[nSLUG] running Ubuntu 20.04 under Windows 10 WSL

Jack Warkentin jwrk at eastlink.ca
Mon Aug 2 07:32:54 ADT 2021

Hi everybody

I am running a hybrid Debian/Devuan desktop system, *without* systemd. 
On top of this I have Windows 10 installed in a Virtualbox VM. The only 
reason for the Windows 10 is to run my income tax software, so there is 
no heavy demand on it, but there have never been any issues when running 
that VM.

I'm not sure how much RAM I have, but it's nowhere near the 32G that you 
mentioned, George. It turns out that there is at most 8GB, if that helps 
anybody wanting to run Windows 10 in a Virtualbox VM.

I thought I had somewhere in the 8 to 10 GB of RAM, but decided to check 
for the purpose of writing this. To do that I used hwinfo. I know there 
are other utilities for checking hardware, but hwinfo has always suited 
me best.

So I issued

hwinfo --all

and selected the results for RAM, which were

   Memory Device: #50
     Location: "DIMM_A2"
     Bank: "BANK 1"
     Manufacturer: "CRUCIAL"
     Serial: "E2EB43D8"
     Part Number: "BLS8G4D26BFSBK.8FD"
     Memory Array: #41
     Error Info: #49
     Form Factor: 0x09 (DIMM)
     Type: 0x1a (Other)
     Type Detail: 0x4080 (Synchronous)
     Data Width: 64 bits
     Size: 8 GB
     Speed: 2666 MHz
   Memory Device Mapping: #51
     Memory Device: #50
     Array Mapping: #42
     Interleave Pos: 0
     Interleaved Depth: 0
     Start Address: 0x0000000000000000
     End Address: 0x0000000200000000
   32bit-Memory Error Info: #52
     Type: 0x03 (OK)
     Granularity: 0x02 (Unknown)
     Operation: 0x02 (Unknown)

12: None 00.0: 10102 Main Memory
   [Created at memory.74]
   Unique ID: rdCR.CxwsZFjVASF
   Hardware Class: memory
   Model: "Main Memory"
   Memory Range: 0x00000000-0x173344fff (rw)
   Memory Size: 6 GB
   Config Status: cfg=new, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown

My interpretation of this is that I have one RAM DIMM of 8GB, but that 
for some reason only 6GB of it is actually in use.

Is that interpretation correct? And if so, how can I make the other 2GB 
available for use.

At age 83 it sometimes takes my brain a while to figure some things out. 
I just looked at the invoice for the purchase of my latest system and 
indeed there is one 8GB RAM DIMM.

Any help on this would be much appreciated.


George N. White III wrote:
> On Sat, 31 Jul 2021 at 11:07, Frank Geitzler <frank.geitzler at ns.sympatico.ca>
> wrote:
>> I have been running Ubuntu for almost 20 years on a laptop which still
>> has Ubuntu 16.04, but also used WinXP both in a VirtualBox and in
>> several old towers to support several Visual FoxPro databases I
>> developed. I have Ubuntu 18.04 on an old desktop, Unfortunately, both
>> the towers reached the end of their useful life, and had to go.  In
>> addition, Ubuntu and Microsoft dropped support for WinXP, and that old
>> laptop is due to be retired as well.  Probably I should stay with the
>> little I know, but I just acquired a new-to-me HP EliteBook 8570P, with
>> a fresh Windows 10 Pro on it.  I intended to wipe the Win10, and install
>> Ubuntu 20.04, but before doing so I did a bit of reading, and discovered
>> a bit of information on Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).
>> I haven't worked with Win10, and am not sure I want learn Windows again
>> to do so. It will mean dealing with MS again, and I haven't done so for
>> a long time.
> MIcrosoft seems to have changed their attitude towards linux.  I suspect in
> this is part because their developers prefer it, and they now have a lot of
> linux
> cloud infrastructure.
>> Before I make a decision I wanted to inquire if anyone locally could
>> provide me with any information or experience you may have with WSL.  Do
>> you use it, or have you any intention to use it? Any warnings or kudos?
>> Please let me know.
> I'm retired from a job in the federal government where Windows is the
> "Enterprise Standard",
> and so still have many colleagues both here and around the globe who use
> Windows.  I also
> use a NASA software package that only runs on POSIX systems (e.g., linux
> and macOS).
> I spend most of my time in "text mode" ( I have a package (mostly Fortran
> and sh scripts used
> for batch processing).   Canadian Government Enterprise Windows 10 does not
> have WSL, but I have WSL (both debian and ubuntu) on my personal laptop
> with Windows 10.
> I have not encountered problems running either distro in WSL2, and often
> use linux tools for
> Windows management tasks (cleaning out obsolete files and the like).
> So far, WSL has been good enough that I haven't switched the laptop to
> linux (I have linux on a
> desktop), in port because some hardware  (Sonos, printers, Airport Extreme)
> don't have full
> linux support and for Adobe Reader DC for PDF Documents with forms that
> don't work in Linux.
> WSL comes in the original version and WSL2 which runs a real linux kernel
> in a VM but uses network
> access for files on the Windows filesystem.   I prefer WSL2, but NASA has a
> Windows GUI App that
> can manage processing (using a Java client iin WSL) with their linux
> package.
> At present you can get X11 graphics in WSL2 using a Windows X-server (there
> are many, I use
> CygwinX, but only rarely).
> I've never been happy with dual boot -- I'm always in the middle of some
> processing when I need
> something on the other OS, so I'm better off with 2 systems.  Many of my
> colleagues (whose IT groups
> allow it) run native linux and have Windows 10 in a VM, but they also have
> high-end systems with 32G RAM.
> Recently, Windows has been requiring daily reboots for security updates, so
> I'm wondering if I could
> get by with a Windows VM on a system with 16G RAM.  I would try to have a
> minimal and stable linux as the native OS and VM's for Windows and a couple
> linux distros (my code needs to run on multiple distros and also Cygwin64).
> Eventually, Windows is supposed to get WSLg which will provide Wayland
> graphics (and X via WaylandX),
> but I'm not sure how well it will run on older hardware.

Jack Warkentin, phone 902-404-0457, email jwrk at eastlink.ca
39 Inverness Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3P 1X6

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