Command Prompt / Console / Bash on Ubuntu on Windows

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. Allow to customize colors for a terminal

    With the new 24-bit color options, it would be great to actually be able to use some of the new colors.

    It's already well known that you can change colors in the registry to change the colors of the console.
    According to this article, you can also change colors on a single shortcut (.lnk) https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20130527-00/?p=4253

    Now it would be great to have a UI for changing colors.
    The current UI only allows changes to Screen Text, Screen Background, Popup Text and Popup Background.
    http://imgur.com/StT8gDZ

    I would like to define the 16 original colors as another variant of those colors. For…

    31 votes
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      3 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

      A few notes here:

      1) The colors one can configure in the properties of a command-line app / shortcut are the default 16 colors that traditional Windows apps can request via the Console API, or which get displayed by the simplest VT sequences that specify a color index, rather than color values.
      2) We do not aim to modify the Windows Console API’s to enable richer color support. Instead, we recommend command-line app developers to emit VT sequences instead. This way they can request any and all of the 16M colors available when specifying a 24-bit RGB color values.
      3) We DO aim, to overhaul and improve the way that Console properties work, and have recently released an open-source tool to help you import entire iterm and other color schemes: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/commandline/2017/08/11/introducing-the-windows-console-colortool/

    • OpenCL & CUDA GPU support

      It would be nice to have (relatively) easy access to the dedicated GPU's on our Win10 PC's, and OpenCL support for the AMD Drivers & CUDA for NVidia drivers etc.

      What I am thinking on specifically (although there are many many uses for it and CUDA support) is hashing functions that are lackluster within windows itself, but benefit immensely within Linux and Unix.

      Cryptocurrency mining for example, is known to be much faster on Linux systems than Windows. Do you see any support for OpenCL and/or CUDA in the future?

      2,180 votes
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        197 comments  ·  Bash/WSL  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

        It’s on the backlog, but not currently planned.

        We know many of you would like to be able to accelerate your numerical analysis code via CUDA/OpenCL, etc.

        One thing to explore in the meantime is to try running your code in Windows. Windows actually has very powerful GPU-acceleration capabilities and you may well find that much of your existing code may well work already or require trivial effort to port to Windows itself.

        in the meantime, bear with us, and UPVOTE THIS ISSUE if you care (please don’t create another duplicate ask – that doesn’t help us prioritize asks).

        Thanks.

      • Linux like mouse click selection and copy/paste

        In *Nix systems we can drag select text. Alternatively double left-clicking will smartly select a word/path (etc) boundary. Clicking for the third time selects the entire line. In all instances above it will auto copy to the selection to the clipboard.

        Whilst we have some slightly better options with Quick edit and insert mode there's still some subtle differences than the experiences above.

        Can we more closely mimic this behaviour?

        92 votes
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          2 comments  ·  Bash/WSL  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
        • Consider enabling cron jobs, daemons and background tasks

          Bash/WSL doesn't support cron jobs, daemons or background tasks in Win10AU. The ability to run background jobs would be very useful. Please consider adding this feature.

          1,236 votes
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            49 comments  ·  Bash/WSL  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

            Updated the title to reflect the ask.

            This first release of Bash/WSL doesn’t support background tasks, cron jobs, daemons, etc. Currently, when you close your last bash shell console window, we tear-down the Linux process chain in order to conserve resources.

            We are looking at the ability to run background tasks/daemons/cron jobs in future releases.

          • bash copy paste

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

            935 votes
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              41 comments  ·  Bash/WSL  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            • Make WSL filesystem accessible from Windows

              Access to the Windows filesystem from WSL is easy enough. Now we need access to the WSL filesystem from Windows.

              322 votes
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                8 comments  ·  Bash/WSL  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
              • Alternate install location option would be nice

                Currently the only place the linux lxss folder can be located is inside the user's user profile directory. It'd be nice to be able to put this folder anywhere on any drive for those of us with small SSD c: drives.

                370 votes
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                  9 comments  ·  Bash/WSL  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                • Offline installer for bash

                  It needs to be possible to install bash offline.

