Command Prompt / Console / Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

Greetings from the Windows Command-Line Teams, including the Windows Console and Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) teams!

We’re hear to learn about the features you’d like to see in the Windows Console (the terminal app itself), Cmd and PowerShell shells, and the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) upon which several Linux distros now run!

Note: Please don’t file bugs & issues here: file issues on our GitHub repos instead:

Please DO post your asks, ideas, wants and needs for future features: We ARE listening, and we ARE grateful for your feedback!

Windows Console & WSL Teams.

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  1. Make links clickable

    Parse console output for urls and make it possible to open them with a click (or ctrl+click).

    337 votes
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    7 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Yep, this would be really cool. Not just for URLs, but things like paths too. Script emits a path to an error log? Just ctrl+click it to open!

    I can see some trickery around the parsing (performance impacts? security? and of course the parsing itself…) and the launching of another app (security again?). But it would be awesome.

    It’s on our backlog for sure.

    —Michael

  2. Mouse Scroll Wheel or CTRL +/- to zoom text size

    Another needed step to make the Cmd feel more responsive and dynamic.

    332 votes
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    15 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  3. Global hotkey to activate/deactivate running console window.

    It would be great if there could be a global hotkey to activate and deactivate the console window.

    This is also called a "quake style" command line, similar to the console in Quake games.

    For example, if I have the console running in the background, but my current focus is Visual Studio and I hit Ctrl+`, it should activate the console window by making it the current focus. Hitting Ctrl + ` again would make Visual Studio the focus.

    iTerm2 on the Mac has this and it's my favorite feature.

    200 votes
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    15 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    You will be Rich’s best friend forever. He loves the idea of a Quake console as well and talks about it all the time. :P I know for sure this is in our backlog already.

    Some of the suggestions like persistence and multiple sessions and whatnot seem related to the “history between sessions” and tabs/multiplexing ideas. Same technical challenges apply, but sounds possible at some point. :)

    —Michael

  4. Enhance Background Transparency

    Transparency is an essential visual enhancement for many and should generally only apply to the window contents and not the surrounding "chrome" of the window, such as the title bar and scroll bar.

    Optionally, the Console "frame" could be made transparent when focused/un-focused, controlled via separate transparency slider

    Also, it'd be awesome if the Console background could support the Fluent blurring effect to reduce the distraction of the contents of underlying windows while giving some visual cue as to what the app underneath is doing.

    187 votes
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    on the backlog  ·  13 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  5. Change code page in the command window settings

    Can you please add a GUI control in CMD window settings to change the code page, instead of CHCP command & remembering the boring numbers?

    Especially, allow us to enable UTF-8 encoding easily (it already works, great, thanks!)

    14 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  6. Backspace should delete selected text

    Now that you can easily select text [with ctrl+a or just by dragging over it] and copy and paste text [with ctrl+c & ctrl+d], why not make that we should not be required to delete every character separately?! Please make the backspace and delete key work to delete all selected text.

    124 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Oooh yep. That is a natural extension of what we’ve done. It’s just a lot trickier to manipulate the input line (there are different input modes that apps can subscribe to and whatnot) than it is to enable more ways to select the output. But I hear you for sure. Now that we select more like a text editor, I want it all! It’s on the backlog. :)

    —Michael

  7. Consider adding a status-bar

    2.Please add an (optional) status-bar showing the cursor position in X:Y coordinates, Insert key mode, Text selection mode, etc.

    [Transposed from my original asks posted in 2011 :)]

    97 votes
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    on the backlog  ·  5 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  8. Support long paths (>MAX_PATH)

    Please support long paths (>MAX_PATH) - robocopy supports that, the Windows API supports that (=> "\\.\").
    Right now I have to use subst to shorten the path, which is a real pain.

    62 votes
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    3 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  9. New CMD UI Idea

    I use CMD to run Apps like Blender from Blender foundation were the is a lot of text being posted onto CMD from the application it would be amazing if you could set CMD to always appear on top of other windows, just like Task Manager that way you could being working in the application and see any text in Cmd

    8 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  10. More integration with Windows features.

