Windows Command-Line: Inside the Windows Console

Console architecture in Win10 1803
Console architecture in Win10 1803

Welcome to the third post in the Windows Command-Line series. In this post, we’ll start to dig into the internals of the Windows Console and Command-Line, what it is, what it does … and what it doesn’t do!

Windows Command-Line: The Evolution of the Windows Command-Line

Comparing Console in Windows 7 and Windows 10
Comparing Console in Windows 7 and Windows 10

Welcome to the second post in this “Windows Command-Line” series. In this post we’ll discuss some of the background & history behind the Windows Command-Line. Specifically, we’ll explore its humble origins in MS-DOS, to its modern-day incarnation supporting tools like PowerShell and Windows Subsystem for Linux.

Windows Command-Line: Backgrounder

DEC VT100 Terminal
DEC VT100 Terminal

This is the first of a series of posts in which we’ll explore all things command-line – from the origins of the command-line and the evolution of the terminal, to what we’re doing to overhaul and modernize the Windows Console & command-line in future Windows releases.

Join us for a hot cup o Chocolatey!

Setting up a dev box should be easy and fast.  At BUILD 2018 we announced a collaboration with Chocolatey and Boxstarter.  The project founders discuss the collaboration in the following video. Improving Machine Setup Have you set up a new dev machine and found it was frustrating or time consuming?  It’s important to have a…


Tabbed Console starts here

[2018-06-29: Important Note: As announced in the release notes for Windows 10 Insider build 17704, Sets and Tabs will NOT ship in the next mainstream release of Windows (codenamed RS5). Please read the first bullet under the heading “General changes, improvements, and fixes for PC” for more details.]   [2018-04-16: Updated to better reflect “Sets”…

Copy and Paste arrives for Linux/WSL Consoles

As of Windows 10 Insider build #17643, you can copy/paste text from/to Linux/WSL Consoles!!! We know that this is a feature MANY of you have been waiting for – our sincerest thanks for your patience & continued support while we untangled the Console’s internals, allowing us to implement this feature. To ensure that we don’t…

OpenSSH in Windows 10!

SSH is one of the most important tools in the *NIX world, through which users communicate with shells, applications, and services running on remote machines, devices, VM’s and containers. Windows users most often remotely access Windows machines, devices, VM’s and Containers via the amazingly powerful Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) which, as the name says, remotes…

Tar and Curl Come to Windows!

One of the most frequent asks we hear across the entire Windows command-line spectrum is “I need curl” and/or “I need tar”. If you’re one of these people – HAPPY NEW YEAR! 🙂 Windows 10 Insider build 17063 and later now include the real-deal curl and tar executables that you can execute directly from Cmd…

Share Environment Vars between WSL and Windows

Hey WSL users—we have more features to share with you! Our latest Windows Insider build lets you share environment variables between WSL and Windows. Starting with Build 17063, let’s look at how you can leverage the new “WSLENV” to enhance environmental variable interop between Win32/WSL. Summary For the pros who’ve already heard about WSLENV and…


WSL & Console team ch…ch…ch…chaaaaanges!


Dear friends of WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux, nee “Bash on [Ubuntu on] Windows”) & Windows Console: I would like to share with you some changes to our org’ that will benefit WSL, Windows Console and the Windows command-line in general moving forward. After shipping a major new release, Microsoft often shuffles teams and people…

What’s new in Windows Console in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

With Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (FCU) releasing on October 17th 2017, we thought it time to post the list of improvements coming to Windows Console in FCU. Note: For fans of our sister project, Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), please also read our post on “What’s New in WSL in FCU”. The Windows Console…

Introducing the Windows Console Colortool

Last week we announced the exciting news that Windows Console has a new default color scheme, and also promised you that we would release a tool to make it easier to change the console to your desired scheme. The Windows Console team is proud to present the ‘Colortool’ which you can use to apply the…


Updating the Windows Console Colors

In another blockbuster post, our Summer 2017 Intern, @craigaloewen unveils a subtle, but important improvement to the Console in Windows 10 build 16257. I know many of you have been asking for this! Over to you Craig … The Windows Console’s colors are getting their first overhaul in more than 20 years! Hurray! The default…


How to Determine What Just Ran on Windows Console

Ever wonder what was run in that Console window that briefly appeared on your screen? In this guest post, Craig Loewen – our awesome summer intern explains how you can find out what command-line applications run on your machine. Over to you Craig … [This article includes samples from Nathan Gau’s Blog on Using SCOM…

Windows 10 Creators Update: What’s new in Bash/WSL & Windows Console

When Windows 10 Anniversary Update (AU) was shipped, the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) was still far from complete, and was known to have many incompatibilities, especially with popular developer tools like node.js, Java, etc. However, it was important to get this exciting new feature into the hands of real users so that we could…

Rumors of Cmd’s death have been greatly exaggerated

This post is in response to a story published on December 6th 2016 by ComputerWorld titled “Say goodbye to the MS-DOS command prompt” and its follow-up article “Follow-up: MS-DOS lives on after all”. These “stories” were subsequently picked up by Business Insider and Life Hacker among others and fueled a number of concerned Tweets some…

24-bit Color in the Windows Console!

24-bit Color Grids
24-bit Color Grids

One of the most frequent requests we receive is to increase the number of colors that the Windows Console can support. We love nothing more than to deliver features you ask for!

Hanselman takes a tour around Bash on Windows

Hanselman Demo's Bash on Windows
Hanselman Demo's Bash on Windows

If you’re anything like me, you’re already overloaded with work/studies & life, and there’s just never enough time to go and dig into all the awesome new open-source projects, cool new tools, exciting new languages & platforms, and any amount of other technology that appears almost hourly these days. Wouldn’t it be great if someone…