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wslbridge is a Cygwin program that allows connecting to the WSL command-line environment over TCP sockets, as with ssh, but without the overhead of configuring an SSH server.

Building wslbridge

You'll need a Cygwin (32 or 64 bit) environment, as well as a WSL environment (or any other Linux environment). Make sure you have the g++ and make packages installed.

In Cygwin:

$ cd frontend

In WSL/Linux:

$ cd backend

The Cygwin frontend program is written to out/wslbridge.exe. The ELF64 backend program is written to out/wslbridge-backend. The files can be copied somewhere more convenient, but they need to be on a letter drive (e.g. not a \\server\share\... UNC path). They also need to be on an NTFS volume. The frontend looks for the backend in its own directory.


Usage is similar to that of ssh. Run wslbridge with no arguments to start a bash session in a WSL pty. Append a command-line to run that command in WSL without a pty (i.e. using 3 pipes for stdio).

wslbridge runs its WSL command with either a pty or using pipes. Pass -t to enable pty mode or -T to enable pipe mode. Pass -t -t to force pty mode even if stdin is not a terminal.

Pass -eVAR=VAL to set an environment variable within WSL. Pass just -eVAR to copy the value from the Cygwin environment.

wsltty (mintty/wslbridge package)

The mintty project provides wsltty, a standalone WSL terminal package containing mintty, wslbridge, and part of Cygwin (e.g. the runtime library).


This project is distributed under the MIT license (see the LICENSE file in the project root).

By submitting a pull request for this project, you agree to license your contribution under the MIT license to this project.