How To Install BASH on Windows 10

The latest version of Windows 10 now allows you to run the Linux command line. As a Linux user entering the Windows world you can use commands you are more familiar with to navigate around the file system, create folders, move files and edit them using Nano.

The setup of the Linux shell isn't as straightforward as going to the command prompt.

This guide will show you how to install and start using BASH within Windows 10.

01
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Check Your System Version

Check Your Windows Version
Check Your Windows Version.

In order to run BASH on Windows 10, your computer needs to be running a 64-bit version of Windows with a version number no lower than 14393.

To find out whether you are running the right version enter "about your pc" into the search bar. Click on the icon when it appears.

Look for the OS Version setting. If it is lower than 14393 you will need to run an update as listed in the next step otherwise you can skip to step 4.

Now look for the system typesetting and make sure it says 64-bit.

02
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Get The Anniversary Edition Of Windows 10

Get The Anniversary Update
Get The Anniversary Update.

If your version of Windows is already 14393 you can skip this step. 

Open up your web browser and navigate to the following address:

 https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/12387/windows-10-update-history

Click on the "Get Update Now" option.

The Windows update tool will now download.

03
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Install The Update

Windows Updates
Windows Updates.

When you run the update a window will appear telling you that your computer will be updated and a progress counter will appear in the top left corner of the screen.

All you have to do is wait patiently as the update installs. Your machine will reboot during the process numerous times.

It is quite a lengthy process which can take more than an hour. 

04
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Turn On Windows 10 Developer Mode

Turn On Developer Mode
Turn On Developer Mode.

In order to run the Linux shell, you need to turn on developer mode as the Linux shell is considered a developer function.

To turn on the shell type "Settings" into the search bar and click on the icon when it appears.

Now choose the "Update & Security" option.

In the screen that appears click on the "For Developers" option which appears on the left side of the screen.

A list of radio buttons will appear as follows:

  • Window store apps
  • Sideload apps
  • Developer mode

Click on the "Developer mode" option.

A warning will appear stating that by turning on developer mode you could put your system security at risk.

If you are willing to continue, click "Yes."

05
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Turn On Windows SubSystem For Linux

Turn On Windows Subsystem For Linux
Turn On Windows Subsystem For Linux.

In the search bar type "Turn Windows Features." An icon will appear for "Turn Windows Features On Or Off".

Scroll down until you see the option "Windows SubSystem For Linux (Beta)".

Place a check in the box and click OK.

Note that this is still considered a beta option which means that it is still in a development stage and not considered ready for production use.

Google's Gmail was in a state of Beta for many years so don't let this bother you too much.

You will probably be asked to reboot your computer at this point.

06
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Enable Linux And Install Bash

Enable Linux And Install Shell
Enable Linux And Install Shell.

You now need to enable Linux using Powershell. To do this enter "powershell" into the search bar.

When the option for Windows Powershell appears right click on the item and choose "Run as administrator".

The Powershell window will now open.

Enter the following command all on one line:

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux

If the command is successful you will see a prompt as follows:

PS C:\Windows\System32>

Enter the following command:

bash

A message will appear stating that Ubuntu on Windows will be installed.

Press "y" to download and install the software.

You will be asked to create a new user.

Enter a username and then enter and repeat a password to be associated with that username.

You have now installed a version of Ubuntu on your machine that is able to communicate with the Windows file structure.

To run bash at any point either open a command prompt by right-clicking on the start menu and choosing "Command Prompt" or open Powershell. Enter "bash" at the command prompt.

You can also search for bash in the search bar and run the desktop app.

Summary

What actually happens here is that you get a core version of Ubuntu installed on your system without any graphical desktops or X subsystem.