                                      People who need Excel don't refuse to use Linux because they take issue with its stance of not-having-Excel, they don't use Linux because it doesn't have Excel.

                                  • nicoburns 4 days ago

                                    No, but if you are a developer choosing a system to use then this can never-the-less be a good reason for not choosing linux and preferring either macOS or windows with a unix layer.

                                    • severino 4 days ago

                                      Yes, it's true, but it depends on what your needs are. For example, in my case, as a developer, I prefer not to spend any money on Office software and instead get a higher end CPU.

                                    • larrik 4 days ago

                                      I can barely tell the difference between Excel and LibreOffice Calc with both of them open on the same computer...

                                      • MegaDeKay 4 days ago

                                        "Then you haven’t really used excel beyond loading a CSV into a table."

                                        Bad example. I've brought LibreOffice to its knees after importing a CSV file: went to adjust a column width and it became non-responsive. And this was within the last year. They have done a lot of performance work on LibreOffice and I appreciate that, but it is a long way away from Excel for serious work.

                                        My favorite snag was on a plot with the X-axis labeled with date text at an angle. I could have horribly aliased ugly fast text, or I could have nicely anti-aliased text that slowed moving around in the sheet to a crawl. But I couldn't have nice text on a spreadsheet I could still work in.

                                        • vetinari 4 days ago

                                          Also bad example.

                                          I've crashed Excel (2016 for Mac) trying to preview CSV I was about to import.

                                          To Microsoft's credit, they eventually fixed it.

                                          What still doesn't work (in Mac version) is ODBC driver for Postgresql (and maybe for other databases; it is shipped with MSSQL driver only). It will also crash Excel. So to work with psql data I have to export them into file and then import into Excel. I cannot have a query saved in the spreadsheet and just refresh it.

                                          • rbanffy 4 days ago

                                            > but it is a long way away from Excel for serious work.

                                            Most people don't use Excel for "serious work". Most people use Excel to make colorful grids of text and some calculated numbers that fit in a common corporate issue 8GB computer.

                                          • larrik 3 days ago

                                            I'm getting downvoted, but the fact is that up until like 10 years ago I vastly preferred Calc over Excel. It had a lot less stupid built in causing me to lose my work. Excel would clear my undo history on save, or close ALL worksheets when I tried to close one (completely different behavior than Word) and I would miss which file it was warning me about.

                                            • dogma1138 4 days ago

                                              Then you haven’t really used excel beyond loading a CSV into a table.

                                            • ghshephard 4 days ago

                                              What's odd - is that nobody ever decided to build a reasonable spreadsheet package, or imaging package, or heck, any of a hundred decent packages that are available on OS X and Windows. My day-day job is on Linux (And has so been for the last three years) - but that's because I live on a CLI, and my needs for spreadsheets/presentations are (A) Both very rudimentary, and (B) more often then not done with google docs anyways.

                                              Anybody who had, as their day job, working with spreadsheets would never do it with Libre Office unless they weren't really using them with a lot of data and complexity, or (B) had a bit of a masochistic streak. (Or, I guess (C), were completely dedicated to open software - which is a fair reason I guess).

                                              The two things that will permanently hold back Linux on the desktop (And, remember, I say this as someone who has only worked on Linux for 3+ years now) - is (A) The amazing number of inconsistencies on the desktop environment (Depending on the application, I have 3 separate ways I need to initiate a "copy" - Ctrl+C, Ctrl+Shift+C, Ctrl+Right-Click+Select copy.) and (B) The lack of most decent desktop software (Chrome, Slack excepted - they are pretty much flawless on Linux).

                                              Bringing this back to the original thread - what I would love from Microsoft, is to make Linux a first-rate citizen on Windows. Right now it's 80% of the way their with WSL. Still missing a bunch of networking stuff, and still doesn't run cron/init and friends. But It's getting closer.

                                              Then, we have the best of both worlds - I can do all my work in Linux, and still have access to the rich desktop environment of Windows. So - count me as one person who is really happy that Microsoft is putting effort into advancing their Linux offerings by submitting these Hyper-V support patches into the Linux Kernel.

                                              • severino 3 days ago

                                                Yes, I understand your position. I tend to disagree, because for me, the Windows world is not a better world: I don't specially like the Windows UI, I don't like how updates are done, I value using open-source software and I don't like my vendor to be constantly trying to make me use its software, be it Internet Explorer, Edge or Bing. But if that is the best of both worlds for you, that's great.

                                                However, I feel WSL means using Linux to enhance a product (Windows) while at the same time preventing the growth of that same system in its standalone fashion. Because WSL means you won't be using a lot of the usual Linux desktop stuff, you'll be a pure Windows user in a lot of statistical data, and you won't be helping to make Linux a better OS. Not to say that it can get worse once Microsoft starts releasing Windows-only Linux components for WSL, as (I think) started happening already.

                                        • de_watcher 4 days ago

                                          So make these apps work on Linux. They go instead inventing VMs and hypervisors to extend their walled gardens.

                                          • colejohnson66 4 days ago

                                            How does this extend their walled garden? The kernel doesn’t just accept patches willy nilly.

                                            • de_watcher 4 days ago

                                              How does this extend their walled garden? They want to capture Linux/MacOS users with that development.

                                              • colejohnson66 4 days ago

                                                Enticing developers to use their platform isn’t “extending their walled garden.” In a healthy free market, competition is good. Microsoft is encouraging using Linux, just through a VM instead of dual booting (or even removing Windows).

                                                Vendor lock-in, OTOH, would be a valid criticism. But again, this is not that.

                                            • throw_m239339 4 days ago

                                              Exactly. All these software companies could probably make their apps run on Linux at a minimal development cost. They just don't want to. Microsoft because they want people to use Windows, Adobe for whatever reason.

                                              • tester34 4 days ago

                                                but they did afaik? there's Excel online.

                                                • de_watcher 4 days ago

                                                  The whole 'online' thing is the soft entry into the OS war by Google by the means of diminishing of the role of the OS: the OS is like a bootloader for the browser. Browser takes the responsibility of the OS shell and main applications (mail, drive, docs, chat...). So that's a slightly different topic.

                                                  • diffeomorphism 4 days ago

                                                    Which is hardly comparable to excel.

                                                • jacquesm 4 days ago

                                                  That is not really Linux' fault though. If you all keep buying this auto-updating subscription crap you are sending the signal to the companies involved that you bought in to their view. The only way to make them reconsider is to stop using it.

                                                  • whoopdedo 4 days ago

                                                    No one was given the choice. Or the choice was to "upgrade" to a subscription or throw away the technical investment in the platform, starting from scratch with a new and unfamiliar and usually less capable software.

                                                    • jacquesm 4 days ago

                                                      When I get ripped off by a party I go elsewhere. I don't say 'oh wow, that was bad, let's see what other creative ways of ripping me off they will find in the future'.

