So yesterday I set up SSH on a WSL2 vm. Today I wanted to see if I could set up Mosh over that as well.

Apparently the answer is extremely no.

Problems with Windows networking in increasing problematicness:

  • There is no GUI interface to port forwarding. To be fair I’ve never used one before in Linux but this is Windows, the OS and server you’re supposed to be able to manage with a GUI, and there is a quite nice Firewall GUI that this would really just be one more feature in
  • There is no range support for port forwarding. In windows you use netsh in power shell to manage port forwarding. It has NO ability to manage ranges of ports (Mosh by default likes a range from 60000 to 61000). This is pretty shocking. Multiple stackoverflows recommend writing a script.
  • There is no support for UDP in port forwarding at all. (Mosh uses UDP, so we are now very dead in the water)
  • WSL2 Vms have dynamic IPs that can’t be made static. It’s just icing on the cake but after each reboot the port forwarding table is now incorrect. And the tools to manage it are as aforementioned, garbage.

I am really shocked to find the state of Windows “networking” is this bad. I setup my first ranged port forwards on Linux and BSD as a kid back in 2002. I’m a little surprised there is no GUI for it, because this is Windows. That this is impossible both for ranges and UDP in Windows in 2020 I would have never guessed, and if you had asked I would have insisted must be possible, because Windows is a “professional” and “enterprise” OS that people do use as a server and even pay money for. I am truly shocked at how pathetic and basic Windows networking facilities are.

(Originally these tweets)