Enabling Linux Bash Shell in Windows 10

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Windows 10 (the new Anniversary update, specifically) has a new feature called “Windows Subsystem for Linux”. It’s basically a full-fledged Ubuntu based bash shell running directly under Windows. Pretty cool, eh? This guide will show you how exactly to enable it.

What you need:

  • A PC running 64-bit of Windows 10 Anniversary Update build 14393 or later (Step 1 shows you how to check your Windows 10 version).
  • And as always, an internet connection.

Step 1:

First, let’s find out whether your Windows 10 is build 14393 or later.

To do this, simply open Settings

Search for Settings in the Start menu

Click on System

Select System

Scroll to the end and click on About. Here you’ll see your OS Build number. This should be equal to or higher than 14393. Also, verify if your Windows 10 installation is 64 bit.

If your build number is less than 14393, check for updates.

Click on About

Step 2:

The next step is to enable Developer Mode in Windows 10.

Open Settings again. Select Update & security.

Select Update & security in Settings

Click on For developers and enable Developer mode. If it asks you to restart the PC, go ahead and restart.

Enable developer mode in Windows 10

Note: If you get an error message Developer mode package failed to install. Error code 0x80004005 while trying to enable developer mode, please click here to see how to fix it

Step 3:

Now, let’s enable Windows Subsystem for Linux. Click the Start button and search for Turn Windows features on or off.

Search for Turn Windows features on or off

Check Windows Subsystem for Linux (Beta) to enable it and click OK

Enable Windows Subsystem for Linux (Beta)

Restart your PC when it prompts you to.

Step 4:

After you’ve rebooted your PC, open a command prompt window (click the Start button and type cmd).

Type bash and hit enter.

Since this is the first time you’re running bash, you’ll be asked whether you want to install it. Type y and hit enter to proceed.

Installing bash via command prompt

After the installation is complete, you will be asked to create a new UNIX username and password. This user account is for the new Ubuntu environment and in no way related to your Windows account.

Well, that’s all there is. You should have a bash prompt now and can run linux commands.

Step 5:

To start bash you can use two ways:

  • Simply open any command prompt window and type bash. It will start the Ubuntu command line environment.
  • Click the Start button and search for bash. Open Bash on Ubuntu for Windows.

Launching Bash on Ubuntu for Windows

That’s it!

Note: While in the Ubuntu environment, you can access your Windows drives under /mnt/. All Windows drives will be listed under this. You can cd to any directory and work with the files.

(header image source: wall.alphacoders.com)

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