Thinking over my experiment, I think I can principally call it a success. Over the past ~three weeks, I’ve managed to not go out of my cottin pickin’ mind and want to flip my NT partition out a window.
As someone that’s principally had a FreeBSD or Debian setup on hand for the past fifteen years, I’m going to call that signs of progress on Microsoft’s part. Because while there are worts here and there using a X session: traditionally they piss me off less than Windows.
Since the experiment began I’ve made numerous changes, but mostly small ones.
The freaky SD card freezes Explorer thing hasn’t happened in ages, so I can probably thank updates for that. Likewise I find turning my keyboard off before power down seems to result in less having to repair the damned thing. Pretty stable for the most part.
IIS is definitely slow as dog poop compared to lighttpd, but given how easy it is to lock it down to a specific network, I’ll forgive that.
The thing I miss the most is how copy/paste works in X. The whole thing about ^C/^V versus the mouse selection and clicking the middle mouse button is really helpful when you’re copying between a terminal and a note editor. The select / right click thing with modern Windows terminal emulators and console things, not so much. But that was also something I disliked about using Android and a monitor anyway.
Since modern Linux tends to treat otherwise available memory like a ramdisk, and buffers the crap out of it for faster file I/O, I’ve made a small tweak to WSL2 setup:
PS > type ..wslconfig
# default is 80%, or about 12.8 if you’ve got 16GB.
# Default is 25%, or about 4GB if you’ve got 16GB
# It’s a VHDX file used as swap: not system virtual memory.
Effectively limiting WSL2 to half my system’s physical memory. Otherwise I’ll find myself with 300~400 MB free in task manager. Some of the projects I work on generate ~20 GB of files and general nut punches memory.
That my desktop sessions on W10 usually burn up to 3.5 ~ 6.5 GB according to Task Manager, this further increments my desire that my next machine offer at least 32 GB of RAM. Because 640 KB isn’t enough for anything anymore 🤣.
As most of my interests revolve around an xterm session, WSL works pretty damned good for me. Enough so that using Xfce4 and Thunar vs NT’s DWM and Explorer aren’t as large an impact as the change from Davmail + Thunderbird to ActiveSync and Windows Mail.
Much to my amusement if I do the old “Send to” -> “Mail recipient” trick, I get an error message that there is no program for that. Actually, I can’t remember what decade I last actually tried that. But I’m pretty sure that XP or ’98 was still sexy at the time.
I’ve been happy to see that Windows Terminal has come along nicely. When I tried it very early on, I found it annoying because I abuse bash’s classic line editing instead of using notepad like shortcuts. No frustrations or interference with a release version of Windows Terminal; in fact my only negative comment is the fancy pane split stuff isn’t the same as tmux or screen, hehe.
Spending more time on Windows 10 than normal, I find myself reminded that it’s been about a decade since I figured I should learn how to use PowerShell. While I mostly skipped having to care about batch files in command.com, I have had no such luck avoiding cmd.exe in my life. And PowerShell frequently reminds me how nicer it is–if only I’d have the time to learn it as well as I do bash and general Bourne Shell voodoo.
My little experiment of using Windows 10 Pro instead of Debian Buster was meant to answer the question “Can I” use NT as my main development and work platform. The question of “Should I” however is a different one. That I haven’t gone insane is a positive. That I’ve tried at all of course indicates that I may be a tad more insane than normal.
But hey, I spent many years using Android as a desktop replacement, so I’m obviously crazy to begin with ^_^.