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Random Talk on Random Thoughts

Ubuntu on Windows 10 Custom Display

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Same as some of my recent posts: get jekyll serve working to watch for changes during a preview of my Jekyll-bootstrap blog.

Since I found the Ruby gems setup too difficult, I switched to Ubuntu on Windows 10 after reading a Ruby setup guide.


The default display settings didn’t look great, so I installed Ubuntu Mono font. Unluckily, one can’t type Chinese characters, and the bottom line of tmux keeps jumping up from time to time. Most importantly, the copy and paste function isn’t convenient to use: every time I need to paste something, I have to move the mouse to the top of the window, then right click and select “Modify” → “Paste”. That’s too slow when compared to <S-Ins> in mintty which is shipped with Git for Windows.

However, on WLS, aptitude takes good care of package dependencies. That’s much better for installing necessary stuff for blogging with frameworks like Jekyll.

How can I run WLS using a mintty shell?


Use wsl-terminal.

Lessons learnt

Firstly, I’ve revised the use of chown, chgrp and chmod, and learnt the function of umask.

  • u, g, o stand for “user”, “group” and “others” respectively.
  • The rights to r, w, x can be + or -.
  • Put them together: chmod og-w [target-dir].

Unfortunately, the Windows 10 bash creates folders and files with permissions 777 and 666 respectively. The comments for Microsoft/BashOnWindows#352 solved this problem: instead of putting umask 022 in /etc/profile or ~/.profile, it should be added in ~/.bashrc because the login mechanism on WLS is different from a usual GNU/Linux OS. I think the profiles aren’t process during WLS startup after having added a simple statement for echoing a few words in ~/.profile. Lilred’s method is even better.

Added this to your '~/.bashrc'source
# Note: Bash on Windows does not currently apply umask properly.
if [ "$(umask)" = "0000" ]; then
    umask 022

Secondly, I’ve learnt the meaning of eval.

user@OWNER-PC:~$ ssh-agent
SSH_AUTH_SOCK=/tmp/ssh-xiwtTnVlI90S/agent.6636; export SSH_AUTH_SOCK;
echo Agent pid 5764;
user@OWNER-PC:~$ ssh-add
Could not open a connection to your authentication agent.

From user456814’s answer on a Stack Overflow question about SSH authentication agent, we can see that ssh-agent returns the commands to be copied, pasted and ran in the terminal. The command eval saves these steps by taking the output as the command input.