                                                  • rbanffy 4 days ago

                                                    When I really need to run a Windows application, I fire up a VM and use it. KVM's desktop experience is lacking, but VirtualBox is excellent.

                                                    And the VMs are nicely contained, disk volumes can have copy-on-write snapshots, and the volumes can even be made immutable - you shut the VM down and, when you restart, it's back to its immutable state. This is becoming less than practical thanks to various self-updating things - you need to make them mutable, let the self-updates happen and then you can make them immutable again. Otherwise they'll self update a lot on every boot.

                                                    • paulryanrogers 4 days ago

                                                      But they are slow and/or require more expensive hardware. Dual booting or these para-virtualized solutions help somewhat. Time efficiency, finances, and technical aptitude may vary widely.

                                                      • rbanffy 3 days ago

                                                        It's a trade-off. It's a bit slower, but not much, and you'll need to have a little extra memory, say 4 gigabytes, if you want to do everything inside the VM and just have some breathing room outside it. OTOH, you'll get the isolation I mentioned and the safety of doing backups with full volume snapshots.

                                                    • ekianjo 4 days ago

                                                      > Lack of support for GUI apps such as MS Office,

                                                      not the same but you have Office 365 that does a reasonable job for most documents out there.

                                                      On the other hand, not having Office is kind of a feature, it makes you learn better tools :)

                                                      • colejohnson66 4 days ago

                                                        > On the other hand, not having Office is kind of a feature, it makes you learn better tools

                                                        Replace “Office” with Photoshop, Autodesk, Altium, etc. and it becomes very clear why this isn’t true. The Big Guys(tm) aren’t popular because they’re Windows and macOS programs; They’re popular because they do practically everything and no alternative comes close.

                                                        Sure, there is the bit about market dominance which leads to people learning just that tool which leads to further dominance (this is true of Photoshop especially). There’s also the bit about tools not getting better if no one uses them. But one would be hard pressed to find programs as capable as those mentioned earlier.

                                                        • arvinsim 4 days ago

                                                          > On the other hand, not having Office is kind of a feature, it makes you learn better tools :)

                                                          I think this kind of attitude is why Linux on the desktop will probably never be mainstream.

                                                          • absove 4 days ago

                                                            I don't think this attitude is the reason why Microsoft won't port the Office suite to linux.

                                                            • ekianjo 3 days ago

                                                              > why Linux on the desktop will probably never be mainstream.

                                                              It does not need to be mainstream to be useful.

                                                              • dependenttypes 3 days ago

                                                                What kind of attitude do you think would make Linux on desktop mainstream?

                                                                • rbanffy 4 days ago

                                                                  It being used by those who don't refuse to learn better tools is kind of a feature too. ;-)

                                                                • MegaDeKay 4 days ago

                                                                  If you mean the web apps, they work until they don't. Often it is a function you would never expect:

                                                                  - in Excel, you can clear conditional formatting rules but you can't manage them. And text in text boxes turn into images that can't be edited, only moved.

                                                                  - in Word, formulas turn to images. Complex tables break.

                                                                  - Visio... well, there is no web app version of Visio.

                                                                  • IHLayman 4 days ago

                                                                    I haven't used Visio in almost a decade. I have used draw.io a lot in that time, and it is more than sufficient. Plus, it easily embeds into Confluence which is something I use daily.

                                                                  • speedgoose 4 days ago

                                                                    What are the better tools?

                                                                    • rbanffy 4 days ago

                                                                      It depends on what you are doing, but when I have to manipulate gigantic grids of numbers, I use Pandas. When I am just doing normal mere mortal spreadsheety stuff, I use LibreOffice or Google Sheets.

                                                                      • ekianjo 3 days ago

                                                                        Command line tools, or Python/R for anything that requires large data processing and repeatable workflows.

                                                                  • sandworm101 4 days ago

                                                                    >> I try to avoid exotic hardware components

                                                                    My exotic hardware can only run on linux (wifi hacking dongles, SDR bits, very old data devices). One of the big reasons I switched to linux as a kid was so that I could play around with tools that windows hates, like enabling monitor mode on a wifi card.

                                                                    • I would say that these days the exotic components are the ones that DO work on Linux, and various common components just don't, or work "on paper" but with debilitating bugs.

                                                                      • willis936 4 days ago

                                                                        I really feel this. I manage about a hundred computers for scientists/students. Total free reign. Some want to use linux. I’m sorry, you will never have working audio. Oh. It looks like the available linux drivers don’t play nice with this sandy bridge mobo and the dm will fail to initialize. The list goes on.

                                                                        Never have I seen lack of hardware support on windows. I think that’s the essence of “just works” here.

                                                                        • matkoniecz 4 days ago

                                                                          "you will never have working audio" - what you mean by that? Some specific software not working on Linux or complete lack of audio?

                                                                          I run into some cases of software refusing to run on Linux (though curiously, I switched to Linux due to software refusing to work on Windows).

                                                                          I run into wifi/printer issues (but both on Linux and Windows) and I managed Linux to Work, while Windows remained resistant to debugging and kept failing with contentless errors.

                                                                          • Acinyx 4 days ago

                                                                            One example I found recently is bluetooth headsets: On Windows it by defaults uses the high quality audio output profile, but switches to "headset" profile when an app requires a microphone and picks the headset. On Linux (Ubuntu to be precise) you have to manually pick the profile somewhere deep in Pulse, making the usage of the microphone pretty hard as you first have to figure out how to change it and secondly need to manually change it every time you get into and out of a call. I quickly gave up and now use a separate mic.

                                                                            Its all kind of small things like this that make Linux grind just a little bit more for me than Windows, not saying Windows doesn't have its issues though, just a lot less.

                                                                            • wkearney99 3 days ago

                                                                              With the advent of more people working at home, with a greater variety of headphone/headset devices it's even more of a hassle to use linux for daily work tasks. Not that you can't, obviously, but if you're not a developer or sysadmin-inclined, it's a mess trying to get a linux desktop lashed together.

                                                                              • fomine3 2 days ago

                                                                                Bluetooth audio in Linux is strangely good in a point: LDAC support. Windows/macOS doesn't support LDAC but (GNU/)Linux has ported LDAC support from Android.

                                                                            • tomrod 4 days ago

                                                                              Weird. Outside of wifi Debian and Fedora always just work for my exotic configs.

                                                                              • mindcrime 4 days ago

                                                                                Yep. In my experience, Linux (mainly Fedora) has been a "just works" experience for a good 15 or so years now. Wifi, sound, hibernate, etc, all work fine for me on a variety of hardware.

                                                                                • willis936 4 days ago

                                                                                  Ububtu is almost exclusively requested. I wouldn’t say most of these configs are exotic, just legacy.

                                                                                  • jacquesm 4 days ago

                                                                                    You must be filing a lot of tickets then.

                                                                                • Filligree 4 days ago

                                                                                  > Never have I seen lack of hardware support on windows. I think that’s the essence of “just works” here.

