Making the Windows Command Line Cool Again!

Welcome to our new blog focusing on Windows command line tools for developers.

We'll soon be publishing news, articles, updates, information, links and all manner of content related to the Windows command-line tools including PowerShell, Bash on Ubuntu on Windows and the Console itself.

Stay tuned!


Comments (56)

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  1. Daniel Cormier says:

    This will be fun.

  2. Adam Wright says:

    Hello! I’m looking forward to all the awesome new info that will be here in the future :).

  3. Alex Painemilla says:


    1. Rich Turner [MSFT] says:

      LOL 😀

  4. Esteban says:

    this comment will be deleted. But good luck with the new command line blog!

    1. Rich Turner [MSFT] says:

      Why on earth would we delete such a lovely welcome? Many thanks – stay tuned while we get things ramped up!

      1. Esteban says:

        Basically because it was a placeholder post when I first arrived! Looking forward to this blog 😉

  5. Christian Andersen says:

    Looking forward to try things (Ubuntu on Windows) out… 🙂

  6. Not sure where my comment but I’ll go again. I’m an astrophysicist and have managed to keep using hybrid PCs like my SB for years by running Cygwin. I am so excited that first party support for bash is coming to Windows. It’s one of the things my collaborators have said would make them look at Windows again.

    I’m very excited to get working on evaluating developing and data reduction scenarios within Windows using a first party solution.

  7. Lawrence Erb says:

    All of this Windows command line news is super interesting to me. I’ve invested quite a bit of time in enhancing the Windows command line experience for my personal systems by using PowerShell in ConEmu and also using the msys utilities that come with Git for Windows along with my own custom PowerShell functions.

    I love the feel of the Linux command line but really appreciate the power and flexibility of PowerShell. Excited to see the extent that these tools can advance with the new Ubuntu environment!

  8. Newcomer says:

    As a future employee at Microsoft, thank you! I can’t let go of my Linux tools haha.

  9. Tim says:

    Extremely excited! Looking forward to this! So many possibilities….

  10. Scott Bicknese says:

    When can we get ahold of this? The absence of SUA from Windows 10 is the main thing that’s kept me from upgrading from Windows 7. I’m very excited and can’t wait to test drive this. 🙂

  11. Jeff Stoner says:

    Who’s responsible for migrating the Ubuntu image, Microsoft, Canonical, or the user? 14.04.4 LTS is getting long in the tooth and 16.04 LTS is about to drop. Will we be able to move from 14.04 to 16.04?

    1. A bit of both. Canonical own the Ubuntu image. Microsoft owns the implementation of the underlying WSL infrastructure. We (Microsoft) have to do work to support any additions/changes to the Linux subsystem layer and behaviors. We’ll be taking a look at this after we’ve got 14.4 stable and solid.

  12. ylluminate says:

    This is pretty exciting. Being a Mac developer and user, I still prefer a solid Unix system, but I have a slew of Windows systems floating around that always receive pure hatred from us since we don’t have any “real” shell (no, I’ve never consider PowerShell appreciable since it was reinventing the wheel as MS has traditionally always done). While BASH is great, I’m really looking forward to ZSH.

    Keybindings need to be another serious target for MS now that it’s bringing the “full” *nix experience onboard. I cannot stand to edit text on Windows thanks to the sane and consistent bindings on OS X, most Linux distros, PC-BSD, etc. Many that I know would be much happier with MS if they were to resolve this.

    One of the next things many of us would like to see is an easier solution to bring Windows way down in memory utilization; more like Q4OS (integrated WINE) or LXLE Linux distros. Simply having an option to quickly change “modes” vs having to resort to things like Advanced SystemCare and Viper’s services list would be huge.

    Further, MS should really give some love to RVM, chruby, rbenv, etc. since so many Ruby devs have struggled trying to get started on Windows over the last decade.

  13. Justin Self says:

    Really stoked about the love you guys are bringing to CLI. Bringing bash is going to remove a world of frustration for me as I work with cross plat tooling. It will instantly remove friction for my current project. You can bet I’ll be providing lots of feedback for it.

    WTG team.

  14. Tommy Reynolds says:

    A command line tool such as bash(1) is a communications channel between the developer and the system. It provides the language syntax and grammar. Applications form words for the language. So, once you can speak CLI, your mind changes its way of thinking and the system becomes a resource and not a collection of arbitrary applications.

    Yay, CLI!

  15. As undoubtedly rich sources of material as PowerShell and bash will be for this new blog, I hope to see at least some coverage of the CMD console news that the Windows 10 team has been hinting about recently.

    1. You can be sure of it. Stay tuned 😀

  16. Daniel L says:

    Hey, I’m really excited for this, big kudos to you guys! First windows feature that is actually interesting for me in ages. When can we expect some sort beta/test version of this open for people to use?

  17. Markus says:

    Maybe you should start cleaning up … I really wonder why we need 3!!! command lines?
    Why don’t you finally replace the classic console by PowerShell?

    1. Because doing so would break hundreds of millions of scripts used by millions of enterprises and users around the globe.

