[petsc-dev] Preferred Windows Installation

Jacob Faibussowitsch jacob.fai at gmail.com
Mon Jun 15 19:37:29 CDT 2020

Hello All,

Having recently had to assist a coworker in setting up a petsc install on windows and running into a whole host of issues with getting Cygwin and an overly aggressive windows defender (of all things) to play nice I discovered WSL, specifically WSL2. With regards to ease-of-use and install time, WSL2 was by far easier to do than Cygwin. The only out of the ordinary step required was turning on virtualization in the BIOS but this seems like it is not a common step, and after installing an ubuntu distro it was smooth sailing.

The only performance hiccup that I have so far encountered when using WSL2 is that I/O performance when pulling from the windows filesystem in /mnt/c/foo/bar is somewhat slower than just moving files within the VM itself, but in my opinion this is relatively minor. Additionally while there is no current way to use CUDA on WSL, NVIDIA has apparently already started a limited test-release for WSL2.

Currently, from the installation page it seems like Cygwin is the preferred method of installing petsc on windows but if it is this easy to get things up and running with WSL2 (and the above performance qualms are satisfied) then we should consider making it the default. 

Best regards,

Jacob Faibussowitsch
(Jacob Fai - booss - oh - vitch)
Cell: (312) 694-3391

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