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. Pointer focus: it's is a key part of why command prompt is easier on Linux

    Pointer focus means that instead of having to click on a window to give it focus, a window has focus when you hover over any visible part of it with the mouse, without disturbing it's place in the Zorder and therefore you can issue commands at a semi-background command prompt window without the disturbance of bringing it up in front of whatever other window(s) you are working with.

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

            5 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 →
                            • 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 →
                                      • cmd.exe FOR /f options

                                        FOR /f should have attional options:

                                        EACH : same as delims but each delimiter encountered should increment the token counter. Hence with 'delims=,' the text ,col2,col3,,,col6 would assign token1=col2; token2=col3; token3=col6 but 'each=,' would assign token2=col2; token3=col3; token6=col6 (as logical columns 1,4 and 5 ar missing)

                                        Option QUOTE should be implemented to turn off recognition of delimiters within "q,u,o,t,e,s"

                                        "SKIP=0" should be allowed

                                        NEWLINE should be allowed to assign NO tokens on an empty line

                                        LINENUM should assign the line number (32-bit limit, not 16-bit) to the LAST token+1. Thus "linenumtokens=1-3" %%A would assign the line number to %%D

                                        2 votes
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                                          2 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        • CMD.exe - Timeout errorlevel

                                          Currently, timout returns no errorlevel. It would be useful if timeout was to return the ASCII keycode for the interrupting key if it's interrupted by a keystroke.

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