Access Linux from Windows

Access Linux from Windows
Image by Bülent Ergün from Pixabay

Important note: Bash/WSL is deliberately branded as a “beta” feature: We know there are issues and incomplete features. You should expect many things to work and for some things to fail. We appreciate any and all constructive feedback you can share from your experiences in using Bash/WSL. Your bug reports help us diagnose issues we need to fix in order to deliver a great experience.


Bash on Windows provides developers with a familiar Bash shell and Linux environment in which you can run most Linux command-line tools, directly on Windows, UNMODIFIED, without needing an entire Linux virtual machine!

Bash/WSL allows you to:

  1. Run common command-line utilities such as grep, sed, awk, etc.
  2. Use the Linux-compatible filesystem & hierarchy and access fixed Windows storage mounted under /mnt/…
  3. Run Bash shell scripts and Linux command-line apps. including
    • Tools: vim, emacs, tmux
    • Languages: Javascript/node.js, Ruby, Python, C/C++, C# & F#, Rust, Go, etc.
    • Services: sshd, MySQL, Apache, lighttpd,
  4. Install additional Linux tools using apt
  5. Invoke Windows applications from within Bash
  6. Invoke Linux applications from within Windows!

Bash on Windows runs Ubuntu user-mode binaries provided by Canonical. This means the command-line utilities are the same as those that run within a native Ubuntu environment.

Learn About Bash on Windows Subsystem for Linux

To learn all about Bash and the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), we’ve collected several videos and blog posts demonstrating Bash/WSL and detailing its inner workings!