                                                                                  Ever since the 2004 windows update, the dGPU in my windows laptop randomly turns on after sleep. If I try to force it off, it bluescreens. Battery life has gone from 10 hours to 3.

                                                                                  Tell me again about how good Windows' drivers are?

                                                                                  • That is not due to drivers, and nobody negates how bad Windows 10 is and that it becomes worse with every update. Still doesn't address the fact that you dGPU probably wouldn't work on Linux at all, or, more probable, would stay on all the time.

                                                                                    • giancarlostoro 4 days ago

                                                                                      The only laptops that old I know still run just fine are all Macs, props for keeping that thing alive, I usually give laptops about 6 years tops before I consider them dead (they usually die on their own for various reasons).

                                                                                      • mastax 4 days ago

                                                                                        "2004" means a build of Windows 10 originally built in April 2020.

                                                                                • baq 4 days ago

                                                                                  Windows drivers for GPUs have at least an order of magnitude more people working on them than Linux drivers.

                                                                                  • severino 4 days ago

                                                                                    I don't know for other vendors, but at least for nvidia, there's parity with the Windows drivers, according to the benchmarks and the general stability. In fact, I remember when sometimes a feature had to be removed from the Linux version of the nvidia drivers just to keep "parity with the Windows one".

                                                                                    • dooglius 4 days ago

                                                                                      IIRC most of the nVidia codebase is platform-agnostic with small bits that shim to the underlying OS, rather than developing two entirely separate codebases.

                                                                                    • Kaze404 4 days ago

                                                                                      And yet I use mine to play video games all the time with zero performance loss that I can tell.

                                                                                    • jasonlotito 4 days ago

                                                                                      > I don't remember the last time I got a Linux desktop which didn't "just work";

                                                                                      I can. I have a laptop with a high-DPI screen. It can output to a second monitor. Setting that second monitor up is relatively easy (though not as simple as it is on Windows or Mac), though getting the desktop to play nicely with a high-DPI screen and a non-highDPI screen doesn't just work. It basically becomes unusable at that point. The laptop was sold with Linux installed by default.

                                                                                      > but the truth is that you can run into driver problems and issues too when running operating systems you pay money for, like Windows.

                                                                                      Yes. Though, I haven't had that problem in years. And when I last had that problem, my solution was literally just upgrading the driver.

                                                                                      Listen, I've hand coded XFree86 config files back in the day to get three monitors up and running on a Slackware system. It's gotten better. But it doesn't "just work."

                                                                                      • Sangeppato 4 days ago

                                                                                        I agree, if you just want to use Linux a classic Thinkpad/XPS will play well with it

                                                                                        • somedude11 4 days ago

                                                                                          Unless you want your built in cellular modem to work properly.

                                                                                          • Sangeppato 4 days ago

                                                                                            Sorry to hear that, I always assumed that at least the ThinkPads were 100% compatible

                                                                                            • NikolaeVarius 4 days ago

                                                                                              Fingerprint Drivers have never worked, outside the Lenovo specific spin.

                                                                                              • shock 4 days ago

                                                                                                My Dell Latitude's fingerprint sensor worked under Ubuntu in 2014.

                                                                                                • bubblethink 4 days ago

                                                                                                  Old fingerprint readers were reversed. Newer stuff is more tightly locked down. People have reversed the communication protocol, but various other bits are harder to get around due to signatures or other DRM like mechanisms.

                                                                                                  • NikolaeVarius 4 days ago

                                                                                                    Not sure how this is relevant to a discussion about Lenovo laptops

                                                                                        • x87678r 4 days ago

                                                                                          Last two jobs I've had you can only connect to work from MacOS or Windows. They've had some custom virus scanner.

                                                                                          • jacquesm 4 days ago

                                                                                            Fair point, corporate IT can be a nightmare in that sense. Even if the OS is intrinsically safer the fact that a particular band-aid can not be installed could easily be a dealbreaker.

                                                                                          • pjmlp 4 days ago

                                                                                            My laptop AMD card begs to differ.

                                                                                            • DashAnimal 4 days ago

                                                                                              GPU decoding support for video streaming in Chrome/Firefox was enough for me to switch back. I know this JUST got added to Firefox but afaik, this Nvidia proprietary drivers don't support this.

                                                                                              • rbanffy 4 days ago

                                                                                                This is one of the reasons I actively avoid buying Nvidia hardware - their Linux support is borderline criminal.

                                                                                                • ryneandal 4 days ago

                                                                                                  I dislike their shady practices as much as anyone else, but calling their lack of driver support on a platform outside of their market segment "borderline criminal" is wildly hyperbolic.

                                                                                                  • rbanffy 3 days ago

                                                                                                    A bit hyperbolic, perhaps. Still very bothersome.

                                                                                                • shmerl 4 days ago

                                                                                                  On Linux you should be avoiding Nvidia in the first place.

                                                                                                • h0h0h0h0111 4 days ago

                                                                                                  As a Kubuntu use (and I appreciate this isn't strictly a Linux problem), I've found most of the window managers quite buggy on Linux - system clock freezes, menus crash, settings occasionally reset themselves randomly. You allude to driver issues which certainly can happen on Windows, but I've had quite a few in Linux - particularly with network adapters. Let's not even get into gaming on Linux... I do it, but it certainly doesn't 'just work' for many things.

                                                                                                  I think there's something to be said for the consistent experience that Apple and Microsoft achieve by being the arbiter of their entire stack.

                                                                                                • danieldk 4 days ago

                                                                                                  This sounds promising, something closer to OSX would give apple competition for devs like myself that want a linux based system and a fluffy "it-just-works" gui

                                                                                                  I switched from macOS to Linux. GNOME and others are pretty good these days. I did try Windows + WSL2 out of curiosity, but my brain is just fundamentally incompatible with non-unix systems. Moreover, I was really annoyed that when Windows installed drivers automatically, it also installed a lot of Realtek and Intel crapware with it. Why?

                                                                                                  It would be really nice though if Microsoft could make a Linux version of Office (even if it was just Wine-based), because the web version is too limited. Oh, and the Affinity suite would be nice as well ;).

                                                                                                  • harha 4 days ago

                                                                                                    Coming from Mac and Linux, I sometimes need to use Windows and I'm always surprised how they managed to make it so incredibly difficult to use and bloated.

                                                                                                    A minimal version of Windows along with a good package manager and a UX closer to Windows 2000 (or at least without the whole Control Panel / Settings App confusion) would be amazing.

                                                                                                    • Joeri 4 days ago

                                                                                                      Supposedly windows 10X will be that thing.

                                                                                                      I have to say I find the settings / control panel dichotomy issue overblown. I rarely need to go into control panel anymore, and pretty much never without it being a clickthrough from the new settings app.

                                                                                                      • Alopis 4 days ago

                                                                                                        I primarily care about how terrible the new settings window is and that it's a step back from the Control Panel in too many ways to ignore. What's with all the wasteful white space? What's with the inability to multi-task settings?

