Hell freezes over: Microsoft partners with Ubuntu to bring Bash shell to Windows 10

You read that right: The popular Bash shell command is coming to Windows 10, with Ubuntu's help.

Microsoft’s Linux love affair continued at the company’s annual Build keynote on Monday, with the revelation that popular Linux command-line tool Bash is coming to Windows 10. Whoa.

And no, it’s not running in a virtual machine or emulator. Microsoft partnered with Canonical, the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution, to build native Ubuntu Linux binaries directly into Windows 10 that allow Bash to run. And Microsoft’s already brought SQL Server and Visual Studio to Linux, and embraced Red Hat for Azure services—this commitment to open-source is starting to look pretty darn serious.

The blog of Microsoft employee Scott Hanselman provided more details about Bash integration than the brief demonstration onstage.

bash in use

Bash in Windows 10.

“This is a genuine Ubuntu image on top of Windows with all the Linux tools I use like awk, sed, grep, vi, etc.,” he wrote. “It’s fast and it’s lightweight. The binaries are downloaded by you—using apt-get—just as on Linux, because it is Linux. You can apt-get and download other tools like Ruby, Redis, emacs, and on and on. This is brilliant for developers that use a diverse set of tools like me.”

Developers will be able to write .sh Bash scripts in Windows, and even use emacs to edit code.

Look for Windows 10’s newfound Bash integration to land with this summer’s free Windows 10 Anniversary Update. You’ll need to enable Windows 10’s Developer Mode and add the feature in order to use it. In the meantime, hit up Hanselman’s blog for more details.

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