  18. Vikas Sharma says:

    PowerShell and bash in one blog!

    Seems like these different roads are going to converge !!!
    and that will be really cool.

  19. Jimmy Main says:

    Looking forward to running apache httpd as a windows service… that will be a proper test!

  20. We are Linux heavy users we will love to test the command tools to consider Windows again as an option for our Desktop development machines.

  21. We are Linux heavy users we will love to test the command tools to consider Windows again as an option for our Desktop development machines.

  22. Kit Pierce says:

    Set my update slider to fast, received the 14295 build this morning. Excited and waiting (somewhat) patiently for the Bash on Ubuntu on Windows bits to become available. Viva la bash!

  23. luisphysics says:

    I am so pumped about this!!! I can’t wait to ssh. I hope that 6 works so I don’t have to use root 5. If this can run root 6 it will change my life.

  24. James D Howard says:

    Having multiple operating environments available (i.e. Windows and SFL – (I still want to say SFU Services for UNIX, sigh)) presents opportunities to “pipe” commands in multiple environments in chains. Since the system DOES have a Windows base, and PowerShell has some amazing capabilities, there are likely strong needs for multi-subsystem pipelines (like SFU could do, most of the time). Will cmd.exe, PowerShell, bash, etc be able to feed each other?

    1. Not in this first version, but we are keen to learn how you might like to see interop between tools running in Windows, PowerShell and Bash would work. Feel free to upvote/add to our UserVoice here:

  25. I was waiting for this since 2007, I had to buy a Mac (not that i regret) but since that day I never looked back to windows. But now the era has changed, might buy a new laptop with windows 10. Hoping to get bash for windows 7 and 8 as my work laptop is win 7 :'(

  26. Yana says:

    Is there any free windows version that allows me legally test windows 10 bash on my projects ?.
    I’m a Ruby On Rails developer and it was a headache running Rails on windows, it was 3 years ago the last time i use windows for work. Now i’m an ubuntu user and willing to move to mac. But i saw windows 10 with awesome feature. If only i can test and confirm that my projects will work on windows 10 bash. Microsoft surface book pro may be my next machine.

    1. We have 90 evaluation copies of Windows 10 if you’d like to take it for a spin!

  27. Yana says:

    Is there any free windows version that allows me legally test my projects on windows 10 bash ?.
    I’m a Ruby On Rails developer and it was a headache running Rails on windows, it was 3 years ago the last time i use windows for work. Now i’m an ubuntu user and willing to move to mac. But i saw windows 10 with awesome feature. If only i can test and confirm that my projects will work on windows 10 bash. Microsoft surface book pro may be my next machine.

  28. Mark Jx says:

    I can’t wait to start to play with a (pre-production) version of bash (plus awk, sed, cut, tr, nl, etc) on Windows. Currently, my team spends a bunch of time in Excel processing text files. It’ll be a big win for us to be able to use tools optimized for text processing!

  29. Riccardo Di Meo says:

    Just watched a short presentation on WSL and I’m looking forward for what I’ll be able to do (I had to actually double/triple check to make sure it wasn’t an April’s fool, as it’s too good to be true 🙂 )!

    Congratulations to whoever decided to bring UML in: it’s a bold move, but sure one that will repay Microsoft, as it bridges the gaps to die-hard linux users like me, and allow them to try a bit of Microsoft-specific technology on the way!

    Keep up the good work!

  30. Jean says:

    To fix your command line make cmd line better than bash. it’s sad that we have to bring linux system to windows

    1. Just porting/re-creating the GNU tools for Windows has already been done (see Cygwin, etc.) but because these apps run as Windows apps, they don’t always behave the same as their *NIX counterparts do. This causes a lot of BASH scripts to misbehave, and tools like Ruby, node, etc. to fail because they have a binary or behavioral dependency on Linux.

      Thus it’s just as important for WSL to mimic the expected behavior of Linux as to make the GNU tools available.

  31. Caleb says:

    Is the WSL going to have an open API and allow developers to build their own Linux userland from scratch, or are we going to be limited to only use certain Linux distributions officially packaged for WSL?

    1. The Ubuntu package we currently support isn’t built specially for WSL – it’s just a plain Ubuntu image!

      We do aim to support other distro’s in the future, but only after we’ve gotten Ubuntu support solid.

      If you want to try running your own bits, then go have fun. Just note that we will likely not be able to support you 😉

  32. Rupert Ingos says:

    Are you saying that GNU can run on a computer without linux underneath it, at all ? As in, without a boot disk, without any drivers, and without any services ?

    That sounds preposterous to me.

    If it were true (and I doubt it), then developers would be using computers without a linux. This clearly is not happening, so there must be some error in your calculations. I hope you realise that linux is more than just Open Office ? Its a whole system that runs the computer from start to finish, and that is a very difficult thing to acheive. A lot of people dont realise this.

