Bash for Windows Comes to Windows Server 2016

windows 10 install featured

Microsoft announces that the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is coming to Windows Server 2016 at Build 2017.



Bash is a popular Unix shell for managing Linux. Microsoft introduced Bash as a native component in Windows 10 Anniversary Update. WSL allows you to run standard Bash commands, use a Linux-compatible file system to access fixed Windows storage, run Bash shell scripts, run Linux command-line apps, and install additional Linux tools.

Bash on Windows does not require a Linux VM and it runs Ubuntu user-mode binaries from Canonical. It runs Bash commands found in a native Ubuntu environment. Despite Microsoft bringing Bash to Windows Server 2016 soon, it is still a beta in Windows 10. This means that while most commands and tools work, there are some that do not. There are others that do not work quite as they should.

Launch Linux commands from within Windows 10 Creators update (Image Credit: Microsoft)
Launch Linux Commands From Within Windows 10 Creators Update (Image Credit: Microsoft)

Native Linux Containers in Windows Server

Microsoft is working on support for native Linux containers in Windows Server 2016. WSL will allow administrators and developers to manage Linux containers that are running on Windows Server 2016 using standard Linux tools. Hyper-V Containers will be used to provide support for Linux on Windows Server 2016 and you will be able to use your Linux kernel of choice.

WSL Updated in Creators Update

The recent Creators Update for Windows 10 introduced some new features to WSL, which will also make their way to Windows Server 2016. The Anniversary Update supports Ubuntu 14.04, while the Creators Update supports version 16.04. If you upgraded from the Anniversary Update to the Creators Update, you will need to manually update your Ubuntu instance.

Microsoft claims that most mainstream developer tools now work as expected, including core tools, languages, platforms like Ruby and Python, and services like sshd and Apache. Additionally, the Creators Update adds support for launching Windows apps and tools from Bash.