I have been developing with Mac and Linux machines forever but I wanted to try out the new Windows Subsystem for Linux Preview, or WSL for a while. I was able to get a Surface Pro 8.
Disclaimer, these are fragments of my thoughts. I am not really planning on creating a step-by-step tutorial or a review, but more of observation notes about things I’ve encountered and what I found useful while playing around with Windows 11 and Surface Pro 8.
Hardware and Software:
- Surface Pro 8, Intel Evo i5, 256GB
- Surface Slim Pen 2
- Surface Pro Signature Keyboard Cover
- Windows 11 Home
I am fan of the pen. What surprised me though is the price and you don’t get to charge it with the table alone. You either have to get a separate charger or get the Signature Keyboard.
I’ve had the Surface Pro 4 in the past, and I really liked it for what it was at the time. The Surface Pro 8 is an improvement and I was happy about it coming with usbc.
I love the debugger, profiling tools and autocompletion with Intellij. Yes, I could just use vim but for all the languages I use, there is an Intellij plugin that is super useful. It IS a memory hog though and I found that syncing my settings that I’ve used with my mac or linux really halts the surface that I had.
I love little snitch on my Mac. I am all right with the net-tools on Linux. I just wanted to try Netlimiter because it would give me a better understanding of my Windows apps and their communications out of my network.
Having a Surface, I wanted to try out the pen with some drawing app. Krita is open-source, has lot of tools, and it’s interface is not bad.
Windows Subsystem for Linux Preview (Microsoft Store)
The tool I really wanted to try out from Microsoft. It was so easy to setup.
Linux Distribution (Microsoft Store)
Some available distributions:
- Ubuntu (Installed)
PowerToys via Microsoft Store
- Git - help remap Caps Lock to Escape and vice versa
Docker Desktop For Windows
I really wanted to use Docker. It uses WSL, and WSL was the only way for Docker to run on Windows 11 Home. I would wonder if the having Windows 11 Pro would give me better performance.
Accessing the WSL Folders
Running docker, it was best for any source files to be in the WSL folders’ home directory. I found out you can access from Windows Explorer or IDE, using:
These are some specific ubuntu things. After running
apt-get update and
Adding fish shell… just to see what it was like in WSL
I think I started trying to configure the Surface around 13:00pm ET, and spent quite a while on Krita and then setting up the development environment.
- 18:56pm: I had everything installed that I wanted, and the memory is already at 90% on startup. I read that this is expected on Windows 11? So I pushed on to try some coding.
- 21:20pm: I spent an hour with docker desktop and trying to pull an image, for some reason it locked up. Restarting the Surface fixed it.
- 21:50pm: I don’t think that 8GB is really enough to do any kind of development work. Maybe 16gb would work, but I found that if I have my editor and docker it may work. I probably couldn’t have a lot of browser tabs though. :P