Big News!  Tilt is joining Docker
A perfect illustation of Windows support.
George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library. Protecting your windows - a sandbag defence.
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Tilt Windows Support

Historically, Tilt has supported multi-service dev on Linux and macOS.

Some of our users hacked it to work on Windows anyway. A few pro-active contributors even sent us PRs occasionally to fix Windows bugs ❤. Parts of Tilt worked well. Other parts didn’t.

So we’re positively chuffed to announce full Windows support!

What Does That Mean Exactly?

We’re not saying we’ll never have Windows bugs.

We are saying:

  • Our core language examples in {Python, NodeJS, Go, Java, C#} work on Windows.
  • Every Tilt change runs our tests on Windows.
  • We maintain binaries and installers for Windows for every Tilt release.

In other words, Windows is now a first-class citizen alongside Linux and macOS.

Install it with:

iex ((new-object net.webclient).DownloadString(''))

Why was this hard?

If you’re on a devtools team, you may wonder what it takes to get a tool to work on Windows in 2020. We’re glad you asked!

  • Even though Tilt is running on Windows, it’s building and syncing files to Linux containers 1. Everywhere we handled file paths, we needed to keep track of whether it was on the host machine (Windows) or the target container (Linux) and translate correctly.

  • Tilt wrangles local servers, local build jobs, and Kubernetes containers into a coherent dev environment. Local process management is OS-specific, so we tweaked how we used process APIs to ensure Tilt doesn’t leave orphaned processes around when it dies.

  • The Tiltfile lets you integrate with your existing scripts with local(), local_resource(), and custom_build(). We added options to specify separate shell and Windows batch scripts.

  • Cross-platform Go libraries like fsnotify (for file-watching) and tcell (for terminal UI rendering) were an enormous help. But they’re not perfect abstractions. In a few places, we had to dig into the underlying Windows APIs, and change how we were using them to better align with how Windows works.

Why was this easy?

We also want to shout out to some of the great devtools that made this easier than we expected 🙌:

Thanks to all of these projects!

What’s next?

If you’re a Windows user who passed on Tilt on the past, or have been using it on WSL, now’s a great time to pick it up again!

Let us know how we can make Tilt better for Windows.

  1. Tilt does not (yet) support Windows-based containers, mostly because no one’s asked for it yet! We would need to do some work to make sure all Tilt primitives (like live-reload) work inside a Windows-based container. 


Already have a Dockerfile and a Kubernetes config?

You’ll be able to setup Tilt in no time and start getting things done. Check out the docs! 

Having trouble developing your servers in Kubernetes?