Run cron jobs in Windows Subsystem for Linux

If you’re running Ubuntu or another linux shell in Windows 10 via WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux), you’ve probably wondered about using cron.

Cron is super-handy for doing things, like, running a backup.

You see, as useful as WSL is, it stores all the linuxy files in a way that is not exactly easily backup-able by File History or anything else… as far as I can tell.

Worse yet, even when you try to set up a cron job to run a backup, it doesn’t work!

What to do, what to do?

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How to update or install “Linux on Windows” in Windows 10

In the olden days, there was only “Bash on Ubuntu on Windows 10”. This little gem gave you something like reverse WINE.

You got an Ubuntu linux install that’s running on top of the Windows kernel – with full file system access, the ability to install and run all kinds of linux command-prompty stuff like git, and even graphical linux apps like gitk.

Fast forward a few years, and things have changed…

What if you’re still running Bash on Ubuntu on Windows (Ubuntu 14.04) and you want to upgrade to the latest Ubuntu 16.04 without reinstalling everything?

Or, what if you want a different flavor of linux?

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How to install git and gitk on Bash on Ubuntu on Windows 10

gitk on Bash on Ubuntu on Windows 10You may have heard about “Bash on Ubuntu on Windows”. If not, you can check out my post on Bash for Windows 10.

First, you’ll need to make sure you have the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which you’ve probably received automagically by now.

Then, you’ll need to manually install Bash on Ubuntu on Windows to get your bash prompt.

When you’re done, you’ll probably listen to Microsoft when they say “no GUI stuff!” on bash… But actually, you can set yourself up with a lovely development environment including git – and even gitk – right in Windows.

And it’s much easier than you might think…

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The Windows 10 Summer Update will include… Linux?!

Ubuntu Bash + Windows 10This summer, Windows 10 will be 1 year old. Microsoft recently announced that they’ll be releasing another “major” update for their latest OS around this time.

Most of the new features are nothing terribly earth-shattering. Probably the most impactful change to most users will be a slight modification to the Start Menu.

For power users, however, they’ve got something rather big planned: Windows 10 will soon include the Ubuntu Linux Bash shell (probably as an optional app/download).

What in tarnation is going on here?!

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Windows + Linux dual boot: How to shrink a Windows disk the easy way

Windows-Linux Dual BootLet’s say you want to dual-boot between Windows and some flavor of linux.

You might think that you need some kind of fancy partitioning software like Paragon Hard Disk Manager 15 Suite to free up disk space for the linux partitions.

You might also think that your linux installer will do everything for you automatically.

As it turns out, neither of the above are always true!

Sometimes, you need free space on your drive in order for the linux install (even Ubuntu) to be happy.

Fortunately, there is a very easy and built-in way to shrink a partition in all modern versions of Windows without any fancy software!

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GRUB Reinit: Repair or Replace GRUB in One Easy Step

If you have a dual-boot setup on your computer involving some flavor of linux, at some point you will most likely encounter a problem with GRUB, the linux bootloader.

For example, maybe you used a tool like Paragon Hard Disk Manager Suite to resize your OS partitions. Then you tried to reboot, and you got a GRUB error message followed by the GRUB rescue prompt.

There are several ways to reinitialize GRUB, and most of them involve live CDs and mounting partitions and all kinds of other tricks that will probably make you crazy unless you’re a command-line commando in linux.

Well, I don’t mind the command line, but I also have better things to do.

Fortunately, there is a MUCH easier way to save the day: Boot-Repair!

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Linux Tips and Tricks, Part 2

LinuxClick here to read Part 1!

I’m going to assume that you know how to do some basic stuff in Linux. In other words, if you don’t know what a command line is, or how to traverse directories, this might not help you much.

I should also note that my preferred flavor of Linux is Ubuntu. These commands will work on Ubuntu, but I can’t make any guarantees for other distributions. Best to just try them out and see what happens!

Without further ado, here are some more of the top linux tips and tricks that I have gathered over the years…

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Fix Slow Windows Networking Problems When VirtualBox is Installed

If you’ve ever installed multiple operating systems on your computer, you know what a severe pain it can be when something goes wrong. Even removing one of your multiple OSes can be a hassle when bootloaders get all screwed up.

For me, the answer to these problems¬† is VirtualBox. VirtualBox is a simple, cross-platform virtualization solution that lets you set aside a chunk of hard disk space, give it a name, and then you just tell it, “I want to install linux here”, pop in your install disc (or whatever), and VirtualBox takes care of the rest. Voila, linux running in a window – inside Windows itself. It’s really handy!

Only one problem: Sometimes when VirtualBox is installed (but not even running), your Windows networking may get REEEEALLY slow. You may not even be able to see other machines on your local network.

Fortunately, there is a very quick and easy way to fix it!

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Installing ImageMagick from Source on Ubuntu

I like Ubuntu Server. I really like apt-get, because I don’t have to do any work at all to install stuff. It’s a piece of cake.

Unfortunately, sometimes installing using apt-get doesn’t work, or maybe the software I need isn’t the latest and greatest version on the Ubuntu repository. In such cases, there’s only one option left: installing from source.

That means downloading, extracting, configuring, building, debugging, etc. Most people shy away from doing this because it isn’t fast and easy, and stuff can break.

I recently had the opportunity to install the latest version of ImageMagick on an Ubuntu server, and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be!

Here’s how you do it…

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Linux Tips and Tricks, Part 1

LinuxI’m going to assume that you know how to do some basic stuff in Linux. In other words, if you don’t know what a command line is, or how to traverse directories, this might not help you much.

I should also note that my preferred flavor of Linux is Ubuntu. These commands will work on Ubuntu, but I can’t make any guarantees for other distributions. Best to just try them out and see what happens!

Without further ado, here are some of the top linux tips and tricks that I have gathered over the years…

Read more…