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New Windows 10 Preview For PCs With Bash, Cross-Device Cortana Released 160

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has released a new Windows 10 preview for PCs. The preview, dubbed build 14316, comes with a range of features including support for Bash, which Microsoft had announced at its developer conference Build last week. Users interested in it can enable the feature by turning on Developer Mode (detailed instructions here), searching for "Windows Features," choosing "Turn Windows features on or off," and enable Windows Subsystem for Linux (Beta). To get Bash installed, open Command Prompt and type in "bash" (without the quotes.) Other features included in the new build include low battery notification, find my phone (ring my phone), and the ability to share map directions across devices. Additionally, the company has also released a new universal Skype app.
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New Windows 10 Preview For PCs With Bash, Cross-Device Cortana Released

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  • by nyet ( 19118 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2016 @04:12PM (#51855637) Homepage

    Only took 15 years to get tcp/ip into windows.

    Makes sense it took another 15 to get it a reasonable shell.

    • It still won't let me run a DOS program.
    • What about PowerShell?

      That was pretty reasonable.

      • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2016 @04:36PM (#51855831) Journal

        PowerShell ain't Bash. It's like Bash's insane first cousin, the one who keeps his urine in the fridge and has a name for all the spiders in his attic.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          and has a name for all the spiders in his attic.

          You leave Peter Parker alone!

        • Good one. You get an imaginary mod point.
        • PowerShell ain't Bash. It's like Bash's insane first cousin, the one who keeps his urine in the fridge and has a name for all the spiders in his attic.

          Hell, I was all ready to mod that insightful. I mean, yeah it's funny, but after trying out PowerShell, the only thing you are guilty of is going easy on it.

        • Actually, that would be ALGOL []


      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Junta ( 36770 )

        For some twisted version of reasonable....

        For one, it tends on being very verbose.

        For another, there is a very large amount of *nix ecosystem work in utilities that Powershell hasn't caught up to. Thanks to not invented here.

        It's hard to put to words, but a lot of the same syntax things that make perl frequently hard to maintain is present in Powershell.

        It's awkwardly in between the simplicity of a shell language and the power of other scripting languages. For example, most sophisticated languages have sy

        • It tends to be very verbose, but on Windows this is still considered taciturn.

        • I have recently read a powershell book. Sure, it's verbose, but how it manages piping through commands is a lot more advanced and cleaner that what you can get in bash. Sed/awk/grep looks like a hack once you have seen what powershell can do

          • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

            ...that's because Powershell is more of an environment for Windows C programmers, whereas bash is just a user's interface.

            • C# programmers, more obviously. Powershell is basically the runtime for .NETscript, which happens to also be usable as an interactive shell.

              I actually quite like using it interactively, provided I also get Win10's upgraded console host (nothing can justify the shit-pile that is the legacy console host). The commands *can* be verbose, but tab completion handles that pretty well. You can also shorten parameters to the minimum length necessary to avoid ambiguity, which often amounts to single-letters a la *nix

          • by Junta ( 36770 )

            This is strictly true, but it also adds complexity and requires understanding beyond bash and such. For example, the output of a command may offer different stuff through pipe than you see. You have to pipe into a command to dump *all* of the data before you can think of what you can access. There's fancy polymorphic behavior in play that makes it not 'what you see is what you get'. For a software developer sort of person, the power afforded by this model is appreciated. Those same developers could how

      • PowerShell? You mean the scripting language which is useless because by default Windows can't even run unsigned scripts?
        No thanks, I will stick to .cmd

        • You can run unsigned scripts by default, they just cannot be remote scripts (such as on a shared drive) or a file that a browser has marked as downloaded from the internet (via NTFS file stream).

          Although using something like SCCM 2012 I could not run even signed scripts in it because SCCM put spaces at the end of the script when it saved, rendering the signature invalid. Hope that bug is fixed now.

          • no matter what the exact conditions are, it's a limitation not present in bash or cmd.exe

            • by Junta ( 36770 )

              Made even more hilarious because a cmd script can disable the signing policy. I have seen quite a few powershell scripts bundled with a cmd script to wrangle the signing policy before launching the powershell script.

              In otherwords, pretty useless in the face of an adversary, but a pain for legitimate use.

      • by creimer ( 824291 )

        What about PowerShell?

        The story I heard was that PowerShell got written because Microsoft paid for new lines of code and not for refactoring old lines of code like CMD.EXE (command line). Hence, you got two command line utilities. BASH will make it three.