                  There are a thousands of us who'd kill to be able to use bash on Windows machines attached to classified and other machines that are offline, and can't ever be connected to the Internet for any reason.

                  142 votes
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                    9 comments  ·  Bash/WSL  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                    Hey all. Thanks for posting this ask: Its something we hear on a semi-regular basis.

                    We understand and appreciate many of the scenarios in which one might want to install a Linux distro offline using a previously downloaded/acquired image. However, we just didn’t have cycles to handle this request in the Win10AU release.

                    It’s on the backlog and we will consider for a future release.

                  • Access to "real" linux devices in /dev

                    ...or at least to /dev/sda? (disks) block devices. It could be very powerful to run things like
                    dd if=/dev/sda2 of=some-remote-mounted-volume/my-backup-C.img

                    291 votes
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                      7 comments  ·  Bash/WSL  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                      Related to “Add USB Device support”: https://wpdev.uservoice.com/forums/266908-command-prompt-console-bash-on-ubuntu-on-windo/suggestions/16759696-add-usb-device-support

                      This is a common ask and, now that we’ve gotten through most of the fundamental engineering, we’ll be more able to start looking-into device support sometime relatively soon, though no guarantees about when and what ;)

                    • Make it easier to add / change / update color schemes in command line

                      Please make it easier to import / export and switch between "color schemes". Ideally we'd have:

                      - A predefined set of "schemes", just like VS or VS code
                      - A simple way to pick one (dropdown list)
                      - A simple way to import / export schemes

                      21 votes
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                        1 comment  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                      • A file created in C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\lxss\root from Windows isn't visible in WSL

                        I would like to be able to create files in the WSL root directory using Windows tools (VSC, NotePad++...)

                        I can modify files there (e.g. .bashrc) but if I create new files they are not visible from the WSL side.

                        175 votes
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                          15 comments  ·  Bash/WSL  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        • Add slash character handling in the paths for the cmd-line commands (del, start).

                          Currently the output from git is unusable in cmd, for example there is no easy way to copy & paste path to a file so that it can be used with del as it uses slashes.

                          10 votes
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                            0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          • Keyboard Remapping Should Be Supported

                            GNU APL builds and installs flawlessly under Ubuntu on Windows, but it is necessary to remap the keyboard in order to enter input in the APL character set. apt-get installs "setxkbmap" fine, but when you try to run it, you get "Error loading new keyboard description."

                            Cygwin supports this command, so it should be easy to see how it maps into the WIndows API. If it's not a lot of work, making this command work would greatly enhance Ubuntu on Windows for those using languages with alternate character sets.

                            8 votes
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                              0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                            • Don't get rid of CMD/Powershell - make a plain console with tabs for CMD/Powershell/Combined modes.

                              I like a lot of the ideas on here. Imagine a plain console with optional tabs and transparency and history and autocomplete and sudo commands, etc. And imagine when making a new tab you can select if you want it to be for only CMD or only Powershell, or CMD and Powershell combined. And if you wanna set a default mode you can in settings, and you can quickly set a mode without clicking a whole bunch of things and you can change it with a keyboard or button click. And if you want separate programs it's optional.

                              57 votes
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                                4 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                              • 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.

                                1,448 votes
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                                  on the backlog  ·  56 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 :)

                                  697 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

                                  • Add "sudo" tool/command in cmd/PowerShell

                                    On *nix you can run a command from a non-root shell, which is the equivalent of a non-administrator Command Prompt, with administrative privileges, similar to what UAC does when it asks a user if they would like to give an application administrative privileges. To disable a network adapter, for example, you can run "sudo ifconfig eth0 down". The prefixed "sudo" command will run "ifconfig eth0 down" with what is essentially administrator privileges in Windows. Currently you have to do some long-winded (long-typed?) "runas", which requires that a username and password are provided. I don't necessarily need Command Prompt to always…

                                    210 votes
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                                      7 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    • Make links clickable

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

                                      283 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.

                                        264 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

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