Moving Rails Development to Windows WSL 2 Linux

November 3, 2019


This is a work in progress…

New Opportunity: Linux on Windows via WSL 2

With the iminent general availability of WSL 2 on Windows 10, it will now become possible to run Linux desktop on a Windows PC without the need of a Virtual Machine. WSL 2 is the 2nd iteration of the Windows Subsystem for Linux, this time with a Linux kernel. We can already utilize WSL 1 with the availability of Bash shell which is vastly superior to the command window (Cmd).

For further details on:

  • Why you would want Lynux
  • Why not use a Virtual Machine
  • How is WSL 2 different, eg speed
  • What new things you will be able to do, eg docker

see https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/windows-linux-kernel/

and https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/6/18534687/microsoft-windows-10-linux-kernel-feature

But I can already build and run my Rails app on Windows

Simple Rails applications can be built and run on Windows 10, however as we have found, there may come a point when you will need to introduce a new feature with a gem that that is not compatible with Windows. For example adding websockets was our tipping point for Moving Rails development from Windows to Linux.

Plus it is nice to be in an environment more like the deployment environment, Linux on AWS in our case.

How to move to Linux on Windows via WSL 2 (The “Plan”)

WSL 2 is only available in Windows 10 builds 18917 or higher. If you are prepared to sign up to the Windows Insider Program, then WSL 2 is available now. For the rest of us we will have to wait probably till the end of 2019 or early 2020.

Maybe this is worth looking at: https://www.hanselman.com/blog/RubyOnRailsOnWindowsIsNotJustPossibleItsFabulousUsingWSL2AndVSCode.aspx

But once you have Linux on Windows via WSL 2, you should be able to use your favourite Linux tools, and run like on Linux native.

OR

Wipe the old laptop and install Linux instead of windows!

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