                                                                                                        • whereistimbo 4 days ago

                                                                                                          Agree with the non-availability of multiwindow Settings, but the UI of Settings seems to mimic iOS and Android settings, which in my opinion, modern, simple, and familiar. The Control Panel UI seems so complex nowadays.

                                                                                                          • harha 4 days ago

                                                                                                            I don't think having a similar UI as mobile is very good for the user since the input mode is very different.

                                                                                                            I think macOS does way better here with a minimal use of white space because I can easily have a browser open on the side to look up what I'm trying to change - though some things do appear a bit old school (e.g. networking).

                                                                                                            • whereistimbo 4 days ago

                                                                                                              The Settings app in Windows works very well with mouse and the wasted whitespace only appears when it's maximized, the app was made to be responsive with several windows sizes.

                                                                                                              • Alopis 4 days ago

                                                                                                                Seems like you've never used it with a non-FHD screen. Or as a window. Because it absolutely wastes a ton of space. The sidebar on the right will disappear to the bottom, which is unnecessarily cut off because of the crazy large margins around everything. I don't understand why every page needs to be scrolled when the Control panel fit twice as much functionality into half or even a quarter of the space.

                                                                                                          • aargh_aargh 4 days ago

                                                                                                            Hate it as well. The obvious reason is the effort to have a unified interface that will support both pointer-based and touch-based devices.

                                                                                                          • ryneandal 4 days ago

                                                                                                            > I have to say I find the settings / control panel dichotomy issue overblown

                                                                                                            Agreed. The task bar search finds the setting I'm looking for about 99% of the time.

                                                                                                            • harha 3 days ago

                                                                                                              I usually do too, but then again I don't change settings all the time, so it's mostly initial set-up where I spend a while in the settings app or control panel and this is where the problems come together: 1. at least for my preferences there's just too much happening out of the box, e.g. "Explore", "Create", the whole Xbox business, all the notifications, the colors and design - so there's a lot I have to change so I'm not distracted all the time. 2. the number of menus and different places I need to go to to get my setup the way I want it and how inconsistent these are.

                                                                                                              I could probably set up a custom image but I prefer to get the most recent build when setting up and would appreciate it being as clean and minimalistic as a fresh install of macOS (yes there are some things here too, but you have to look for it) or Linux. The plain Windows setup feels like how preinstalled systems used to be with all sorts of "helpful" apps that automatically start and make the system look "nice".

                                                                                                        • Alopis 4 days ago

                                                                                                          Looking at the AMD and nVidia software, I see it surfacing a lot of hardware-/vendor-specific options and I don't see how it could be done any differently. Then there's Realtek, where I've never seen their software add anything useful that doesn't already exist in system settings. But then again, there are drivers like those for the Xonar DX or other soundcards where a bunch of useful features and configuration options are surfaced.

                                                                                                          I think there are pros and cons. PulseAudio could possibly be half the incomprehensible monstrosity that it is if it didn't have to take over the responsibilities of every audio driver out there. On the other hand, Realtek will arbitrarily disable/hide features with no way (that I've found) to do anything about as a user.

                                                                                                          • AstralStorm 4 days ago

                                                                                                            Realtek stuff installs Nahimic 3D virtual positioning and a different denoiser and beamformer, which are controllable from their driver.

                                                                                                            Technically, they could make these features separate and configurable from Windows sound effects options for the recording or playback device...

                                                                                                          • withinboredom 4 days ago

                                                                                                            > Why?

                                                                                                            You’d have to ask the driver developers. In my experience though, that crapware is the only way to configure the hardware since config files aren’t a thing in Windows.

                                                                                                            • On the other hand, because config files aren't a thing you don't have to learn 15 different poorly documented often-changing config file formats.

                                                                                                            • merb 4 days ago

                                                                                                              oh yeah intel drivers. which nowadays open a webserver at some useful ports

                                                                                                            • kubanczyk 4 days ago

                                                                                                              The ecosystem is already there for devs, except for those interested with directly interacting with their laptop's hardware.

                                                                                                              I've migrated from MBP to Win10 WSL three months ago and it's like a breath of fresh air for general $DayJob backend CRUD-like work. I'd still prefer a Linux laptop, but WSL is so much closer to a real Linux box.

                                                                                                              I don't think I touched PowerShell or any .BAT stuff even once.

                                                                                                              • pydry 4 days ago

                                                                                                                WSL had horrendous I/O performance last time I tried it and it couldn't run some pretty basic stuff (e.g. headless chrome).

                                                                                                                Virtual box is a better experience if you wanna run Linux on windows IMO.

                                                                                                                • selsta 4 days ago

                                                                                                                  WSL2 is a simple virtual machine. Nothing you couldn’t do on macOS with e.g. multipass.

                                                                                                                  • mtzet 4 days ago

                                                                                                                    Not really. Under HyperV both the Windows and Linux kernel run subsidiary to the HyperV hypervisor, so in that sense Windows itself is "just a virtual machine".

                                                                                                                    The work in TFA describes patches to make the Linux kernel communicate with the hypervisor (sharing information like used memory pages). In my book that's pretty sophisticated.

                                                                                                                    EDIT: The work appears to be available on Github https://github.com/microsoft/WSL2-Linux-Kernel/commits/linux...

                                                                                                                    • AshamedCaptain 4 days ago

                                                                                                                      It doesn't matter how the hypervisor is arranged, but it is still just a virtual machine. Just because it happens to run on a type1 vs type2 hypervisor means not much, or just go ask around whether Xen is any faster than KVM these days.

                                                                                                                      • danieldk 4 days ago

                                                                                                                        But the filesystem integration is much better than a VM in macOS, being able to run Window programs from Linux, etc.

                                                                                                                        Also, Windows has decent X11 servers that work well with retina displays, which can't be said of XQuartz.

                                                                                                                        • tremon 4 days ago

                                                                                                                          The filesystem integration is not without flaws though, it doesn't seem to implement full posix semantics.

                                                                                                                          Many times in WSL2 I've had a git rebase fail because it couldn't overwrite existing files, and every time it could be fixed by just running git rebase --continue. The actual problem seems to be that WSL2 system calls return before the NTFS operation completes, so quick successions of create-after-unlink or write-after-rename can have unexpected results.

                                                                                                                          For this reason I still keep a WSL1 environment, it doesn't have the same issues (and doesn't appear to be any slower for filesystem operations).

                                                                                                                          • Filligree 4 days ago

                                                                                                                            > For this reason I still keep a WSL1 environment, it doesn't have the same issues (and doesn't appear to be any slower for filesystem operations).

                                                                                                                            It's definitely a great deal slower for filesystem operations inside the Linux system. Filesystem operations outside the VM's disk image go through 9p, which gives you basically the same performance for both.

                                                                                                                          • AshamedCaptain 4 days ago

                                                                                                                            "Windows programs for Linux"? It doesn't really have any better filesystem integration. The filesystem is stored on a disk image on WSL2 as on any other VM. You can mount other host filesystems from inside the VM in any hypervisor I know of.

