WLinux sucks…

WLinux is a Linux distro made specifically for the Windows Subsystem for Linux. WLinux is open source, and is based on Debian. WLinux costs 20$. It let’s you run things like OpenSSH, and even graphical Linux applications. However, I had so many issues with WLinux, that I had to make an article about it as fast as possible to let people know not to buy it.

Installing it

Installing WLinux seems simple enough. Just enable the Windows Subsystem for Linux, buy it from the Microsoft Store, download it and run it. This gives you a basic Linux terminal. However to get a full installation, your have to run “wlinux-setup”. wlinux-setup is very buggy. For example, When you open it, it asks if you would like to update wlinux-setup, but if you say yes, it just restarts the setup. Also, in my experience, enabling non-latin fonts such as Chinese and Japanese, breaks the font-config system.

APT

In my experience apt is completely messed up. If you try to install something, it will install a bunch of dependencies. This is normal with most (if not all) package managers, however, I noticed the WLinux has issues configuring packages. After installing Gpick, Kdenlive, and Firefox, this happened. I have not had this issue with any other Linux distro, including the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSFL) version of Debian.

Applications

WLinux says it can run graphical Linux applications, however most Open SourceĀ  applications work on Windows. There are some GNOME apps that don’t have Windows ports, and the port of Kdenlive for Windows is a buggy mess, but other then that, I don’t see a need for Windows ports of Linux apps. To run graphical Linux applications on Windows, you need to setup a Xorg server. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get Xorg to work properly. Other then Kdenlive which is doesn’t work via Xming on Debian or WLinux, I was able to get everything I tried working on Debian. However Firefox was the only app I could get working on WLinux.

Xorg

To get Xorg running, WLinux recommends X410. However, X410 costs 50$ which means that if you pay for WLinux and X410, you are spending a grand total of 70$. There are alternatives to X410. wlinux-setup also mentioned VcXsrv and Xming, however I couldn’t get VcXsrv to work properly. Xming worked great, however I had issues with QT apps such as Audacious, Kdenlive, and Krita. Xming also works on Debian, and on Debian, Kdenlive was the only QT application that didn’t run (although Audacious did require some tinkering with ALSA), this means there’s probably some bug with Kdenlive causing it to not run on WSFL.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I think WLinux could have great potential. However these issues, and the price tag are what keeping me from recommending this. I might try this again sometime to see if this has improved, but for now, I’m going to stay away from this. If you do want something like this, try the WSFL version of Debian. While the WSFL version of Debian is harder to setup, it works better, and it’s free.

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