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. Allow changes to stack size via the ulimit command

    The stack size on WSL is currently static. It would be great to have the flexibility to change it in bash using the ulimit command.

    My interest in this is admittedly narrow (it comes up in scientific computing with legacy code) but I imagine there would be other uses.

    58 votes
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      14 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    • 2 votes
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        1 comment  ·  WSL/Bash  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      • Triple click to select whole line

        Currently (AnnUpd) clicking selects one character and double clicking selects whole word. Another step would be to triple click to select whole line.

        5 votes
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          0 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.

          135 votes
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            10 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.

            1,620 votes
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              65 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).

              328 votes
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                6 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

              • 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

                264 votes
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                  22 comments  ·  Windows Command-Line  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                • 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…

                  264 votes
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                    7 comments  ·  Cmd (classic shell)  ·  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.

                    197 votes
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                      15 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

                    • 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 :)]

                      94 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.

                        59 votes
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                          3 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        • 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.

                          8 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.

                          • 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…

                            21 votes
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                              6 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                            • Acting on Windows 10 Network Adapters

                              I don't seem to be able to modify Windows network settings from inside the Ubuntu WSL shell.
                              Doing "ifconfig wlan0 off" doesn't turn the wifi off, neither other commands or softwares I tried.
                              Is there any way to turn off network adapters from inside the shell?

                              4 votes
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                                0 comments  ·  WSL/Bash  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                              • Add support for 32-bit ELF executables

                                A lot of tools written for Linux can be downloaded as 64-bit, but there are still a few that only 32-bit downloads are available for. I've tried using virtual machines, but that tends to not be feasibly in some projects.

                                76 votes
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                                  2 comments  ·  WSL/Bash  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                • Add support for FAT "Function not implemented"

                                  Add support for FAT drives mounted in windows to be accessible under WSL.

                                  Currently, you receive "Function not implemented"

                                  This would allow Google Drive to be accessible under WSL.

                                  8 votes
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                                    0 comments  ·  WSL/Bash  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                  • Combined Process List Between WSL and Windows

                                    I'd love to see the process list that's available from CMD's "tasklist" added to WSL's "ps" command. I understand that'll take some process ID juggling, but I think it's doable. If I'm in a bash shell and I do a "ps auxww" I'd love to see *every* process running on the box, not just what's in WSL.

                                    That would also allow me to kill them from within the bash shell vs doing it via cmd. Yes, I know I can "cmd /c tasklist" and "cmd /c taskkill" from bash. I'd rather see it done via the built in "ps" and…

                                    4 votes
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                                      0 comments  ·  WSL/Bash  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    • Support custom baud rate ioctls for COM ports

                                      In addition to the already-requested ioctls for RTS/DTR control, support for custom baud rate ioctls would be terrific. Specifically required to support ESP8266 development (the module console is fixed at 74880).

                                      1 vote
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                                        1 comment  ·  WSL/Bash  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                      • Enable/Install WSL within a Docker Windows container

                                        Hi everyone,

                                        I am wanting to enable and install the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) feature from within a Docker windowsservrecore container.
                                        However, due to the fact that Docker containers are more like full-environment-processes than VMs,
                                        and because WSL feature installation requires a 'system reboot'; this has proven troublesome.

                                        I have seen solutions that other people have figured out for installing features that normally 'require reboot' in a Docker windows container:
                                        - e.g. Active Directory support: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/containerstuff/2017/01/30/create-a-container-with-active-directory-support/
                                        - e.g. Server Media Foundation: https://www.impostorprogrammer.com/articles/docker/media_foundation_windows_containers.html

                                        So I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts or has managed something similar for getting WSL…

                                        4 votes
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                                          0 comments  ·  WSL/Bash  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        • Recursive file case sensitivity?

                                          Can we get folder recursive case sensitivity? You've very recently added it with:
                                          fsutil.exe file SetCaseSensitiveInfo C:\folder\path enable
                                          what do we have to do to get full directory case sensitivity?

                                          It's really confusing as to why this isn't implemented yet when NTFS has supported it forever and windows 10 has no more kernel excuse...

                                          Is something like this necessary?

                                          [string] $PathRoot = 'folder here'

                                          [bool] $EnableCaseSensitivity = $true

                                          @(Get-ChildItem -Path $PathRoot -Recurse -Directory | Select-Object -ExpandProperty 'FullName') | ForEach-Object {
                                          cmd /c ('fsutil.exe file SetCaseSensitiveInfo "{0}" {1}' -f ($_,$(if($EnableCaseSensitivity){'enable'}else{'disable'})))
                                          }

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