Enabling Ubuntu Bash shell on Windows 10 with the Anniversary update

I already have the Anniversary Update on my Windows 10 install, and I needed to ssh into one of my Raspberry Pis. I normally do this from my Mac, but since I’m in Windows 10 working on something, I thought this would be a great opportunity to install the new Ubuntu Bash support and then I can ssh from there right? (I could just install Putty, but then I wouldn’t have a reason to check out the Ubuntu Bash support, right?)

First attempt following instructions here, the bash windows opened and closed quick, too quick to read whether there was an error or not.

Second attempt, from a Command Prompt, entering bash, I got this:

Ok, to enable Developer Mode, into Settings, and click the radio button under ‘Use Developer Features’:

Then I got this error:

Hmm. Not very helpful. Clicking on Learn More opened a browser to a help page, but it didn’t load – I’d reconfigured my ip address to a static address on a local network for testing, and I didn’t have internet access. 0x80004005 probably could be a little more helpful, but enabling DHCP to get an internet connection and then tried selecting the Developer Mode option again, it downloaded, said ‘Some features may not be available until your PC is rebooted’. Rebooted, ran bash from Command Prompt, and now it prompted to download the Ubuntu Bash support. Why it couldn’t have done this already is beyond me, and I’ve already rebooted once, but answering ‘y’ it starts downloading:

After it completes you create a unix user and then you’re all set, and it even has ssh included.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update – not as smooth as it could have been

There’s been a lot of stories in the news the past few days since the Windows 10 Anniversary Update went live of people running into issues with unexpected hangs and blue screen crashes after the update (for example). Even the update itself does not seem to be as smooth as it could have been.

On my HP desktop, I went through the first few reboots during the upgrade and then got stuck at a gray screen with the rotating progress balls. There was some disk activity every couple of seconds so I left it running, checking back on it every hour or so, but it stayed at this point for a whole day. Thinking it had just hung, I rebooted it and got a ‘Recovering your installation’ message, and then it seemed to pick up again at the “Working on Updates” progress screen. After about another 15mins and sitting at 91% complete, there’s a ton of disk activity so I’ll leave it running and check back on it later today.

If you’ve run into other issues during the upgrade, there’s a list of commonly seen issues so far in this article that might be useful.

TechCruch on the new Lumia phones: “… the best phones no-one buys”

I have to admit I have zero interest in a new Windows phone. It just doesn’t do it for me. The UI looks like a random mess of data competing for my attention. A poorly designed random mess at that. Anyway, that aside, Microsoft announced their new flagship Lumia phones running “Windows 10 Mobile-whatever” and the general consensus in the press seems to be “they look great but who cares because no one is going to buy them”.

A selection of stories:

The point made by cnet is rather interesting. In the US, apparently only AT&T has signed up to carry the new phones, although the deal is not exclusively with AT&T. Which you can only read between the lines as the other major US carriers, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint have all passed on carrying the phone. At least so far. If AT&T turns out to be the only carrier then this, as cnet points out, is an unusual move to launch a new flagship phone with only one carrier. If you were Microsoft you would want at least 2 or 3 of the major carriers to be promoting and selling the phone, but only AT&T is interested. This can’t be good for potential sales.

Anyway, as TechCrunch says, this is the phone OS that no-one buys, even if it is the best version yet, so who cares. Maybe no-one. Have to wait and see if it turns out to be a surprise hit or not. But I wouldn’t bet on it. Or buy one.

Windows 95 launched 20 years ago today

On August 24th 1995 Windows 95 was launched. The minimum required specs were:

  • a 386 cpu (around 25MHz at the time?)
  • 4MB RAM
  • 55MB free disk space

Fast forward to 2015. The minimum specs for Windows 10 are:

  • a 1 GHz cpu
  • 1 GB RAM for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit (really? I find this hard to believe, 4GB probably a realistic minimum, 8GB to be comfortable)
  • 16 GB disk space for 32-bit OS, 20 GB for 64-bit OS

Somehow this is supposed to be better, but I’m not sure exactly how. Running an OS in 4MB? How exactly was that possible?! That seems impossible by today’s standards. And yet, Windows 10 is so much better? Better at needing more resources than any previous Windows version?

If there’s one thing for sure, no-one has danced with such enthusiasm for the launch of a new operating system in the past 20 years since Steve Balmer, doing whatever he was doing here.

And yes, Windows 95, with your blue screens and all, “you made a grown man cry”.

I’ve always wondered what was the intent of using the Stones “Start Me Up” as the theme music for Windows 95. Yes ok, start button, “Start Me Up”, ok, I get it. But didn’t they listen to the rest of the lyrics? Maybe they were thinking crying in happiness, but in reality it was more often crying in despair :-0