                                                                                                                            Ack on XQuartz being crap (thought it does have Retina support these days, at least for non-rootless mode), but this is not really a problem of the VM.

                                                                                                                            • skinkestek 4 days ago

                                                                                                                              It works so crazy well that sometimes it works and then I stop and think: how did that work.

                                                                                                                              Example: I type code ./somefolder in WSL and it opens VSCode on Windows, editing the folder I specified.

                                                                                                                              Edit: danieldk replied just before me, but I think my answer adds to that instead of just duplicating danieldks.

                                                                                                                              Also danieldks answer highlights something important: it doesn't seem to be just magic shell wrappers (or if it is they are truly magic).

                                                                                                                              VSCode is somewhat special when it comes to editing files, Notepad is not.

                                                                                                                              • danieldk 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                "Windows programs for Linux"?

                                                                                                                                Whoops, typo. Windows programs from Linux, I'll fix that.

                                                                                                                                You can mount other host filesystems from inside the VM in any hypervisor I know of.

                                                                                                                                In most hypervisors you can't do a

                                                                                                                                  notepad.exe foo.txt
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                or

                                                                                                                                  TextEdit.app foo.txt
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                for that matter in a Linux VM,
                                                                                                                                • microcolonel 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                  With virtio-fs I think this is becoming more doable. Of course, it's not quite as fast as running a guest filesystem on virtio-blk yet, but maybe it'll get there.

                                                                                                                                  • fomine3 2 days ago

                                                                                                                                    WSL can run `notepad.exe foo` from bash. Not only fs integration.

                                                                                                                                    • microcolonel 2 days ago

                                                                                                                                      > WSL can run `notepad.exe foo` from bash.

                                                                                                                                      Isn't that just a binary loader, like you can do with wine/qemu on any Linux? Surely it's mostly just proxying the pipes, replicating the working directory, and maybe keeping some of the environment variables. The filesystem integration seems like the trickiest part of that altogether.

                                                                                                                              • dboreham 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                Also networking. e.g. you can spin up a Node.js server in Linux then connect to it with Chrome on Windows at http://localhost

                                                                                                                          • Diggsey 4 days ago

                                                                                                                            It's really not. With WSL2 the kernel runs in a VM, but user-space programs do not. As a result, CPU-bound programs suffer close to zero overhead compared to running natively on linux.

                                                                                                                            AFAIK, there's no way to achieve anything like this on macOS.

                                                                                                                            • crumbshot 4 days ago

                                                                                                                              That is not quite correct, it is in WSL1 that they are NT processes, with Linux syscall emulation.

                                                                                                                              But in WSL2 the whole thing runs in a Hyper-V VM, with a customised Linux kernel (available via http://linux.microsoft.com) to help with interoperability between WSL and Windows.

                                                                                                                              • qalmakka 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                You got it completely wrong. WSL1 was a system call translation layer, and everything worked directly on the Windows kernel, like Windows programs do under WINE. WSL2 is an standard Hyper-V virtual machine, no more no less, with a custom Linux kernel build and a ext4 root filesystem stored in a .vhdx image. Every process runs as a native Linux process under the Microsoft's Linux kernel, _inside_ the VM. What makes it more convenient than simply opening the Hyper-V manager and creating a VM is ease of installation, maintenance and integration with Windows (using the 9p protocol to allow file access).

                                                                                                                                • withinboredom 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                  And you got it all wrong :p. It’s not a “standard Hyper-V virtual machine” you can’t make one from scratch.

                                                                                                                                  • qalmakka 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                    With "standard Hyper-V virtual machine" I mean that's like every other VM, because it runs under its own instance of vmwp.exe, spawned by vmms.exe, like every other one you may have in the system.

                                                                                                                                    • withinboredom 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                      Now I want to take those executables apart and see if it does any special handling.

                                                                                                                                • Sangeppato 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                  Do you have any source/documentation for this? I'd really like to read more about it, my understanding has always been that WSL2 was more or less a classic VM on a type-1 hypervisor (Hyper-V)

                                                                                                                                • tilolebo 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                  WSL2 is a simple VM like Docker is a simple Linux container.

                                                                                                                                  • withinboredom 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                    But it’s not simple. It’s nothing like a “simple” VM.

                                                                                                                              • jacquesm 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                So use Linux if you want an 'it just works' gui. It just works. I've been using Linux as my daily driver since just about forever and it works just fine. Very, very rarely do I hit the limitations of the system, usually this is when trying to do something weird such as running 8 sound cards in the same machine or some other strange hardware feat. But other than that it is very hard to find flaws in the day-to-day use and for more mundane use cases it just works accurately describes the state of affairs.

                                                                                                                                If you have to develop for Windows then that's of course another matter.

                                                                                                                                • wayneftw 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                  I've been using Manjaro Linux as my daily driver for 2 years and I can't complain at all about it. It absolutely just works. Installing software is easier than any other OS and Manjaro's default desktop environment, XFCE, does a Windows-style UI better than Windows 10 does IMO and with more features, like being able to middle-click taskbar items to close them just like Chrome tabs - a feature I used to have to hack Windows to enable. Even when I've had to write small scripts for XFCE to add features, I don't feel like I'm hacking because everything I'm doing is supported.

                                                                                                                                  Of course I keep a few separate Windows PCs around to do things that Windows can only do (when I need to do them, which hasn't happened for quite some time now) like SQL Server Management Studio, Visual Studio and some games/video streaming services.

                                                                                                                                  Also, I keep a Mac around to do Mac things like debugging an iOS app or helping some junior developers who only know how to use a Mac.

                                                                                                                                  • saberience 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                    Linux "just works" if you're a developer who posts on Hackernews. It doesn't work if you're my parents or older sister.

                                                                                                                                    • slipheen 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                      My parents (who are both pensioners) switched over from Macs to Thinkpads with Linux.

                                                                                                                                      The only help I gave them was recommending compatible hardware. They've been using them full-time for the last year, and have been really happy with them.

                                                                                                                                      Even Steam games seem to work reasonably well, which I was impressed by.

                                                                                                                                      • Avamander 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                        My parents and older sister say otherwise, if we're posting anecdotal evidence.

                                                                                                                                        • saberience 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                          Ok, so are you seriously suggesting if we did a random sampling of 60+ aged people in Europe and the US (who use computers) we would find Linux being used by the majority of them? Because if you are I would suggest you're living in a fantasy-land. I would be surprised if 5% of computer-using 60+ year olds use Linux.

                                                                                                                                          Yes, I used an anecdote, but it's an anecdote that shows a massive grain of reality. I mean, I work for a tech company full of 30-somethings and 20-somethings and only one of the engineers in a group of about 320 that I know and work with requested a Linux laptop versus Mac or Windows. If this is the case with young engineers, it's absolutely going to be even worse (for Linux) when looking at non technical older people.