    The Linux Foundation just spent $9 billion and many years to create Ubuntu, so it does not sound reasonable that some new alternative could just snap into existence overnight like that. It would take billions of dollars and a massive effort to achieve. IBM tried, and spent a huge amount of money developing OS/2 but could never keep up with linux. Apple tried to create their own system for years, but finally gave up recently and moved to Intel and BSD.

    Its just not possible that a freeware like the GNU could be extended to the point where it runs on Windows from start to finish, without using some of the more critical parts of Linux. Not possible.

    I think you need to re-examine your assumptions.

    1. Yes.

      I think you need to examine this post & video:

      Oh, and FWIW, IBM didn’t create OS/2 to try to compete with Linux – Linux didn’t even exist when IBM was working on OS/2.

  33. Rob says:

    Having born the pain of Cygwin for years I am hugely excited about this. We write cross-compiled embedded software. The compilers are Native Windows but developers need access to git, make, grep, perl, python, etc. to manage and automate the build system.

    I am new to the Windows 10 preview system. I downloaded and installed Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview Build 14295.rs1_release.160318-1628. I enabled Developer mode but can’t discern how to enable WSL. Do I have the right build? Is there any more documentation on how to get this to work?



    1. Rich Turner [MSFT] says:

      Bash wasn’t in the insiders build you were originally looking at – it was first released in yesterday’s 14316 build.

      Note that in this version, there’s no process interop between Bash and Windows – the Bash environment is a genuine, high-fidelity Linux-compatible environment so Bash and Linux tools can’t call Windows apps and vice-versa because they don’t even know they’re not running on Linux!

  34. Maks Dampf says:

    If this a marketing trick to make me upgrade to windows 10, it is simply brilliant.
    I was able to resist all the nasty methods the MS marketing used until now, but this is really making me want to upgrade my win7 and win8.1 machines and my win7 on OSX/parallels installation to Windows 10 🙂

    1. Rich Turner [MSFT] says:

      Great! 😀 Let us know how you get on!

  35. Newton Sarker says:

    I had to move away from windows in 2010 into linux for the tech stack I use for development. Bash is giving me the hope to going back to home again 🙂
    But there are few things I need to be able to do. For instance, install databases and applications servers in Ubuntu and access it from Windows. Also, need the case sensitivity in some cases, which is currently working on the root directory only.

    1. Great to hear Newton 🙂

      You will be able to run many DB’s etc. for local development. Some have issues today, but we’re hard at work fixing as many issues as we can. So long as your DB’s are reachable via TCP sockets, you should have few/no problems eventually connecting to them from Windows apps.

      Also, WSL honors Linux filesystem semantics (e.g. case-sensitivity) within the Linux portion of the filesystem (i.e. everything under /…), but honor NTFS semantics (e.g. case insitivity) when accessing anything under /mnt//…

  36. Rob Cannon says:

    Please tell us how the command line is going to change. I know everyone is all excited about Bash, but how about some love for the Windows guys. I really like using PowerShell ISE because I can run interactive scripts, but I can also put text in a new page and run it from there, or I can save the script. But I don’t like having 3 (now 4) different places to run commands (Command Prompt, PowerShell Prompt, PowerShell ISE, VS Code). They all have plus an minuses. How about one command prompt that does it all (and can integrate with VS Code)?

    1. No single command-line could ever support every scenario you list above. And there’s no reason you have to use all of them: I write a TON of PowerShell scripts, but prefer to use PowerShell command-line and/or vim! Pick a toolset & workflow that makes you happy and have fun!

  37. We’ll have A LOT more news about the console coming soon. Bear with us while we wrap-up our dev work on the anniversary build first 😉

    FWIW, though, note that all our command-line apps use the same Conhost console/terminal engine. Ever wonder why the properties page for console, PowerShell, Bash, etc. all look the same? 😉

    Understand too that different tools provide different benefits/features. PowerShell ISE wouldn’t be much use to a Bash user. VS Code wouldn’t be much use to a command-prompt admin. Etc.

  38. Jauhari says:

    I am happy Windows 10 have great Unix Based Command Line support…

  39. Lohmar says:

    The promise the one day, soon, I will be able to drop Cygwin for something “native” sounds perfect. Easier and better package, user and roles, rights and permissions management would be a nice thing, but for Pete’s sake do something with the terminal window. I’am a heavy cygwin user, for sysadmin stuff (ssh-ing to the servers, using expect and ClusterSSH to do it on more servers at once (yeah, i know, I should use Ansible or similar but not an option, yet ))… I need my select to copy, shift+ins to paste and all the other features I get in a Cygwin terminal window.
    One improvement that I already see in cmd (thus in bash too) is that fullscreen is actually going full screen, and modifies the rows/columns, also if quick edit is enabled you can “select to copy” and “right-click to paste”, so your are moving in the right direction, but please speed it up a notch

    Thank you

    1. As I mention to Jason elsewhere, the console is currently receiving a major overhaul – the first in a couple of decades in fact! You’ll be seeing some high-value fixes in the short term (inc. copy & paste) as well as many, bigger improvements coming during RS2, RS3 and beyond!

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