Windows 10 Lite for Rpi3 and Lumia 950XL (WIP!)

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gilius
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Windows 10 Lite for Rpi3 and Lumia 950XL (WIP!)

Post by gilius » Sat Oct 19, 2019 3:45 pm

Am currently working on producing a Lite WOA image for Rpi3 B+ and Lumia 950 XL using NTLite software for the purpose of reducing the installation size and freeing up CPU/RAM resources for a faster desktop experience - with x86 WOW emulation in mind, in particular.

Does anyone have any requests/suggestions?

I am looking at grouping different requirements into a number of different images, potentially, based on any important deciding factors:

Windows Store apps: Personally, I see no use for them as Microsoft could never keep up with iOS or Android in terms of releasing anything useful. However, since WOA lacks amd64 compatibility some users may feel pressure to seek working apps in the official store - only to find it unreliable with amateurish content. Which app(s) have you discovered in the store that you simply cannot live without? Would loss of the store be a deal breaker for you? On the Lumia 950XL there is the WOADialer app, which is particularly fussy and will break before all other apps if certain dependent apps are removed or a particular service disabled that other apps do not require (only WOADialer). Chat (sms) and People (contacts) are the two other cellular based UWP apps that would also be stripped out. Since future versions of Win10 no longer supports cellular, and the fact that Win10 Mobile can be dual-booted and left in stand-by for several days compared to 6-7 hours in WOA sleep mode - not to mention the camera only working in Mobile - suggests the inclusion of cellular/UWP apps not to be a viable prospect.

Windows Defender/Security Center: As an Antivirus solution this has improved tremendously since 1903 - but is proving a major culprit in slowing down the whole desktop experience on such embedded devices even though is running natively. My first test at using NTLite was to remove most of these components, which was successful, albeit leaving Windows quite vulnerable if used irresponsibly. And there is no other ARM64 alternative.

Windows Updates: Right now they seldom work on WOA and continue to roll-back. I’ve had very limited success at installing them on 1903. Possibly I had more luck getting the green tick on earlier versions of WOA - or with Defender disabled. I will be doing some further testing on pre-injecting them, but if it fails then I guess we will have to just wipe and load Insider releases quite frequently - depending on how quickly NTLite can keep up-to-date with the changes - else incur further vulnerability.

Network support: For RPi perhaps there is a need for AD integration, being able to resolve hostnames on the network, RDPing to and from your embedded device. However, the Lumia 950 XL is quite isolated in terms of it’s single USB-C socket that, incidentally, has no working HDMI output, hence no real need for network support other than an Internet connection - a must - unless you plan to use your phone as a NAS drive controller or some such!

OneDrive & Bitlocker: For me, personally, OneDrive is the main reason to use Windows 10! They currently offer 6TB at a cheaper price than all competitors, and the app is pretty flawless nowadays. Unfortunately, it’s still x86 and requires a lot of resources. Right now I have a 400 GB SD card, and Bitlocker should work for removable drives and indeed the main OS drive - at least for the Pi3 - but not Lumia; the latter requires a wireless keyboard at boot time, which is not possible based on some limitations with the bootloader.

WSL2: virtualization isn’t working on the Lumia right now due to a lack of bios/features - but even on the Pi3 it will not upgrade beyond WSL1 on the latest Insider, so I think Windows Linux is a no-go right now in the ARM world.

Services & Security: there’s a lot I will be considering here in due course.

WIP

Automatic Unattended OOBE = working
Administrator account enabled/auto login = working
Windows Defender removal = working
Security Center removal = working
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The_GTA
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Re: Windows 10 Lite for Rpi3 and Lumia 950XL (WIP!)

Post by The_GTA » Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:35 am

Windows Store apps:
> Which app(s) have you discovered in the store that you simply cannot live without?
Adblocker extensions for Micrososft Edge, Twitch livestreaming apps (gamestreams, MyTwitch, etc), myTube, NotepadX, WSL distributions, Wolfram Alpha.

> Would loss of the store be a deal breaker for you?
Yes, actually. Just my opinion.

Maybe provide both images, one with UWP and one without.

Windows Defender/Security Center:
No need for embedded security measures for tech savvy people like me.

Windows Updates:
Good point.

WSL2:
A lot of people consider WSL2 to be a successor of WSL1. I just consider it an alternative.
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gilius
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Re: Windows 10 Lite for Rpi3 and Lumia 950XL (WIP!)

Post by gilius » Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:17 pm

Thanks for the feedback - have posted some updates here:
https://discourse.pi64.win/t/windows-10 ... -wip/418/7

WSL1 is probably too slow for any serious practical use on WOA? How might the performance of a Linux app compare to say an x86 app? I doubt it could even access the graphics properly - how about gparted - can it modify WOA partitions through WSL1?

EDIT: how about Notepad++ as an alternative to the store app?
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The_GTA
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Re: Windows 10 Lite for Rpi3 and Lumia 950XL (WIP!)

Post by The_GTA » Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:37 am

gilius wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:17 pm
Thanks for the feedback - have posted some updates here:
https://discourse.pi64.win/t/windows-10 ... -wip/418/7
You're welcome.
gilius wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:17 pm
WSL1 is probably too slow for any serious practical use on WOA? How might the performance of a Linux app compare to say an x86 app? I doubt it could even access the graphics properly - how about gparted - can it modify WOA partitions through WSL1?
WSL1 filesystem performance is known to be slower than regular Linux. But WSL2 is known to slow down global system performance: https://github.com/microsoft/WSL/issues/4468
So it is a mixed bag.
gilius wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:17 pm
EDIT: how about Notepad++ as an alternative to the store app?
I know that the userbase for WoA is really tiny so I do not want to drag you down creating a specialized WoA image. I might even try it out in December. Just saying that it might not be suited for every consumer use-case.
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