                                                                                                                                          • Avamander 3 days ago

                                                                                                                                            > Ok, so are you seriously suggesting if we did a random sampling of 60+ aged people in Europe and the US (who use computers) we would find Linux being used by the majority of them?

                                                                                                                                            No, because that's not even close to what you brought up.

                                                                                                                                            > I would be surprised if 5% of computer-using 60+ year olds use Linux.

                                                                                                                                            How many of those were even given the choice? I'd suspect 0%. That's the issue. The immense monoculture in multitude of places reinforces that monoculture.

                                                                                                                                      • baryphonic 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                        I recently had an issue with my Linux Mint desktop where a power outage somehow introduced a hard disk error that was not easy to resolve (unless one knows exactly what to look for in the logs and knows the correct `fsck` incantation from memory). Linux is definitely still worth it, but the "just works" factor is just significantly less than MacOS.

                                                                                                                                        • jacquesm 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                          If that had happened to you on Windows instead of doing an fsck you might have had to re-install from scratch. And I've had OS/X helpfully suggest to 'initialize a harddrive' with some perfectly good data and a borked boot block on it.

                                                                                                                                          Fixing that took a lot more magic than just an fsck, no matter what the incantations. Once you have trouble at that level any OS will be tricky to get going again because a lot of the underlying assumptions have failed.

                                                                                                                                          • baryphonic 3 days ago

                                                                                                                                            > If that had happened to you on Windows instead of doing an fsck you might have had to re-install from scratch.

                                                                                                                                            Ha, yeah, that's true. I've had better luck with MacOS. I did have a total drive failure once, but the hardware had gone bad.

                                                                                                                                            • etripe 3 days ago

                                                                                                                                              Windows has a fsck equivalent called chkdsk, and as far as I recall it's available from command-line only safe mode, or whatever that thing is called from the boot menu.

                                                                                                                                          • mhoad 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                            I would second this. I finally got rid of my MacBook Pro after all kinds of hardware problems and moved to Linux as my daily driver. I made a point of buying a new laptop that was built by a System76 type company in Europe to avoid any weird hardware compatibility issues and it really does work perfectly for me. I’m using Pop_OS 20.04 for what it’s worth.

                                                                                                                                          • smartmic 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                            For me it feels quite the opposite. OS X is built upon on a Unix core and shares such common heritage. There is consistency in the design throughout all OS levels. On the contrary with Windows and GNU/Linux, IMHO two very incompatible architectures. The business rationale for Microsoft behind this is clear but hybrids represent mostly a temporary transition state. So the question is, what comes next, where is the journey to go?

                                                                                                                                            • EE84M3i 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                              >There is consistency in the design throughout all OS levels.

                                                                                                                                              There is...? What sort of examples come to mind?

                                                                                                                                              • dippersauce 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                I cannot speak for the other poster, but there are several levels where consistency is significantly better. The GUI is of course the most noticeable, especially as the “iOS-ification” of macOS continues. But for a developer, the methods you interact with are more consistent across platforms and apps. Porting an app between iOS and macOS can be as simple as changing a few method names and setting a new target in XCode. For the most part one can assume things like app bundle layouts and where files will be dropped on the system. Most of this consistency lies parallel to where Apple enforces it, which comes with its own downsides.

                                                                                                                                                That consistency isn’t absolute though, rough spots like the boundary between Mach and the BSD components still exist.

                                                                                                                                            • jmnicolas 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                              There's already WSL for your Unix needs.

                                                                                                                                              However MS seems to fall back on its old bad habits and the "it-just-works" gui is less true since a while now (I would say a year): we had some major pains after every Windows update at work to the point where the admin blocked them in the firewall.

                                                                                                                                              I think their release schedule (twice a year) is way too fast, and they should focus more on stability.

                                                                                                                                              • simonh 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                WSL 2 uses Hyper-V itself, so yes that's exactly what we're talking about.

                                                                                                                                                • rubidium 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                  LTSB for the win. I don’t know why more orgs don’t default to that.

                                                                                                                                                  • jmnicolas 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                    We're 2 to manage IT tasks in the company (my real qualification is software dev though). We don't have access to Microsoft anything (too expensive) so we use the licenses that comes with the computers we (rarely) buy.

                                                                                                                                                    I still haven't managed to convert all our workstations from Win 7 to Win 10 (and yes we still have a couple XPs), there are special apps on them that needs the intervention of one of our provider, it's complicated.

                                                                                                                                                    Last year one of our provider sent us some machines with LTSB 2016 installed. They're already at their EOL.

                                                                                                                                                    Edge is not available and there's not even an image viewer on this OS, MS Photos is impossible to install (and is crap anyway, it regularly fails to show an image that any other viewer including Paint can open etc).

                                                                                                                                                    Color me unimpressed.

                                                                                                                                                    • xist 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                      LTSB (or LTSC) aren't designed for general purpose web office machines. This is one of the reasons it's difficult to get LTSC, it's only available via enterprise and it's designed for a very specific non changing long term environment. It will never have the most updated drivers, or the integration of the latest/greatest web browser or microsoft store.

                                                                                                                                                      LTSB is amazing fit for things like kiosks, POS, appliance that are designed for a single purpose only. Uptime & Stability is the purpose, not enduser focus. You should never use it outside of a large enterprise where you can support it.

                                                                                                                                                    • tmottabr 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                      It is not used on most orgs because LTSB is not meant to be used on desktops, Microsoft docs even say it is not meant for desktops and so they will likely not support you if you use it in a desktop.

                                                                                                                                                      LTBS is meant for stuff like ATM or POS as replacement for the older Windows embedded versions.

                                                                                                                                                  • dragonelite 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                    From what i can gather, China is hedging away from windows and onto the Linux based distro UOS(deepin). I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft is also making some preparation for that movement so they can still offer software for the Chinese market.

                                                                                                                                                    • >something closer to OSX would give apple competition for devs like myself that want a linux based system

                                                                                                                                                      Apple has been consistently removing native *nix tools from the system with every iteration. I was recently surprised to see it still had SFTP built-in (although I'm not sure how long that would last).

                                                                                                                                                      But, homebrew still does save the day. I wonder whether binary notarization requirements will affect that too.

                                                                                                                                                      • aunty_helen 2 days ago

                                                                                                                                                        Exactly, if apple wants to keep people buying 6 grand laptops they need to realise removing tools like scp that 1% of their users use isn't going to be ok if there's a competent alternative.

                                                                                                                                                      • qwertox 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                        I'm not sure if Windows 10's GUI is still a fluffy "it-just-works" GUI.

                                                                                                                                                        Windows 7 did make a lot of sense, but configuring Windows 10 has become confusing. You have two versions of the configuration tools, the legacy one and the new HTML-like one, and the latter seems to be almost unusable because of how it is structured. Not to mention that the HTML-variant doesn't work when you VNC into a laptop which has its lid closed and the attached monitor is turned off. Then it's not possible to scroll, because the pages are broken, as if the HTML-renderer is unable to obtain proper display metrics.

