Resources, tips, known issues etc for "Bash On Ubuntu On Windows"
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Bash On Ubuntu On Windows

This is a collaborative document where we help new bash users get the basics things working in Bash. It's especially targeted for the users of Bash On Ubuntu On Windows - where the bash environment is fairly new.

In other words: Here we share resources, tips, known issues etc for Bash On Ubuntu On Windows. Analytics

1. How to Install Bash on Ubuntu in Windows 10 (Windows Subsystem for Linux)

  1. Install the Windows 10 Anniversary Update
  2. Go to "Turn Windows features on or off"
  3. Scroll down to "Windows subsystem for Linux (Beta)"


2. Start an bash ssh-agent on launch

2.1: Open the config

`$ nano ~/.bashrc`

2.2: Add the following somewhere:

 # Set up ssh-agent
 function start_agent {
     echo "Initializing new SSH agent..."
     touch $SSH_ENV
     chmod 600 "${SSH_ENV}"
     /usr/bin/ssh-agent | sed 's/^echo/#echo/' >> "${SSH_ENV}"
     . "${SSH_ENV}" > /dev/null
 # Source SSH settings, if applicable
 if [ -f "${SSH_ENV}" ]; then
     . "${SSH_ENV}" > /dev/null
     kill -0 $SSH_AGENT_PID 2>/dev/null || {

2.3: Then run source ~/.bashrc to reload your config.

3. Troubleshoot ssh-agent forwarding

Connect with ssh and check if you forward your keys by running echo "$SSH_AUTH_SOCK". If you get no output, that means it's not working. Make sure it's running (above script should work) and that your ~/.ssh/config is configured to run ForwardAgent, for example:

Host 123.456.123.45
 ForwardAgent yes

4. Use Windows 10 Virtual desktop to have your own workspace

Create a new virtual desktop from Win+Tab and setup your ubuntu workspace. Or run 4 terminals on that screen, for different ssh sessions for example. Switch desktops easily and fast by either Win+Ctrl+left / Win+Ctrl+right or win+tab tab enter

5. How to access the filesystem from Windows / Ubuntu

In Ubuntu, you can find your entire C drive under /mnt/c. (You have the same permissions as the User you launched Ubuntu with)

In Windows, you can find your entire Ubuntu installation under %LocalAppData%\lxss. (C:/Users/YOURUSERNAME/AppData/Local/lxss)

Note: Your ubuntu installation might end up on different paths depending on installation method, check this guide to find yours

6. Make full use of Interop

With interoperability, you can open Windows programs from WSL. Here are some ways to use to your advantage:

6.1: Set a Default Windows Browser

Some commands, such as Heroku CLI's heroku open, need to open a browser. There's no default browser in WSL by default, but one easy way to set this up is by adding the following to ~/.bashrc:

# replace with relevant browser
export BROWSER=/mnt/c/Program\ Files\ \(x86\)/Google/Chrome/Application/chrome.exe

6.2: Use Symlinks to open Windows Programs

One use case is to open your text editor to the current directory. Interop + symlinks make this possible. For example:

ln -s /mnt/c/Program\ Files/Microsoft\ VS\ Code/Code.exe code

Now in any directory, type code and your text editor opens. Even better, type code . and it opens that directory, ready for editing.

7. Disable ding/beep/bell sound when tabbing

You know that annoying bell sound you get when you try to autocomplete something and it doesn't exist? It's super loud and annoying, so lets mute it. Run this command and restart your shell to give peace to your ears:

echo 'set bell-style none' >> ~/.inputrc

Restart your shell and it's quiet :)

8. How to configure proxy settings in apt

If your network uses a proxy-server, services like apt-get, git, wget, and curl, etc. would not be able to access internet directly.

There is an open source tool : ProxyMan, which lets you easily configure system-wide proxy settings from the command-line in one go. Download latest release. As of now, ProxyMan is capable of managing GNOME desktop, /etc/environment, .bashrc, apt.conf, git, npm, and Dropbox proxy settings

However, you can also manually modify the configuration file.

To add prox in apt, modify /etc/apt/apt.conf and add the following:

   Acquire::http::Proxy "http://username:password@proxy.server:port";
   Acquire::https::Proxy "https://username:password@proxy.server:port";
   Acquire::ftp::Proxy "ftp://username:password@proxy.server:port";
   Acquire::socks::Proxy "socks://username:password@proxy.server:port";

Do a sudo apt-get update afterwards to update repository infromation


username: johnwick password password proxy-server port 8080

Acquire::http::Proxy "";

To add system wide proxy settings, go to /etc/environment and add the following:

   export http_proxy="http://username:password@proxy.server:port"
   export https_proxy="https://username:password@proxy.server:port"
   export ftp_proxy="ftp://username:password@proxy.server:port"
   export socks_proxy="socks://username:password@proxy.server:port"


export http_proxy="";

Use source /etc/environment to load the new environment variables.

To make git work behind proxy use the following commands

git config --global http.proxy`
git config --global https.proxy

9. Program compatibility - What works, what doesn't?

This crowdsourced list of programs and their compatibility gives you a searchable list for compatibility. Want to know if apt works 100%? Just check the list. Also worth a mention, the Official repository contains a full list of all issues reported.

10. Mapping a Driver Letter to your linux root folder

Open a Windows Terminal (cmd) and:

subst l: c:\Users\path\to\your\rootfs

Now you can access the root linux folder typing l: in the Windows Command, or Explorer.

Your rootfs might be located in different paths: Check this guide on askubuntu to find your linux folder on windows