    Add commands to interact with standard Windows features. Metro Notifications, systray messages, Message boxes, and maybe even window actions. (close/minimize other windows)

    28 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  11. Why do you continue to restrict us?

    First, I love the new experimental features! Only complaint, not enough of them. Lots and lots of developers use Linux simply because of the customization offered by those OSs, so give us more!

    Tabs, more fonts, colors, backgrounds. Maybe Im understating how difficult it would be to enable this stuff, but **** turn it into an option. A lot of Windows users will never know its there, so make these types of options available as a non-default setting. You could even hide it :) We will find it I promise.

    9 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    We hear ya. Alas, we’re a very small team (3 dev’s) and have a loooooong list of (several hundred) issues & asks that we’re prioritizing and working through, many of which involve modernizing a fragile, >30 yr. old code-base, which must be done with great care.

    If you want more colors, emit 24-bit RGB color sequences. We have improved font support, backgrounds, transparency, zooming, fluent UX, better tabs, animations, regions, and several tens of future features. on our backlog.

    Bear with us while we continue to crank through our feature list.

  12. Please improve the environment variables UI or add startup scripts

    Not directly cmd.exe but closely related: Working in CMD often requires to manually set PATH variables (since there still is no default location for user installed binaries like perl, python, MinGW etc.) and as of now the UI is completly unusable:

    * Working with one single big string
    * No validation of paths
    * No easy enable/disable or (manual) sorting of paths
    * No resizing of the window/input text field

    Alternatively, you could add a startup script like the good old "bashrc" on linux where you could use a couple of SET commands to configure your CMD by hand…

    22 votes
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    6 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  13. Quick launch shortcut

    It would be great option to let shell be Quake-style - to have it launched on start and quickly toggled by hotkey. Idea is inspired by Terra Terminal and Guake for *nix

    3 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  14. Publish nuget package for managed pseudo terminal

    It would be great if you published a netstandard (Windows-only, but useable in Framework or Core) nuget package with a robust managed wrapper using code similar to whats in your MiniTerm example. As part of your existing open source repo, we could all help on developing it so people need only reference an official nuget package and easily make their own ConPTY clients.

    1 vote
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    0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  15. I want to use a different locale for each terminal. Like LANG=C.

    I want a way to switch the locale for each console. Like LANG=C. This will be easy to get more feedback and Issue from non-English speaking countries. I think.

    1 vote
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    0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  16. Support for DECAWM escape sequence

    "CSI ? 7 l" or "CSI ? 7 h" (disables or enables auto-wrapping) is available since VT100 but it is still not supported by the Windows Console.

    We are currently developing an internal log viewer tool, and it would be a lot easier if we wouldn't have to find a workaround which can be used instead of that escape sequence.

    1 vote
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    0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  17. Support other POSIX systems, not just Linux.

    Don't just have plain Linux, but support the running of other OS such as FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenIndiana, not on WSL but another subsystem.

    2 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  18. Give API to measure the space that a string occupies

    Created to raise support for Console issue #218 that itself is an extension of issue #57
    From the issue OP: "Under a certain console/PTY, assume the font family/size is specified, give a string, and return the space (a bit mask of the character matrix?) it would occupy."

    Closest implementation is wcwidth and wcswidth as mentioned in Issue on Linux. This API is required for anything involving zero width joiners, as are any scripts involving more complicated rules, or RTL scripts.

    1 vote
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    0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  19. Toggle quick edit

    Some apps (*cough* vim) support mouse but don't disable quick edit mode, so it is unusable unless I disable it for the whole console. Can we add a menu item to toggle quick edit mode for the current console?

    1 vote
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    0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  20. Make it possible to manage properties of Windows Console in specific apps

    Once you change properties in specific apps, the change you made never coordinates with the default. And there is no means to reset it to the default without directly changing the registry.
    I'd like to remove the property of PowerShell and reset it to the default.

    2 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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