                                                                                                                                                        • Good evidence that Microsoft has already begun making Windows more like Linux Desktop.

                                                                                                                                                        • pjmlp 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                          Nothing that Windows NT 3.51 didn't offer already, Microsoft just wasn't serious regarding POSIX compatibility.

                                                                                                                                                          Had Microsoft kept POSIX support on par with Win32 and Linux would never taken over.

                                                                                                                                                          • vms20591 3 days ago

                                                                                                                                                            I've seen a comment in reddit sometime before that said, "I would use Linux if it had all the programs I use day to day in Microsoft Windows". Though I can understand this, Microsoft providing support for Linux inside Windows is far from being the right approach. Its only going to make users stay on it. Rather, software makers should release their products for Linux as well. Microsoft is working towards the goal making Windows the de facto platform for all kinds of users.

                                                                                                                                                            People - users, developers, artists or anyone, should see this beyond software. They should see the philosophy that drives it, the "Free Software" movement paved way for an ecosystem where "Knowledge Freedom" was more important.

                                                                                                                                                            • chooseaname 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                              I get poopoo'd every time I say it, but I think eventually Windows will be a UI on top of Linux.

                                                                                                                                                            • JamesSwift 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                              Sorry for the ignorance, but what does this mean? I understand from the article that the patch allows the full Hyper-V stack to run on a linux-based machine (as opposed to previously needing windows to run the root partition). But what does _that_ mean to have the ability to run Hyper-V entirely on linux? Is it just a "good to have options" thing?

                                                                                                                                                              • It allows them to run a bare metal (type 1) hypervisor instead of a VM on top of Windows.

                                                                                                                                                                • Hyper-V already is a bare metal (type 1) hypervisor. Admittedly it does use one (or more) of the guests, called the "parent partition", to handle some of the work for it. This change allows that parent partition to be Linux instead of Windows, but it does not make it any more of a bare metal hypervisor than it was before, unless you know something in addition to what the article says.

                                                                                                                                                                • SQueeeeeL 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                  It probably means they want to leverage out the existing open source VM software so they can make one with proprietary Windows support (at some point down the line). There is a long history of this in the past with Microsoft https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embrace,_extend,_and_extinguis...

                                                                                                                                                                  Everyone should be afraid of this, even the Microsoft employees commenting here. Look at the 737 MAX post on the front page for another example of management corrupting engineering

                                                                                                                                                                  • cycloptic 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                    >Everyone should be afraid

                                                                                                                                                                    Please don't FUD like this. Proprietary systems on top of Linux are nothing new and Microsoft certainly isn't the first company to have done it. If you have some real proof of their business plans then let's hear that rather than encouraging speculation and fearmongering.

                                                                                                                                                                    • SQueeeeeL 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                      I had to look up what FUD was (it stands for Fear Uncertainty Doubt for anyone else who didn't know)

                                                                                                                                                                      I feel like taking an extremely cautious stance in regards to Microsoft is very fair, given that they were actually hauled in front of Congress for bad practices multiple times in the past...

                                                                                                                                                                      • gwd 3 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                        > I feel like taking an extremely cautious stance in regards to Microsoft is very fair

                                                                                                                                                                        As someone who wrote their first code for Linux in 1998 (a research project, not upstreamed), the whole "Microsoft loves Linux" thing is almost exactly like "Magneto loves the X-Men". I mean, I'm glad they're not calling us a cancer anymore, but I don't believe for a second they're a fundamentally different company; and I don't trust them one bit.

                                                                                                                                                                        But the great thing about open-source is that bitter enemies can collaborate when it makes sense to do so.

                                                                                                                                                                        • cycloptic 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                          Cautious is fine. Always read the fine print with any company, not just Microsoft. But that's different from being afraid.

                                                                                                                                                                        • de_watcher 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                          It's not FUD. It's the Microsoft's never-changing strategy. I don't know how many times people need to experience it to remember this.

                                                                                                                                                                          • derefr 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                            To be clear, the GP wasn’t making a claim about Microsoft’s strategy; what they’re claiming is that Linux is robust against such threats. Linux is constantly “Embraced” and “Extended” by all sorts of people, but it’s far too large a tent at this point for any entity, no matter how large, to gain the control necessary to “Extinguish” it.

                                                                                                                                                                            (In this specific case, it’s because Linux has many in-kernel hypervisor systems, not just Microsoft’s. And at no point would they get rid of any of them, even if Microsoft’s is “better” in some sense. That’s not how Linux works: those systems are there to allow various groups to scratch their own itches, not as some central ideologically-driven top-down design. Microsoft can certainly add to Linux—anyone can—but nobody can force Linux to take away alternatives until it becomes dependent in some way on their particular code.)

                                                                                                                                                                            • whereistimbo 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                              Whatever Embrace Extend Extinguish is Microsoft doing, all the patch were open source and licensed under GPL. If VMWare's patch to make Linux run in VMWare closed source hypervisor getting mainlined, why not this one?

                                                                                                                                                                              • cycloptic 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                That strategy has also failed them numerous times and resulted in complete flops. Sorry I am just really sick of the senseless Microsoft bashing that tends to pervade Linux communities. If you have some real reason to criticize them based on current behavior then let's hear that. Anything else is speculation.

                                                                                                                                                                                • rightbyte 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                  There is no MS lovehate anymore from Linux community in my experience since the rise of the greater evils went under the radar as hipp. Sadly MS is on the course joining the Google and Facebook in this regard.

                                                                                                                                                                                • thsowers 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                  I think it is uncharitable to assert that a company that is 45 years old has a strategy that is "never-changing". There is no denying that Microsoft has been hostile to Linux and open source efforts before, but it doesn't mean that this would never change. Last I checked, Microsoft was the largest contributor to open source projects, and Satya Nadella seems to embrace FOSS

                                                                                                                                                                                  • fartcannon 3 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                    I don't see what they've done to earn your trust. You just want to believe theyre different, just like the parent wants to believe theyre not. The truth is probably in the middle.

                                                                                                                                                                                  • ncallaway 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                    > Everyone should be afraid of this

                                                                                                                                                                                    > It's not FUD.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm sorry, but the sentence "every should be afraid of this" is literally Fear.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, Microsoft has a history and yes, we should be cautious. But that's very different than calling for every person to be afraid.

                                                                                                                                                                                    • jhawk28 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                      How are you seeing this perceived strategy in LinkedIn, GitHub, Azure, .NET Core, Docker, Surface, etc?

                                                                                                                                                                                      These are all things that Microsoft is either owner or a strong participant. They aren't the same company as they used to be. They don't have one single product (Windows) that everything revolves around. They were losing too much (things like Mobile) to keep that strategy.

                                                                                                                                                                                    • ghostpepper 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                      Generally proprietary systems aren't merged into the kernel though. That's not the same as shipping a closed-source, proprietary user space application.

