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#1 2020-05-01 15:39:39

From: North Carolina, USA
Registered: 2016-11-30
Posts: 130  

Install Devuan Beowulf in Windows 10 WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux)

FlibberTGibbet mentioned that the Buster to Beowulf migration did work in WSL.  I had read about WSL but never tried it, so I gave it a spin.  It works.

This process is divided into three main parts:
Activate WSL in Windows 10 > Install Debian from MS Store > Migrate to Beowulf

Why do this?  > Why not?  It is there, give it a try and see if it helps with your productivity in some way.  My purpose was to run a native linux app "Virtual-Manager" (virt-manager) within windows for a friend of mine who wants to access KVM and its vhosts.  Your purpose may be different.

Install/Activate WSL in Windows

You will need to install an xserver in windows if you wish to display native linux apps.  After all, this is my reason for testing this WSL.  Xming seems to be the most popular, but this page mentioned that vcxsrv was the most pure opensource xserver for windows available.  It seems to work fine.

Install Debian in WSL

Boot up the "program" Debian in Windows 10.  You should have sudo rights by default, but if you want a root user, set the root password with:

sudo passwd root

Migrate Debian Buster to Devuan Beowulf:

My migration steps, mostly taken from the link above.

This step may be optional, but I have done it on all Beowulf upgrades and migrations that I have done.
export the PATH in /root/.bashrc with:

export PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin

Change apt sources:

nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Make your sources.list look like the one provided. Comment out all other lines.

deb beowulf main
deb beowulf-updates main
deb beowulf-security main
#deb beowulf-backports main

Now you have to update the package lists from the Beowulf repositories.
Recent changes in APT mean this is not allowed but we can override this behaviour.

apt update --allow-insecure-repositories

The Devuan keyring should now be installed so that packages can be authenticated.

apt install devuan-keyring --allow-unauthenticated

Update the package lists again so that packages are authenticated from here on in.

apt update

Upgrade your packages so that you have the latest versions. Note that this does not complete the migration.

apt upgrade

Once this is done eudev needs to be installed.

apt install eudev

The last command is known to cause package breaks but we will fix this as part of the migration process.

apt -f install

The command to install eudev pulled in sysvinit-core, but not sysvinit, so:

apt install sysvinit

Just to make sure all is updated:

apt dist-upgrade

Systemd* packages were removed during this process, but just to make sure:

apt purge systemd libnss-systemd
apt autoremove --purge
apt autoclean

Before you start installing any packages in WSL, I recommend that you make apt to not install recommended packages. 
I suspect this will help keep the WSL smaller and leaner.  Add the following to /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/00norecommends:

APT::Install-Recommends "no";

Reboot  >  But the shutdown/reboot commands do not work in WSL.  The WSL process has to be stopped/started like any other service in Windows.

If you install openssh-server, you will notice that it does not start automatically with WSL, nor will most, or all, other linux services that you think should start.  Installing sysv-rc-conf and rcconf programs do not help, unless I did something wrong.  This may be a bug but I see no error message anywhere, yet.  However, this little script seems to control the start/stop of both WSL and its system services at the windows boot.  Beware, this script will start WSL with Windows, and it will start the (linux services) that you add to the command.txt file list.  I don't know about the security of this, but it seems to work.

Like FlibberTGibbet said, there is a niche group of people who would want or need this.  I feel this is true, but I am only tinkering.

I did not take exact notes during this testing, so if I made a mistake or overlooked something, please add your input.  After finding some good links, this was pretty easy.  And FlibberT was right, it is nice to have a (Devuan) linux terminal available in windows.  If I am going to use windows, I do want some Devuan on it. 

The option to use virtualization in windows still stands, but the ability to use a native linux program in windows without using a virtualization program is pretty neat too.  It removes a layer of complexity for the end user.  Instead of learning an entire program like virtualbox, the user only has to learn a couple of terminal commands to keep the WSL updated.  I hope my friend appreciates this new capability, and others may as well.

The only problem that I have seen thus far, is that the virt-manager program does not read the keys from the preferred $HOME area of the WSL user.  It reads the keys from the global /etc/pki/libvirt location within WSL.  The program "virt-manager" does work.  Will need to look into this more, later on.

Last edited by nixer (2020-05-02 15:16:28)


#2 2020-05-02 03:30:01

Registered: 2016-12-05
Posts: 1,174  

Re: Install Devuan Beowulf in Windows 10 WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux)

Thanks nixer! I had someone asking me for help with this a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't have a clue where to even start. Thanks for posting this and giving me something to point him to!

I have been Devuanated, and my practice in the art of Devuanism shall continue until my Devuanization is complete. Until then, I will strive to continue in my understanding of Devuanchology, Devuanprocity, and Devuanivity.

Veni, vidi, vici vdevuaned. I came, I saw, I Devuaned. wink


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