Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Ubuntu Bash on Windows

Windows 10 has a beta feature: Bash.exe with an Ubuntu Linux subsystem (see (1) and (2)), also known as WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux). This will allow you to run Linux command line tools from within Windows. This is not the same as running Linux in a Virtual Machine (VM) using virtualization software like VirtualBox or VMware. It is also different from Cygwin or MINGW which is a windows port of GNU tools. In the case of  WSL, real, unmodified Ubuntu Linux binaries are executed.


LXSS diagram

There is a single Linux instance, so when invoking bash.exe several times, you talk to the same instance:


The main issue I noticed is that some networking commands (like ping) requires bash.exe to be started as administrator.


  1. Jack Hammons, Bash on Ubuntu on Windows, https://msdn.microsoft.com/commandline/wsl
  2. Learning about Bash on Windows Subsystem for Linux, https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/commandline/learn-about-bash-on-windows-subsystem-for-linux/
  3. VirtualBox, https://www.virtualbox.org/
  4. VMware, https://www.vmware.com/
  5. Cygwin, https://www.cygwin.com/
  6. MINGW, Minimalist GNU for Windows, http://www.mingw.org/