How to Install Bash on Windows 10

Use the Linux command line in Windows

What to Know

  • Developer Mode: Right-click Start menu > select Settings > Update & Security > For developers.
  • Next: Select Developer mode > Yes > enable Windows Subsystem For Linux > restart.
  • Use bash: Right-click Start menu > select Windows PowerShell (Admin) > type "bash" > press Enter.

This article explains how to install and setup bash to use Linux commands on the 64-bit version of Windows 10.

Bash in the Linux subsystem for Windows
okubax / Flickr

How to Turn on Windows Developer Mode

To enable developer functions for Windows:

  1. Right-click the Start menu and select Settings.

    Windows Settings
  2. Select Update & Security.

    Update and security
  3. Select For developers on the left side.

    For developers
  4. Select Developer mode.

    Activate developer mode
  5. Select Yes to confirm, then wait for the developer package to install.

    Select Yes to turn on developer mode
  6. Type Windows Features in the desktop search bar and select Turn Windows Features On Or Off.

    Type Windows Features in the desktop search bar and select Turn Windows Features On Or Off.
  7. Check the box beside Windows Subsystem For Linux and select OK.

    activate wsl
  8. Select Restart now in the dialog box to reboot your computer to apply the changes.

    Select Restart now to reboot your computer.

How to Use Bash in Windows

After your computer reboots, you're ready to set up bash for Windows:

  1. Go to the Microsoft Store and select the Linux distribution of your choice. Install it then launch it.

  2. Wait for the distribution to finish installing, then create a username in the command window and press Enter. During the first-run process, you'll have to engage in some basic configuration, depending on the distribution. Often, you must specify a username and password.

  3. After the installation is successful, close the window and right-click the Start menu, then select Windows PowerShell (Admin).

    powershell with admin rights

    You may be prompted to enter your Windows administrator password.

  4. Type bash in the terminal window and press Enter.

    Type bash in the terminal window and press Enter.

You now have a core version of Ubuntu installed on your system without any graphical desktops or subsystem. Therefore, you can now use Linux commands to communicate with the Windows file structure. Anytime you want to run the Linux command line, open the PowerShell or the command prompt and enter bash.

What You Need to Install Bash on Windows

To run bash, your computer needs to be running a 64-bit version of Windows with a version number no lower than 14393, so update Windows 10 to the latest version before you begin. In order to run the Linux shell, you need to turn on Windows developer mode and enable the Linux subsystem.

Was this page helpful?