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. 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.

    7 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.

    • add an optional clickable history view to the right

      With F7 you can see the history in cmd windows...

      Add a menu command or key (ctrl-h?) that toggles display of a history panel to the right (or customize) with your history and you can click it to update the current command to it, double click to execute it.

      1 vote
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        2 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      • CMD.exe - 64-bit maths

        The calculations limitation to +/-2**31 can cause problems, so extension to 64-bit would be appreciated. There should be a switch

        MATH64 ON/OFF

        with default OFF to retain compatibility with the current 32-bit system. This would enable batchers to deal cleanly with modern drive/filesizes.

        10 votes
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          1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
        • CMD.exe - file not found, etc.

          Wherever a file problem is encountered, the message generated should specify the full name of the file, not simply the word "file".

          It would also be appreciated if ERRORLEVEL was set on a consistent basis for such errors - to explain quite why the error occurred. For instance, errorlevel 20 might mean file not found, 21 file is read-only, 22 permissions don't allow etc.

          HIgh error numbers suggested so that the file-errors don't collide with "normal" errorlevels generated by utilities to indicate "found/not found (find(str) for instance)

          And for a real advance, a report like

          (Not Found) - "C:\nowhere\to be.seen"…

          8 votes
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            0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
          • 1 vote
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              0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            • Some known command prompt bugs/missdocumentations.

              Hello,

              First to clarify that I didn't succeeded to install windows 10 with virtual box .
              I'll list some bugs/missdocumentations in cmd.exe (and some internal commands) that are here for a long time and I suppose they still there in windows 10 too.

              1. APPEND/DPATH

              DPATH is a rather working command and allows you to use input redirection and type with files form different directories as they are in the same directory (http://ss64.org/viewtopic.php?id=1876 , http://ss64.org/viewtopic.php?id=1876)
              The syntax is the same as PATH command and rellies on %DPATH% environment variable.
              But its help message points to APPEND command which…

              4 votes
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                0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
              • CMD.exe - PID

                Could we have `cmd`'s process ID available as a magic-variable in the environment, a la %time% %date% etc?

                4 votes
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                  1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                • Please add some lineedit hotky to cmd?

                  Can you guys add some line edit hotkey? like ctrl+a,cltrl+e ,cltr+u,ctrl+k etc , bash-style ,you know.

                  3 votes
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                    0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                  • CMD.exe -random

                    Currently, %random% is seeded for a CMD instance from the current second, so i more than one CMD process is generated in a second, each ill produce the same sequence of random numbers.

                    Windows should provide one sytem-wide source of random number accessible via an API. CMD would then simply be another process wanting random numbers from the common source. This would make this undesirable behaviour disappear.

                    T

                    4 votes
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                      0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                    • CMD.exe - run silent, run deep

                      Could we have an option to run a batch without creating a taskbar item so that we don't have to use VBA jiggery-pokery to hide a batch?

                      4 votes
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                        0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                      • CMD.exe - Indirection

                        Accessing the value of a variable whose name is stored in another variable means using something like

                        set var2=!%var1%!

                        which is painful and requires delayedexpansion.

                        It would be easier if this could be implemented as

                        set var2=%=var1%

                        Where the leading "=" indicates indirection and is currently an illegal or at least illogical construct.

                        So - %=var1% would be replaced by the parser with the parse-time content of (the name in var1) and !=var1! with the content of (the runtime content of var1)

                        2 votes
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                          1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        • Findstr option needed

                          Findstr needs an option to return the count-of-matches, like "FIND /C"

                          Since "C" is already occupied for FINDSTR, how about "/T" (for Total) - and implement the same "/T" as a synonym for "/C" in FIND?

                          4 votes
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                            1 comment  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          • Please add an easy way to Tail a file

                            Please add an easy way to tail a file, currently the command in power shell is too complicate to figure out and it has a lot of latency to show file changes. Implement it as same as in Linux ;)
                            tail -f myfile.txt

                            16 votes
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                              1 comment  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                            • Ecko

                              Introduce a modified `echo` command (adding a switch to the existing may be awkward for backward-compatibility, so not an option...) but this `ecko` command does NOT issue a newline, allowing a report line to be built in segments rather than being accumulated into a variable and then displayed.

                              2 votes
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                                1 comment  ·  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.

                                58 votes
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                                  3 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                • Spinner

                                  Permit a SPINNER [optionalstring] command

                                  General structure:

                                  spinner somestring
                                  for ...(
                                  spinner
                                  )
                                  spinner /end

                                  where the first (optional) invocation sets a series of characters to be used as the spinner,

                                  The second invocation, within (typically) a FOR loop advances the spinner to the next character in the string The spinner character replaces the cursor.

                                  The third restores the initial cursor and resets the spinner string to the default "|/-\"

                                  hence

                                  for /l %%x in (1,1,8) do (
                                  spinner
                                  timeout /t 1 >nul
                                  )
                                  spinner /end

                                  would replace the cursor with a spinner which changes once per second

                                  spinner Microsoft …

                                  1 vote
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                                    1 comment  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                  • SET /p additional options

                                    Allow

                                    set /r[character]

                                    to replace input-characters with character (default "*") on the display for obscuring password-input, games, etc.

                                    set /n

                                    -similar, but does not show input at all so lenth-of-password is not visible.

                                    2 votes
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                                      0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    • CMD.exe dates

                                      All utilities dealing with date/time (dir date time for...%~d) should have switches for Universal date format (eg ISO 8601 YYYYMMDDTHHMMSS) local or UTC and created/updated/accessed filedates.

                                      6 votes
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                                        0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                      • Cross platform PowerShell

                                        Make PowerShell cross platform so it can be used in build scripts and for automation with mono projects on all platforms.

                                        4 votes
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                                          0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        • FOR /r bug in W7 (probably others)

                                          FOR /r "%sourcedir%" %%a in (filename)

                                          if filename is not ambiguous (ie. contains neither "*" nor "?") then the result will scan each subdirectory of sourcedir, assigning subdirname\filename to %%a - not as expected, finding those files that match the pattern filename.

                                          if filename IS ambiguous (ie. contains "*" or "?") then the result will scan each subdirectory of sourcedir, assigning subdirname\actualfilenamematchingthemask to %%a

                                          IMHO, the match should be against the (set) as a flemask.

                                          2 votes
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                                            0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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