      • by Burdell ( 228580 )

        It is reasonable, if rather than using easy-to-type commands such as "ls" or "dir", you like "ListDirectoryEntriesInOrderOfName".

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by swb ( 14022 )

        What I don't understand is why they didn't provide an updated console mode/app/window with PowerShell and why they just threw it into the same dumb console that they had been throwing cmd.exe into.

        I'm also curious why they didn't borrow more heavily from Unix. There are some things in PowerShell that are really awkward to do that are trivial in a Unix shell.

        I'm sure there's some valid reasons but a lot of it simply seems like not invented here syndrome. I'm really annoyed with the default console window b

        • by CrashNBrn ( 1143981 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2016 @07:18PM (#51856857)
          Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE):
          ---> C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell_ise.exe

          Or you can launch PowerShell via the console:
          ---> C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe
        • Win10 *DOES* have an upgraded terminal emulator. It's still called conhost.exe ("Console Host"), but it is wayyyyyy better than the legacy one. Horizontal resize (with text reflow), line selection instead of block selection, copy-and-paste that doesn't suck, better keyboard shortcuts, and so on. It's a huge improvement. It doesn't support a tabbed interface (yet... they're still adding stuff to Win10 though) but it's a night-and-day difference nonetheless, and a decent alternative to the standard Linux cons

          • by Retron ( 577778 )

            The Redstone builds of Windows 10 (14295 onwards) have added ANSI emulation too - only 30-odd years after DOS brought us ansi.sys.

            • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

              The Redstone builds of Windows 10 (14295 onwards) have added ANSI emulation too - only 30-odd years after DOS brought us ansi.sys.

              That actually was the precursor to the whole Linux subsystem being brought over - otherwise things that use ncurses or terminfo would break horribly since the old conhost.exe didn't support it. Native Win32 console applications could control the cursor and get mouse events, but not Linux command line applications, at least not without some shim Microsoft writes to replace ncurses

      • Powershell was very unreasonable in security terms. It relied on accessing, and locally mounting, with Administrative privileges, the hidden C$ from every powershell controlled host from every client running the powershell remote commands. That share is very dangerous to permit such direct CIFS mount access with, and is very difficult to disable without blocking the CIFS ports at your local firewalls. It''s a very powerful, but extremely dangerous tool to leave active by default. But turning off the C$ shar

    • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2016 @04:32PM (#51855803) Homepage Journal

      Pedantic note:

      No it didn't. Even if you count from Windows 1.0, and start counting from 1983 despite it not really being available to the public until 1985, that'd be 12 years until Windows 95, or 11 until Wolverine (the official Microsoft Windows for Workgroups extension.)

      But in practice there wasn't really a high demand for TCP/IP until well after 1990.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Before Windows 95, there was Trumpet Winsock [] that was available 1993. When the first ISP's like Demon Internet allowed USENET access, DOS 3/4 systems could install a basic TCP/IP network stack that allowed basic internet functionality (ftp, gopher, mail). Given the slow speed of dial-up modems, reading USENET involved downloading the article headers, then picking which articles and threads to download completely.

      • There was higher professional demand. However they seemed to think that Novell was good enough and helped lock customers to their platform, whereas a more open standard like IP was only going to encourage customers to go elsewhere. Microsoft isat heart a microcomputer company from the eight bit world and they are reluctant to be tainted by good ideas that originate from outside of the microcomputer world.

      • Aye, I was running DOS until Windows 98. With DOS-PPP or DOS-SLIP (to dialup), plus NCSA Telnet. I don't recall what the email program was.
        I think I had to use a TSR to execute DOS-SLIP.
    • by DrXym ( 126579 )
      Microsoft used to ship something called Services for Unix which was a posix subsystem and came with a bunch of Unix tools, NFS etc. It didn't have bash iirc but it had ksh and csh. That said, Services for Unix was pretty awful. The tools were cobbled together and it was far more intrusive and destabilizing to the system - if you didn't need NFS it would be better to just install cygwin.
      • Services for Uinx was nice in it allowed me to connect to NFS shares and allowed for ls in cmd sessions.
      • by dbIII ( 701233 )
        Hummingbird had a far better product for MS Windows many years earlier and it was still available when "Services for Unix" came out. It wasn't just X it was NFS as well. It was not cheap but it actually worked (so long as you had your screen in 8 bit mode using X but that was the only bit that cared).
    • by Anonymous Coward

      don't get used to it. microsoft will remove the feature soon as someone makes something useful (i.e. something microsoft doesn't want)....

      like a script that re-enables full end-user control over windows updates,
      or allows the installation of parts of 'cumulative' (one kb containing multiple others) updates,
      or prevents all methods of telemetry gathering and transmission,
      or puts the search slut cortana in her place,
      or prevents hijacking of default applications settings...

