Command Prompt / Console / Windows Subsystem for Linux

Shrouded in the mists of time, the Windows Console was created. For millenia, geeks and developers wrought their command-line tools but after a while, a great lacking was noticed. And so, legions of ever intrepid command-line mavens migrated to other shells and consoles, ’til but a stalwart few remained.

In Windows 10, with a deep rumbling, the ancient, weary, Windows Console heaved a great sigh and began to tremble. New features appeared, but slow was the (aparrent) progress.

But then, in early 2016, from under a rock evolved a group of new console dev’s. And then a PM. The journey to modernity had begun … again! WE’RE BACK! AGAIN!

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

@RichTurn_ms, Paul, Mike1 & Mike2.

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  1. Windows Console should support tabbed 'pages'

    Great to see some of these improvements, especially the cut/copy/paste keyboard shortcuts. However, I've been seeking for a way for the cmd window to have a tabbed interface for a while. So, for example, I can run a ping/tracert etc. in one tab, a chkdsk in another tab, and something else in a third, without having multiple windows open taking up screen real estate.

    Also consider adding panes side-by-side within the console.

    1,509 votes
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      on the backlog  ·  63 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    • bash copy paste

      Keyboard-based copy/paste should work in the bash console (ctrl+c/v)

      984 votes
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        47 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      • UTF-8

        I really really want utf-8, I do not use any legacy console apps from 80-s, so please please please make it happens :)

        709 votes
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          19 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

          As Chip said, UTF-16 is rather baked into the stuff we do. The console host does use UTF-16 somewhere in there. :P We just have the matter of dealing with code pages throughout the history of computing existence that causes us heartburn every time we think about how to fix this. :( It’s definitely something that we would like to look into on our backlog.

          —Michael

        • Make links clickable

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

          289 votes
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            4 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

          • "Ctrl+Plus" and "Ctrl+Minus" for resizing text

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

            269 votes
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              on the backlog  ·  8 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            • 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.

              188 votes
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                14 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

              • Transparency enhancement

                Transparency is a nice visual enhancement, 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

                156 votes
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                  on the backlog  ·  13 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                • Auto-hide scrollbar, esecially in full-screen mode

                  Hide the scrollbar until mouse approaches it. Make the "hit zone" for showing the scrollbar bigger than the scrollbar itself so it's not too hard to show. This feature would be especially nice in full screen mode.

                  116 votes
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                    9 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                  • 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.

                    113 votes
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                      1 comment  ·  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

                    • 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 :)]

                      83 votes
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                        on the backlog  ·  4 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                      • 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.

                        53 votes
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                          2 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        • Editing area of cmd should be consistent with standard Windows UI design principles

                          Right now there is Quick Edit mode, which controls 2 things.

                          1) Whether or not right clicking immediately pastes (Quick Edit=On) or displays a context menu (Quick Edit=Off)
                          2) Whether or not click drag can select text (Quick Edit=On) or does nothing (Quick Edit=Off)

                          However, any normal text editor or program which uses a standard windows edit control behaves like Quick Edit=Off for right clicking and Quick Edit=On for selection. So the behavior of cmd is both inconsistent with Windows' own UI design principles as well as very inconvenient.

                          If you want to select text like people always select text…

                          37 votes
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                            3 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          • Please add a hotkey to clear the console (similar to ctrl-k on OS X)

                            I frequently use the OS X terminal when teaching Python *even for Windows developers*. Much of what you are doing with the command prompt is going to fix this. But the ability to hit a single hotkey and clear the console is very helpful. Please give us this feature.

                            35 votes
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                              4 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                              You got it, it’s on our backlog, including the ability to clear the console while an app or script is executing. We’ll have to think carefully about the latter, especially. —Rich

                            • Allow Fallback Fonts

                              It'd be nice to have font fallbacks to allow unicode symbols to show up in the terminal. Consolas doesn't have very good Unicode coverage, and most *nix terminals have the capability.

                              26 votes
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                                2 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                              • 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)

                                22 votes
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                                  0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                • Right-click on any Explorer folder and open a cmd prompt there (and vice versa)

                                  Right click on any Explorer folder and open a cmd prompt with that folder as the current directory.
                                  The thing is the most tedious thing about command prompt is directory navigation. And if I already have an Explorer window why make me work so hard to get there in the command prompt?

                                  19 votes
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                                    4 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                  • Very Nice Looking Command Prompt

                                    Win10techPview - cmd.exe (console) word wrap not available and not working. when changing buffer / width / height params they do not remain set once you exit properties and then open properties again.
                                    Ugly fonts still - could do with a nice revamp there????

                                    19 votes
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                                      1 comment  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    • Aliases for commands

                                      Aliases for commands is very useful feature for many unix-like terminals, for example:
                                      git commit
                                      alias:
                                      gc

                                      18 votes
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                                        6 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                      • Provide an official pty API on win32, not only of WLS.

                                        Allow native win32 applications to establish an pty and grab console modifications to it.

                                        17 votes
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                                          0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        • 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…

                                          16 votes
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                                            5 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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