Make Windows green again – Part 6
The Grande Finale
Admittedly, it took much longer to write this blog than initially planned. In the past months I was continuously approached by colleagues as well as lots of followers (the ones who tried the somewhat ugly hack described in the first five blogs of this series) asking when to expect the next read. Reason for the delay is, things developed and evolved much quicker than I was able to write them up. I always try to write blogs with a fair amount of content and not just dump and publish a 5-minute-one-paragraph marketing write up. While such write-ups are for sure useful for certain topics, I set myself a higher target for this blog series.
In blog No. 5 I announced the content of blog No. 6: to write up something interesting about the Windows Insider program. And while exploring the benefits of running WSL in the Insider Program, we got in touch with the WSL team at Microsoft and were asked what we think about offering SLES and openSUSE as downloadable apps through the Windows Store eventually. I was all over the place as I understood which opportunity just opened up. I immediately said yes, knowing that I now had to sell the idea to my management and R&D as well. Long story short, we got the buy-in, images were created and I am delighted that Windows 10 users can now conveniently download & install openSUSE Leap 42.2 and SLES 12 SP2 from the Windows Store, without the hazzle of messing up the WSL folder structure.
And before I forget, a big thank you to everyone at SUSE and Microsoft to make this happen, really appreciated!
So how does it work? Well, two things needed:
1) an Insider Build of Windows 10
2) the WSL feature enabled
However, if you used my hack before, I recommend to cleanup the environment by running “lxrun /uninstall”. More details on how to use lxrun can be found here.
Assuming you did this, or you have a somewhat clean & fresh Windows 10 environment, the first you would need to enable Insider builds (until the necessary pieces of WSL arrive in the fall update of Windows 10). To receive Insider Builds navigate to this webpage, sign up and wait for your Windows 10 to update. I’m running the fast ring, which sometimes breaks things, but allows me to get latest updates asap. This is comparable to openSUSE Tumbleweed.
Once you are on an Insider Build, you’d need to enable WSL (if not done so already) by opening “Turn Windows features on or off” (Win key, type “turn windows”, then Enter) and selecting “Windows Subsystem for Linux” (which is finally out of Beta), clicking OK and performing a reboot.
After you gain access again, open the Windows Store (Win key, type “Store”, then Enter), navigating to the Apps category and searching for “SUSE”. Et voila, both distibutions (~200MB each) now show up, ready for installation.
Now just select the SUSE distribution flavor of your choice and click the Install button, wait until downloaded before finding both in the Start menu. I usually pin very important apps to the taskbar and suggest you do the same. The white chameleon is openSUSE Leap 42.2 and the green one is SLES 12 SP2.
Now it’s time to start them up. I’m using SLES as the example and clicking the green chameleon in the task bar opens a new windows like this:
After waiting for initial setup to finish (strangely, I had to press ENTER after 2 minutes to make it continue) you are asked 4 questions:
1) Registration Code: This one is needed if you want to install additional packages or receive SLES maintenance or security fixes from SUSE. For this purpose we offer a free & renewable 1y Developer subscription for SLES (free sign up required). Of course, you can provide the registration code any time afterwards as well. In my case, I just hit ENTER.
2) Username of your Linux user: I’m using the same username as Window 10 account, in order to keep things simple.
3) Password for your Linux user: Choose whatever you feel most comfortable with. As I like things simple, it might follow the username guideline above 😉
4) In contrary to other Linux distributions which almost entirely require working with sudo, the root user on a SUSE based Linux has by default a password set. You are asked if the root user should use the same password as your regular users. I answered with yes. Otherwise you are prompted to enter a password for root.
That’s it, finally done without a hack.
We also have a dedicated WSL Forum in which you can post your questions and we will help. Also, visit the Forum if you just want to have a chat or discussion.
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