    • It's also ironic that in their effort to get TCP/IP they couldn't write their own and had to take the BSD version and integrate it into windows. There's a BSD copyright notice in Windows to this day because of that.

    • The gnu32 utils have been around for forever, has/had bash as well as many of the textutils and fileutils

    • If you're counting from 1995, when Cygwin was first released, it took Microsoft only 4 years to get native Unix shells on Windows (and that's counting from when Microsoft made them available itself, not from when a third party offered them on top of the NT kernel's POSIX subsystem). []

      For many years, Windows (NT family only) had a POSIX-compatible subsystem built into it. Like the Win32 subsystem, this "Subsystem for Unix Applications" (SUA) took POSIX system calls and transla

  • Typical Microsoft (Score:3, Informative)

    by U2xhc2hkb3QgU3Vja3M ( 4212163 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2016 @04:18PM (#51855689)

    Users interested in it can enable the feature by turning on Developer Mode (Settings - Update - Security - For developers)

    Let me get this straight: to enable Developer Mode, you need to go into settings (okay), update (wait, what?), security (why?), for developers (could be named a bit better IMHO).

    No wonder I always feel lost when I use Microsoft products. They can't even make a proper navigation tree.

    • by rayd75 ( 258138 )

      No wonder I always feel lost when I use Microsoft products. They can't even make a proper navigation tree.

      If they didn't put the options in a different place and a layer deeper with each release, you wouldn't feel like you got any value when you're finally forced to upgrade.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As apposed to Androids completely intuitive:

      Settings->About Device->Click on the build number 10 times->Go back to Settings->Click the now visible Developer Options->Enable Developer Options

    • Yup. In Outlook, in order to export data, you first go to "Open" then "Import".

      Gotta love window navigation!
    • They're worried that a mere customer might be able to type "bash" by accident and end up enlightened. Microsoft's core bread and butter comes from unenlightened customers.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      it is: Settings -> Update & security -> For developers. So a little bit better in reality :)

    • by Enokcc ( 1500439 )

      Users interested in it can enable the feature by turning on Developer Mode (Settings - Update - Security - For developers)

      Let me get this straight: to enable Developer Mode, you need to go into settings (okay), update (wait, what?), security (why?), for developers (could be named a bit better IMHO).

      No wonder I always feel lost when I use Microsoft products. They can't even make a proper navigation tree.

      Or you press the windows key on start writing "For devel.." and there you are.

      Same with Office 2016, no longer need to browse the menus, just type what you want. I really like the direction Microsoft is going with Bash and all.

    • Android is much better for that. To find developer mode you just open up Settings > About > Click on the phone version number 7 times, and magic happens. Suddenly you get an exposed hidden menu.

      But Linux is best of all. You get all the developer options whether you want them or not, buried in a list of 100 other settings.

    • If it makes you feel any better, they'll probably change it all around again tomorrow. It won't actually be improved but you can rest assured it will take more clicks to get their than the last version.

    • Where would you put the setting to enable developer mode updates?

      At the root of it, this is an update, you have to update Windows from Windows Update to enable it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 06, 2016 @04:21PM (#51855715)

    Shouldn't that be Linux Subsystem for Windows?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Ah... the problem with English. It's a subsystem of Windows for the Linux ABI. It's a Linux-ABI subsystem for the Windows NT kernel. ..

      Although.. you're right. If they followed the traditional naming of subsystems, it should actually be called "Linux Environment Subsystem", or possibly "Linux Environment Subsystem for Windows NT"

      (Technically, it's a NT Subsystem, not a Windows subsystem. Win32, aka, Win32 Environment Subsystem, is a subsystem on top of the NT Kernel; but few people notice the differenc

      • by Guspaz ( 556486 )

        "Windows Services for UNIX" was introduced 17 years ago, so "Windows Subsystem for Linux" is at least consistent with their prior naming for such things.

  • clippy (Score:3, Funny)

    by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2016 @04:23PM (#51855729)

    It seems like you are ssh to a server should I save the password for you?

    • Re:clippy (Score:5, Funny)

      by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2016 @06:31PM (#51856629)

      That was windows 98 era stupid. We have progressed since then.

      It seems like you are trying to ssh to a server, should I share the password with everyone in your contacts?

