Install MicMac in Windows Subsystem for Linux

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You can also use MicMac on Windows 10 through the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). WSL allows you to run a Linux distribution (e.g. Ubuntu) directly on Windows, unmodified, without the overhead of a traditional virtual machine or dualboot setup. Then you can install MicMac by following the Ubuntu installation guide.

Install WSL

The following steps are adapted from the Windows Subsystem for Linux Installation Guide for Windows 10. Only the manual procedure is described. For the automatic procedure (or for more details/troubleshooting), please refer to the external link.

Enable the "Windows Subsystem for Linux" optional feature

Open Windows PowerShell as Administrator (you can hit the Windows logo key and type powershell), then run:

dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux /all /norestart

It is recommended to update to WSL 2, but if you wish to only install WSL 1, you can now restart your machine and move on to the #Install your Linux distribution of choice step. To update to WSL 2, wait to restart your machine and move on to the next step.

Check requirements for running WSL 2

To update to WSL 2, you must be running Windows 10:

  • For x64 systems: Version 1903 or higher, with Build 18362 or higher.
  • For ARM64 systems: Version 2004 or higher, with Build 19041 or higher.
  • Builds lower than 18362 do not support WSL 2.

To check your version and build number, hit Windows logo key + R, type winver, select OK.

Enable Virtual Machine feature

Before installing WSL 2, you must enable the Virtual Machine Platform optional feature. Your machine will require virtualization capabilities to use this feature.

Open PowerShell as Administrator and run:

dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:VirtualMachinePlatform /all /norestart

Restart your machine to complete the WSL install and update to WSL 2.

Download the Linux kernel update package to update to WSL 2

  1. Download the latest package for either x64 or ARM64 systems, depending on your machine:
  2. Run the update package downloaded in the previous step. (Double-click to run - you will be prompted for elevated permissions, select ‘yes’ to approve this installation.)

Set WSL 2 as your default version

Open PowerShell and run this command to set WSL 2 as the default version when installing a new Linux distribution:

wsl --set-default-version 2

Install your Linux distribution of choice

  1. Open the Microsoft Store and select your favorite Linux distribution (e.g. Ubuntu 20.04).
  2. From the distribution's page, select "Get".

Ubuntustore.png

The first time you launch a newly installed Linux distribution, a console window will open and you'll be asked to wait for a minute or two for files to de-compress and be stored on your PC. All future launches should take less than a second.

You will then need to create a user account and password for your new Linux distribution:

Ubuntuwslinstall.png

You can now run Linux on Windows 10! To install MicMac on Ubuntu, follow these steps.

Windows Terminal

Windows Terminal is a very convenient tool for working in command lines on Windows. Follow this installation guide to use it.

Many options for customizing the terminal are available through the settings.json file (accessible from the terminal preferences).

Some useful shortcuts

Ctrl + Tab: switch between tabs

Ctrl + Shift + T: open a new tab

Alt + Shift + +: vertical split of the active tab

Alt + Shift + -: horizontal split of the active tab

Alt + ←↑→ or ↓: move between tabs

Alt + Shift + ←↑→ or ↓: change the size of the active tab

Ctrl + Shift + W: close the active tab

Use MicMac's graphical user interfaces

To use MicMac's graphical user interfaces (GUIs) (e.g. SaisieMasq, SaisieAppuisInit) in WSL, you will need to install an X-server, such as VcXsrv.

If when you start VcXsrv the GUI does not appear, you may need to add some lines in your .bashrc file. In your Linux terminal, type:

nano ~/.bashrc

Add the following line at the end of the file:

export DISPLAY=localhost:0.0

If you use WSL 2, add:

export DISPLAY=$(grep -oP "(?<=nameserver ).+" /etc/resolv.conf):0

And if you use WSL 2 and Ubuntu 20.04, add also:

export LIBGL_ALWAYS_INDIRECT=1

(from Wiki ubuntu-fr)

Here is a set of parameters successfuly tested:

export DISPLAY=:0
export LIBGL_ALWAYS_INDIRECT=1

Close nano and open a new terminal. You should now be able to display the GUIs from this new terminal. If you end up with a black window, try changing its size by dragging the borders a bit and the GUI should display correctly.