ALWSL allows Arch Linux to be run in Windows 10’s experimental Linux subsystem
Linux users often want to run Windows software on Linux, but Windows users may want to run Linux software, too. Linux not only has a lot of features that saves your time but also makes your working a little less boring. The best part is that Live Installations allow you to try out the software before you wipe your entire hard drive.
There are many different options for running Linux software on Windows. It’s easier than running Windows software on Linux, as anyone can set up a virtual machine with a free Linux distribution — no need for software licenses.
Now, Microsoft has come up with WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux), which will not only provide a lab for the hacking experts who want to see how far they can push the WSL but also an opportunity for the software giant to try and appeal Linux devs into making themselves comfortable in Windows.
The Arch Linux, on the WSL, is such an experiment in an attempt made by Microsoft to run a third-party Linux distribution.
Currently, the ALWSL project is only available in a very unstable dev preview, which is basically a glorified batch file that eliminates the existing WSL setup, downloads a copy of Arch Linux, authenticates its validity, readies it, and allows it to be booted at the WSL prompt.
WSL uses Ubuntu as the basis for its kernel and user space by default, although the primary subsystem is in theory distribution-agnostic. It just translates Linux system calls into their Windows counterparts or offers emulation when there isn’t a 1:1 match. As a result, ALWSL needs to do very little on its own to make Arch Linux work.
With no real documentation, the project is still in its very early stages. “If you don’t want to break anything, wait for the first release. Which is [of course] not a batchfile,” says the project’s README.
Nonetheless, interesting possibilities are already developing. One convenient side effect of the ALWSL project is that it offers a useful utility for backing up and restoring the state of the WSL subsystem. This opens the avenue for a new wave of playing around with WSL that needs incrementally less heavy lifting.
Although ALWSL isn’t ready for prime time, there is already some tinkering on the way. NodeOS, the maintainer of another maverick operating system project, has already shown interest in developing a system image that can be used with WSL through ALWSL.
If you are interested you can check out the Github page to run Arch Linux, on the WSL.