                                                                                                                                                                                      • SeriousM 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                        Just because it's happening already doesn't justify it. Stealing and murder is also happening and shouldn't.

                                                                                                                                                                                      • whereistimbo 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                        Or maybe the Hyper-V team sees that Windows as the only host that Hyper-V support as a liability. Look at [0], you need 16 hours to compile Windows in 64 bit superfast workstation w/ hundreds of GB memory, which would be frustrating and annoying, if they just want to improve Hyper-V and testing, working w/ Linux would be much faster since it compiles within minutes on standard dev machine with adequate RAM.

                                                                                                                                                                                        [0]: https://www.quora.com/What-do-you-think-about-open-sourcing-...

                                                                                                                                                                                        • fomine3 2 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                          Windows contains not only kernel but also many components like stdlibs, daemons, graphics, basic apps, and so on. So you should compare compiling time for Linux, glibc, systemd, X/Wayland, GNOME, wpa_supplicant, PulseAudio and so on.

                                                                                                                                                                                        • mlindner 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                          Linking policies from decades ago isn't helpful.

                                                                                                                                                                                      • robbyt 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                        Perhaps Microsoft is finally tired of trying to get Azure working on the Windows kernel.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Or possibly they need this for ARM VM instances?

                                                                                                                                                                                        • whereistimbo 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                          Perhaps Hyper-V team is already tired dealing with Windows. I mean look at this quote: "...it takes approximately 16 hours to compile Windows on a 64 cores super fast server-class machine optimized for the job, and with hundreds of GB of memory, and that time does not include running tests." [0]

                                                                                                                                                                                          [0] https://www.quora.com/What-do-you-think-about-open-sourcing-...

                                                                                                                                                                                          • fomine3 2 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                            Azure team should use Windows Server Core or similar equivalent for Hypervisor OS that don't need Desktop features. Minimum Windows is not so much huge.

                                                                                                                                                                                        • morrbo 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                          This is awesome. Although hyperv itself has been great for me, there have been certain things which have been a royal pain (copying/unzipping a compressed image, integrating into our monitoring system come to mind) which don't work with the stripped down windows version they have. I do wonder though, will the Linux version be backwards compatible with the Microsoft hyper-v console? Or will there be something similar? It's very nice to be able to fire up a GUI over a vpn and right click add/configure a new machine.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Similarly with installing new images. If anyone has any insight into any of this id be really interested to know!

                                                                                                                                                                                          • whereistimbo 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                            Probably they will port necessary library and console apps to Linux version of PowerShell.

                                                                                                                                                                                          • a_imho 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                            I know next to nothing about virtualization, are these patches Microsoft specific, or do they benefit others as well?

                                                                                                                                                                                            • flatiron 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                              HyperV host only runs on Windows.

                                                                                                                                                                                              • whereistimbo 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                This patch makes it possible to make Linux as HyperV host, or in Xen terminology, "Dom0"

                                                                                                                                                                                            • AstralStorm 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                              For me, the show stopper is lack of device forwarding with WSL and WSL2 (HyperV in general) on non-Server versions. Even the Workstation edition does not support it.

                                                                                                                                                                                              It will be less of a problem once DXGI support lands since it's mostly required for AI, DSP and video processing work for me, as they require rather direct access to the GPU.

                                                                                                                                                                                              • wilt 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't see what this will do that kvm can't already do? Seems like a wasted effort.

                                                                                                                                                                                                • arbitrage 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                  it enables hyper-v on linux. the whole point is that it does something different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • EdSchouten 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                    So what does it do then?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • rbanffy 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I believe the biggest difference is that, unlike KVM, Hyper V causes money to change hands.

                                                                                                                                                                                                • fanatic2pope 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Interesting. Windows is slowly becoming WorkplaceOS.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workplace_OS

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • bugBunny 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The only reason I am still using windows is MS office. I might give it a try myself... My home machine is running Arch linux and works flawlessly for more then two years already. Just my work is still stucked with a lot of documentations sharing between some other people and I need MS office programs which have no alternative in open-source word. well, the office.com looks promising these days and I hope to switch completely ASAP.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • kasabali 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wine runs older Office versions fine. I heard Crossover works even better if you're willing to pay for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • rovr138 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, I was going to mention the online versions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        If you’re doing simple office stuff, it works great. If you need excel plugins and stuff, then you’ll need a local version.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • robbyt 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                          This reads like a Slashdot post from 1998.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • kyuudou 3 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just needs a "even my grandmother is using KDE seamlessly with her online banking site"

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • duckmysick 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                              It even predates Arch Linux by a few years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • whereistimbo 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                              For typical business use office.com is really quirky and doesn't work well like the desktop counterpart.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • desktopninja 3 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                              >Windows 10 is on a path to becoming a hybrid Windows/Linux system

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sounds like Lindows to me :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              M$, #Make2020GreatAgain. Give us "https://www.lindows.rocks" complete with the catchy song and Windows 2000 GUI.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • charwalker 3 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                My reading is this allows HyperV Server (standalone, free) to be Linux based.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                But I could me misunderstanding this as the ability to run HyperV on Linux baremetal much like Windows 10 with HyperV installed or Windows Server with HyperV role.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                As a Windows guy, I can appreciate this. HyperV Server is already free, though requires some care and feeding if set up off a domain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • yewenjie 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What was the status of it so far in Linux?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • jlgaddis 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, according to TFA, the patches were submitted as an RFC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Short version: it's not in Linux, this is basically the very first step in getting it into Linux, it's still gonna be probably several months at least before it makes it into the mainline kernel, and then however long after that for it to make it into your distro's kernel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    FWIW, I think it was a little over 3 years from the first "RFC" for Wireguard until it was merged into mainline (part of that, though, is because some existing things in the kernel had to be "re-worked" first).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • dvh 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Embrace. New status is Extend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • mongol 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If we assume this is technically sound and so on, is there a political dimension that will be considered before merging this? Such as "this will decrease Linux marketplace penetration in this-and-this niche"? I know that Linux is not a company etc so a direct comparison is awkward, but there can still be such considerations weighing in, perhaps...?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • rbanffy 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Anyone who's hosting Hyper-V VMs on Windows can now move to Linux and host those VMs under the same Hyper-V environment they were before. I'm not sure how many do this and, frankly, I'm quite surprised Microsoft does it on Azure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Of course, you can run those same VMs under KVM under a Linux OS, so it's not some new capability.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • wvenable 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This only increases Linux's marketplace penetration as this allows Linux to be used in situations where previously on Windows could be used.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But Linux developers do not care about market penetration -- they simply want to create the best OS kernel. If this makes the kernel better, they will merge it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • tmarsden 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        How does enabling software to run on Linux decrease Linux marketplace penetration? If anything it would have the opposite effect as anyone running Hyper-V could now choose to host on Linux.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • 50ckpuppet 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        embrace, extend, extinguish

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • jacquesm 4 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Just ditch Windows and use Linux directly. That's the fastest way to get Linux to a higher level, not to use crutches.