November 23, 2016

Bash on Ubuntu on Windows

Bash on Ubuntu on Windows

Bash on Windows via tctechcrunch2011
Windows provides developers with a familiar Bash environment. This environment will allow users to:

Windows 10’s Anniversary Update brings a “Bash on Ubuntu on Windows” environment to Windows 10. But don’t be deceived: This is more than just a Bash shell. It’s a full compatibility layer for running Linux applications on Windows.

We’ve covered a lot of the things you can do in Windows 10’s new Bash shell, so we’ve rounded up all those guides into one mega list here, for your convenience.

Run common command-line utilities such as grep, sed, and awk Navigate the file system using these commands Run Bash shell scripts which rely on supported command-line utilities Windows is running Ubuntu user-mode binaries provided by Canonical. This means the command-line utilities are the  ame as those that run within a native Ubuntu environment. Installation of Bash on Windows is just a few clicks.

But — first — before we dive in to the how-to I want to make sure that your expectations about what Bash on Windows is and isn’t are in tune with reality. Namely:
  • It’s not a virtual machine
  • It’s not a container
  • It’s not a chroot
  • It’s not a full Linux distribution

What it is is a way to run (mostly terminal-based) Linux applications and Bash commands natively on Windows, with access to the Windows File System.

Microsoft teamed up with Canonical to include a full Ubuntu-based Bash shell in Windows 10 Anniversary Update. It runs atop a Linux-compatible kernel interface which, to confuse you further, does not use Linux code.

The subsystem as a whole requires ‘fewer resources than a full virtualized machine’, say Microsoft. They add that it ‘allows you to run Linux command-line tools and apps alongside your Windows command-line, desktop and store apps, and to access your Windows files from within Linux. This enables you to use Windows apps and Linux command-line tools on the same set of files if you wish.’

This is provided as beta software. While many of the coreutil commands provided by Ubuntu will work, there are some that will not. We welcome feedback and will prioritize accordingly.

You can install the Bash shell on any edition of Windows 10, including Windows 10 Home. However, it does require a 64-bit version of Windows 10. You’ll just have to enable developer mode, add the feature to Windows, and then run the Bash program.

Microsoft say they support five key areas of interest:
  • GNU command line tools such as grep, sed, and awk
  • File system and symlink support within the WSL environment
  • Ability to run apt & apt-get for installs, updates, and package testing
  • Basic functionality for languages such as NodeJS/npm, Python, Perl
  • Command line tools such as Vim, Emacs, Git, and SSH

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