Unix development from Windows 10!


I have had the unfortunate “First World Problem” of being handed a brand new Windows 10 desktop with dual monitors to begin development work on for a client. While I am well aware that there are perfectly capable tools in a Windows environment to develop modern web applications, new habits die hard, and I love me some UNIX.

My initial reaction was to get my Ubuntu laptop and bring it into the office. But rather than waste the resource provided, I figured a Virtual Machine was the way to go. After all, it’s how I set up my last Windows machine. Then I remembered a social media buzz a couple years ago: Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

Fist off, I am extremely pleased at the ease of the installation. For the latest version of Windows, as simple command from Powershell as an Administrator:

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux

Then, as with most major Windows operations - a restart.


Once up and running again, the Windows Store has a handful of Linux distros available. Myself being happy (comfortable) with Ubuntu, a click or two and the install begins.

That’s it! Up and running!

Launch Ubuntu and all the power of apt-get awaits!

The real fun of setting up an ideal Linux development environment begins there.

There is probably a need to install a myriad of apps and likely an X-Server for displaying Graphical Desktop Applications, but that is for another post! I liked VcXsrv, but there are options out there.

Am I giving up my UNIX dev machines any time soon for Windows? Far from it, but this is easily a no-brainer for SSH access to servers and local development environments on a Windows machine.