In 2016, Microsoft launched Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) which brought robust unix functionality to Windows. In May 2019, Microsoft announced the release of WSL 2 which includes an updated architecture that improved many aspects of WSL - especially file system performance. I have been following WSL for a while but now that WSL 2 is nearing general release, I decided to install it and try it out. In the few days I have been using it, I have really enjoyed the experience. The combo of using Windows 10 and a full Linux distro like Ubuntu is a really powerful development solution that works surprisingly well.
I prefer to use miniconda for installing a lightweight python environment on Windows. I also like to create and customize Windows shortcuts for launching different conda environments in specific working directories. This is an especially useful tip for new users that are not as familiar with the command line on Windows.
After spending way too much time trying to get the shortcuts setup properly on multiple Windows machines, I spent some time automating the link creation process. This article will discuss how to use python to create custom Windows shortcuts to launch conda environments.