WSL

The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL for short) is a Linux environment running parallel to your Windows system comparable to a virtual machine.

After you have installed the WSL you must use the Linux commands of this documentation. Of course you have to run them in the WSL and not the default cmd or PowerShell.

Install

You can install it by following these instructions.

Chances are you don’t use the preview build of Windows, so you must follow the "Manual install" step by step.

The installation of WSL 2 requires you to enable virtualization capabilities which most likely also includes modifying a setting in your BIOS/UEFI. There were multiple problems in version 1 related to our network so please use version 2!

When you reach step 6 you will have to choose your Linux distribution. All commands in this documentation will work on Debian or Ubuntu so choose either of these two if you are unsure.

Usage

After following all steps of the installation manual your WSL is now ready to use.

You can open it by searching for the name of the distribution you installed in the start menu (e.g. "Ubuntu" or "Debian") or running bash in any command prompt. If you have installed the Windows Terminal you can also open a new tab with the WSL. bash is the default shell (comparable to a command prompt) in most Linux distributions.

To navigate on your disk you can use the cd and all other UNIX commands. Your Windows files can all be found in /mnt/c (c is the drive letter).
If you don’t have any experience in Linux the fastest way to open a bash in a specific folder is the following:

  • Open the folder in the normal Windows explorer

  • Hold shift and right-click on an empty space in the folder

  • Select "Open command prompt here" or "Open PowerShell here"

  • In the newly opened window type in bash and hit enter

If you need to access the files you create and download in the WSL open the Windows "Run" dialog (Shortcut: Win+R) and type \\wsl$. Alternatively, you can type the same in the address bar in the Windows Explorer.

Recent PyCharm versions also show you the files from the WSL in the "Open" menu. This means you can keep your work and programming files in the WSL but use the "normal" Windows installation if PyCharm to work with them.

Update the package list

Before you can install the latest version of all the other necessary packages for the RoboLab you must update the package list. In Ubuntu or Debian based distributions you must run the following command:

$ sudo apt-get update

After fetching the latest package lists you should now be able to move on to the next steps.