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. Add Wireless Device Support

    iwconfig and other wireless device tools cannot interact with wireless devices. While ifconfig, ip, etc network support has been added and displays the wireless devices (wifi0, wifi1, ...), iwconfig and other tools cannot detect wireless support. Considering the omnipresence of wifi, this makes the "Enable network connection enumeration" request feel technically fulfilled but practically half-done. Can we expect wifi support in the near future? Or are there work arounds involving the installation or compilation of particular tools?

    115 votes
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      13 comments  ·  WSL/Bash  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    • Support gpg2 smartcard integration (yubikey)

      Don't see a way at present to use a yubikey/smartcard inside WLS. Seems like this would require USB support in order to integrate directly. Only workaround at present is to SSH into WSL and forward the ssh key, which makes the ssh-agent available to WSL, but still not the gpg-agent.

      69 votes
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        1 comment  ·  WSL/Bash  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      • Please enable WSL to run 32 bit ELF binaries

        It seems that executing 32bit ELF binaries results in "Exec format error" - guessing the kernel doesn't have 32 bit emulation support (compilation is fine, but precompiled binaries don't run). A vast number of legacy programs are still 32 bit, please add support if it won't completely destroy everything in the process - thanks!

        808 votes
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          114 comments  ·  WSL/Bash  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
        • Sound card & ALSA support

          Consider adding support for sound cards & ALSA to WSL?

          199 votes
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            18 comments  ·  WSL/Bash  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

            I want to point out that we have very clear that WSL does not support X/GUI desktops, apps, and tools.

            This said, we totally understand the utility of audio support in several scenarios. While this is not currently a high priority for us, it’s something we’ll definitely consider for the future.

            If you’re interested in accessibility & screen reader support, we’ve actually exposed the contents of the Windows Console to UIA for the first time in Fall Creators Update, allowing Narrator & other screen readers to read command-line output more easily: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/commandline/2017/10/11/whats-new-in-windows-console-in-windows-10-fall-creators-update/

          • socketcan support

            To run socketcan applications in WSL:

            Either from an inserted socketcan device via e.g. a USB stick or over the network from e.g. an Ubuntu PC using something like:

            https://github.com/mguentner/cannelloni

            It is very helpful for development, when you do not have to attach you CAN devices locally.

            Currently the socketcan package is not in the repository.

            11 votes
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              0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            • multiple users on the same computer, they will all have their own copies of the executables which is going to seriously eat into server spac

              The following blog from Ubuntu team http://blog.dustinkirkland.com/2016/03/ubuntu-on-windows.html?m=1 Any programs (e.g. gcc, nasm, etc) installed under the Bash shell get installed into the AppData folder for the current user. Which means that if you have multiple users on the same computer, they will all have their own copies of the executables which is going to seriously eat into server space and Im not sure this will work under a roaming profile.

              So the Bash shell and anything installed under it is treated more like a Windows Store app. While I can sort of see the reasoning behind it, it really doesn't…

              24 votes
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                0 comments  ·  WSL/Bash  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                Good feedback, thanks for sharing. We’ll keep an eye on this feedback.

                Notes:
                The distro and your files are stored in $env:localappdata, so they remain only on machines where a user has opted to install Bash/WSL and won’t affect roaming profiles.

                Since enabling Bash/WSL requires admin privileges to enable this feature, its unlikely that organizations where many users share machines will experience significant disk consumption by this feature.

              • Windows needs a command-line Package Manager

                I think that Microsoft could achieve the following 3 things if you seriously thought about a package management strategy for Windows and Windows programs.

                1. You could simplify the lives of system administrators by allowing them to easily script up updates and required programs
                2. You could take a little more control of the Windows environment by maintaining a repository of trusted software for installation
                3. You could decrease the number of vectors for malware to enter Windows

                By maintaining a repository of programs that run on Windows and allowing updates to be administered from that repository, Microsoft would make…

                76 votes
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                  4 comments  ·  Other  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                • Rethink your strategy on how the linux/bash integration should work

                  I'm pleased to see Microsoft making the effort to bring bash to Windows, unfortunately I feel like the approach taken is mostly cosmetic and segregates POSIX applications rather than embracing them. Some comments on the "Run Bash on Ubuntu on Windows" rightly highlight that this is slightly better Ubuntu VM with samba mounts.

                  Microsoft should *want* to create a new architecture/target/platform that builds to Win32 executables and maintain an apt repository for it. Much the same as how debian builds for BSD as well as Linux: We've all heard GNU/Linux, so why hasn't this effort just been to facilitate GNU/Win32?

                  61 votes
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                    4 comments  ·  WSL/Bash  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                    Updating status to fine-feedback so others can share their thoughts too.

                    During the Creators Update engineering cycle, we added the ability to invoke Windows apps from within a Linux process running on WSL and vice-versa. This means you can run any Windows .exe using, for example, “msbuild.exe” from within Bash, and you can invoke bash commands from within Windows via ‘bash -c fish’.

                  • Linux MKLINK permission inconsistency

                    Integrating more Linux features with Windows means that the inconsistency between symlinks on Windows (UAC elevation required, yet "Create symbolic links" secpol.msc ignored if user if also an Administrator) vs the Posix model of anyone being able to create a symlink.

                    Personally I don't see why symlink access is restricted by default. I can see an option to restrict symlinks on the part of IT departments locking down users and trying to avoid confusion, but for anyone that's a user of the Windows Subsystem for Linux it doesn't make a bit of sense.

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

                      Re: " don’t see why symlink access is restricted by default…"

                      Please read our announcement blog for more background on relaxing symlink creation restrictions for developers: https://blogs.windows.com/buildingapps/2016/12/02/symlinks-windows-10

                      Also note the following:
                      https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/previous-versions/windows/it-pro/windows-vista/cc766301(v=ws.10)#create-symbolic-links

                      Imagine if symlinks could be created using standard non-admin rights: What would stop a piece of malware from creating symlinks that redirect an existing Word doc to a Word doc with an malicious payload. Symlinks pose VERY serious security threats which is why creating them has been a restricted right since Vista.

                    • 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.

                      6 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.

                      • Windows needs built-in version of *NIX tools like grep/sed/awk etc.

                        Lot of them are BSD licensed too, so MS can include as is. Also, inputrc support! I will never look at Linux again I swear

                        251 votes
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                          20 comments  ·  Windows Command-Line  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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