HOWTO Run Gluex Software on Windows
Gluex software runs on windows 10 out of the box*
How? - Windows now comes with a new feature which is known by several names (common for all devilish): "Windows subsystem for linux"(WSL) or "Bash on Windows" or "Bash on Ubuntu on Windows" or even "lxrun".
WSL provides a Linux-compatible kernel interface (containing no Linux kernel code), with user-mode binaries from Ubuntu running on top of it.
Roughly saying it is Ubuntu running on Windows kernel inside Windows.
WSL vs. Virtual machines vs. Cygwin
- Compared to VMs - WSL is a thin layer, which addresses linux system calls to NT kernel. Potentially performance is not wasted by virtualization, no problems like space on virtual disks. WSL has full access to windows file system and resources. Actually, it IS Windows running Ubuntu rig.
- Compared to Cygwin - Cygwin works in similar way but there is a huge difference. Software must be built/rebuilt for cygwin using cygwin environment. WSL is intended to be binary compatible with Ubuntu. And other-compatible too. So one can grab .deb package and use it. Or ctrl+c ctrl+v from askubuntu.com and it will just work. Because of this gluex software runs out of the box on WSL but it is often a pain to build a big codebase on cygwin.
- Out of the box - WSL now comes with ALL versions of Windows 10. It is just one command to install and activate it.
* - Windows 15063.11 - known as "Creators update". Official release was April 11, 2017. Historically, when WSL appeared in 2015 as an alfa feature, it had a number of bugs. In "Creators update" it is beta, many things where significantly improved and work smoothly (like running X11 apps). Starting with "Creators update" WSL comes with Ubuntu 16.04 (was 14.04 before).
GlueX offline software was (roughly) tested on Windows 15063.11 "Creators update". It most probably should work on older versions too, but is not recommended because of the above reasons.
- One has to enable "Developer mode" (type it in the search bar, and click that switch),
- "Turn windows features on or off" and enable "Windows subsystem for linux" there
- Open terminal and write lxrun /install. After several questions installation is complete.
- To run it just print bash in terminal
Because the native Windows terminal (cmd.exe) is a shame, there are several options:
- MobaXTerm (which has a free version) is highly customasible multi tab terminal with support of X11 outof the box.
- WSL-terminal - includes mintty, wslbridge, cbwin, and some other useful tools
- Finally you can install xfce4-terminal in WSL(sudo apt-get install xfce4-terminal) Stackoverlow question with more details
- install XMing X11 server. Don't use VcXsrv, it has problems with OpenGL. Skip this step for MobaXTerm it ships X11 support.
- put export DISPLAY=:0 in .bashrc
This Ubuntu version comes without compilers. Before installing hdpm prerequisites one has to also install build-essential
> sudo apt install build-essential
Just use hdpm as usual including installation of prerequisites printed by hdpm.
It is possible to install other linux distributions, including Fedora and CentOS 7. But it requires more effort, see WSL Distribution Switcher
Run GlueX software
Features that where verified to work:
- JANA and co - HDGeant runs OK. For a sake of experiment, resulting hddm file was moved to some external Windows NTFS disk. Jana was able to process it.
- ROOT - root works. All features that where tested (like root files, DSelector) run without problems
- OpenGL - Surprisingly, GlueX geometry converted to ROOT was even rendered with OpenGL and run fast (was it rendered with DirectX under the hood???)
- Geant 4 - Has not been tested yet.
TL; DR; It was tested that our software runs on WSL, which is Ubuntu with windows kernel running on windows.