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. Visually indicate when a console is expecting keyboard input

    When executing a long running task, you often switch away from the console window to do something else. Sometimes these tasks prompt you (e.g. to confirm to overwrite a file).

    It would be nice if the taskbar button (for example) could change colors indicating that the program in the console window needs keyboard input similar to how Windows highlights the taskbar button when requiring privilege escalation.

    15 votes
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      0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    • Error when changing properties of Powershell window

      When I make changes to the settings of my default Powershell window, I get the error:

      Unable to modify the shortcut:
      .
      Check to make sure it has not been deleted or renamed

      2 votes
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        1 comment  ·  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.

        192 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

        • Transparency enhancement

          Transparency is a nice visual enhancement, should generally only apply to the window contents and not the surrounding "chrome" of the window, such as the title bar and scroll bar.

          Optionally, the Console "frame" could be made transparent when focused/un-focused, controlled via separate transparency slider

          165 votes
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            on the backlog  ·  13 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
          • More integration with Windows features.

            Add commands to interact with standard Windows features. Metro Notifications, systray messages, Message boxes, and maybe even window actions. (close/minimize other windows)

            25 votes
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              0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            • Support tiled panes in Windows Console

              Let me start by saying that I love the idea of having tabs on the console. But for me, I like to have as much content on one screen as possible. So usually what I like to do is have on monitor with one window on full screen and have multiple consoles within the same window. That way I don't have to switch between tabs...

              Here is a example of what I mean: http://imgur.com/7mrfMn9

              ---

              Rich: While we added tmux & virtual terminal support in Bash in Win10AU, we need better pane tiling, tabbing, layout, etc. in Windows too.

              135 votes
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                11 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
              • Add the new command prompt as an optional update to older windows version

                This fancy new command prompt is great but I can't use it till we upgrade versions of windows. Having it as an optional upgrade for previous versions of windows would be totally awesome.

                2 votes
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                  0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                • Backspace should delete selected text

                  Now that you can easily select text [with ctrl+a or just by dragging over it] and copy and paste text [with ctrl+c & ctrl+d], why not make that we should not be required to delete every character separately?! Please make the backspace and delete key work to delete all selected text.

                  118 votes
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                    2 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                    Oooh yep. That is a natural extension of what we’ve done. It’s just a lot trickier to manipulate the input line (there are different input modes that apps can subscribe to and whatnot) than it is to enable more ways to select the output. But I hear you for sure. Now that we select more like a text editor, I want it all! It’s on the backlog. :)

                    —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 :)]

                    90 votes
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                      on the backlog  ·  4 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                    • Allow address bar in browser to hide

                      I think it would be very amazing and a welcomed feature if the address bar in the browser would hide automatically if it was not being used say after 5 secs. If the User needs it they can swipe up from the bottom to reveal it.

                      1 vote
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                        0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                      • Console Graphics ScreenBuffers

                        First of all, thank you very much for your console improvements!

                        Now I will discuss about an unknown existing functionality, console graphics screenbuffers.

                        Long time ago, when Windows NT was available on MIPS / Alpha... processors, NTVDM ran DOS text- and graphics-mode programs on windowed mode only (and not in fullscreen mode). More recently, until Windows 2003, on x86 platforms, if you pressed Alt-Enter while a DOS graphics program was running (fullscreen), the console reduced into windowed mode, with the title "<the_dos_program> - FROZEN". The dos program was paused but the graphical output was there, drawn on the windowed console…

                        20 votes
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                          3 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        • uptime command

                          have a command "uptime" like in bash that tells you how long your computer has been on. It's one of the most used commands on Linux.

                          4 votes
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                            0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          • Create a decent output paging utility because more.com just doesn't cut it

                            more.com is probably the lamest output pager in existing (well other than type). :-) Please create a decent output pager that supports paging up/down and moving up/down a line at a time. Even some basic find support would be nice. I've used less394 and like it. It might be a bit too powerful but something along those lines would be a massive improvement over more.com.

                            14 votes
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                              0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                            • Please add a hotkey to clear the console (similar to ctrl-k on OS X)

                              I frequently use the OS X terminal when teaching Python *even for Windows developers*. Much of what you are doing with the command prompt is going to fix this. But the ability to hit a single hotkey and clear the console is very helpful. Please give us this feature.

                              38 votes
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                                4 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                                You got it, it’s on our backlog, including the ability to clear the console while an app or script is executing. We’ll have to think carefully about the latter, especially. —Rich

                              • Missing things in windows phone

                                1. File transferred via Bluetooth should go to Bluetooth folder, not in app storage place
                                2. It should not delete unidentified files.
                                3. Give options to hide or unhide folders.
                                4. Increase number of buttons in notification area.
                                5. Provide in-built root explorer to see system files too.
                                6. I can attach just images in email, add support for attaching all kind of file formats.
                                7. Temporary files should be deleted of its own.

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

                                    We have this item tracking our backlog now. It goes beyond just the custom window icon item we’ve been tracking. Thank you for the suggestion —Rich

                                  • 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…

                                    18 votes
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                                      5 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    • Send started programs to the "background".

                                      Some programs when launched from CMD will "block" CMD until they exit. Allow to run programs so that I can keep on using the CMD window. Similar to bash "<program> &" or hitting CTRL+Z to allow input.

                                      31 votes
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                                        3 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                      • Consider supporting zoom

                                        As I get older, my eyes are struggling to focus on tiny text.

                                        It'd be awesome if the new Win10 console could support zooming in and out via keyboard shortcuts like [CTRL] [+] and [CTRL] [-] and via [CTRL] [mousewheel] and via touch-pinch.

                                        37 votes
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                                          on the backlog  ·  4 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        • 35 votes
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                                            on the backlog  ·  5 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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