      Yes always / Yes right now / Cancel connection

      However if you go into Settings -> Advanced -> Personalization -> Sharing -> Extra Settings -> SSH Options there is a check box that says "Disable SSH Passwords" that will add a "No" box to the other dialog box.

      There is also a group policy that makes No the default and turns off the prompt.

      RTFM n00b!

  • Linux binary compatibility? So wait, this means I should be able to take a random simple binary without a lot of dependencies, scp it (yay) to my Windows box and run it?
    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      Yup. You should even have aptitude on your Windows box. You can apt-get install foo and run with it. I don't know how far they've come and I'm not going to go install Windows to find out but it's kind of amazing, isn't it? If I understand, it's getting the Ubuntu mini and you get that for starters. I almost want to install Windows in a VM to check it out but I'm afraid the recursion would collapse the universe or rip a whole in the time/space continuum.

      I'm thinking, install Windows in a VM... Install Wine..

  • It's pretty much a port of the console based user space from Ubuntu, which will make a lot of developers happy (more options good). But, given how it works, you can't use bash to script windows commands (like you could in Cygwin/MSYS2). Nor can you expect to run some unix commands from the console either. On the other hand, the whole apt toolkit is at your hands, so you can install a ton of software and not wait for a Cygwin port.

    I'm sure I'll get labeled as a shill (I'm not, it'd be nice, I could use the e

    • There's likely no way they'll have the subsystem able to host X (or Wayland or Mir), it's not worth the effort.

      No need. The common UI toolkits for Linux (Qt, GTK+) work on Windows already.

      apt-get install gimp

      GIMP calls through to GTK+, which detects it's running on Windows and specifies a Win32 backend. Thanks to dynamic linking, the original GIMP binary for Linux doesn't need to know or care.

    • but this is a major boost to Windows 10 as a developer OS.

      Perhaps temporarily. We have no reason to doubt that Microsoft has repented of its Embrace, Extend, Extinguish strategy.

      • but this is a major boost to Windows 10 as a developer OS.

        Perhaps temporarily. We have no reason to doubt that Microsoft has repented of its Embrace, Extend, Extinguish strategy.

        Or to say it differently: the leaders of Microsoft are bad people. They are as a group selfish, anti-social, and willing to break the law and steel from the public for their own personal gain. They are not worthy of any trust or benefit of doubt.

    • Actually it's apparently not a port. You could copy a regular ELF binary from your Linux system and it would run just fine. The kernel is actually implementing the Linux syscalls, more or less. IIUC it's a peer to Windows in the NT kernel.

      This isn't the first time people have done this. The old Services for Unix implemented a lot of the primitives like fork() but still required recompilation. People bolted on an ELF loader and dynamic linker to that and were able to get stuff working.

  • Seriously -- due to some bug, my "start" button disappeared from Windows 10 after a few months use. Looking online, I see this is a common problem, and none of the suggested fixes worked. The only alternative was to "nuke" my Windows installation or install Classic Shell. Now using Classic Shell...
    • by sr180 ( 700526 )

      Even better was that if you had more than 512 entries in your start menu (which isnt hard, because that includes folders, readme's, uninstalls, utils, etc etc) most of your applications would not be displayed in your start menu.
      So you'd have a start menu, it would just be useless.

    • You more likely could have rebuilt the windows system image in Powershell using some obscure dism command. I've done it once or twice for people, but I can't even begin to remember how to Google the solution.

  • Microsoft Linux (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kaenneth ( 82978 ) on Wednesday April 06, 2016 @09:00PM (#51857309) Homepage Journal

    I've said many times, Linux can't 'beat' MS, because MS can always do MS Linux.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Not true. Its the opposite. MS can't beat Linux because Linux can survive without $$$. MS can't. EEE doesn't work on Linux. MS will extinguish itself if it drove the $$$ down.

      If MS open sourced all their software to try to beat Linux. The first that would happen is someone will fork MS programs remove all the crud and bs and release a superior version .. or at the very least the best bits of MS will be ripped out and integrated into Linux proper. MS Linux would be a win for Linux because it would bring more

      • by Guspaz ( 556486 )

        Windows only makes up 10% of Microsoft's revenue, and that's dropping. They literally gave away Windows 10 for free. They can survive just fine without any OS revenue.

  • Instead of just calling it a "Preview", will someone at Microsoft please clarify whether Windows 10 is an Alpha or Beta test product?
  • So now it is okay to do Windows bashing?

  • --News article reporting a new Web-based viral exploit for the Win10 "bash" shell in 5..4..3..

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