How To Get Started With Bash Wsl


Getting started with Bash on Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) can be an exciting journey into the world of command line and open-source development. As a tech enthusiast, I’ve found that incorporating the bash shell into my workflow has greatly improved my productivity and workflow. In this article, I’ll guide you through the steps to get started with Bash on WSL, and share some personal tips along the way.

What is Bash on WSL?

Bash on Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is a compatibility layer designed by Microsoft to run Linux binary executables natively on Windows 10. It allows developers to run various Linux tools and utilities directly on Windows without the need for a virtual machine or dual-boot setup.

Setting Up WSL

First, make sure you have Windows Subsystem for Linux enabled on your Windows 10 machine. You can enable WSL by following the official Microsoft documentation here.

Once WSL is enabled, you can install your preferred Linux distribution from the Microsoft Store. I recommend using Ubuntu as it is well-supported and beginner-friendly. After installation, launch the distribution and create a new user account and password as prompted.

Exploring the Bash Environment

After setting up WSL, you can launch the bash shell from the Start menu or use the command line by typing wsl. This will open a bash terminal where you can run various Linux commands and install packages using apt.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with basic bash commands and Linux file system structure. As a beginner, you can start by exploring commands like ls, cd, and mkdir to navigate through directories and create new ones.

Integrating with Visual Studio Code

As a developer, I find it extremely useful to integrate WSL with Visual Studio Code. This allows you to seamlessly develop and run code in a Linux environment while using Windows as your host OS. To integrate WSL with Visual Studio Code, simply install the “Remote – WSL” extension and follow the setup instructions.

Personal Tips and Best Practices

  • Make use of tab completion to speed up your command line workflow.
  • Utilize aliases for frequently used commands to save time and keystrokes.
  • Keep your WSL environment up to date by running sudo apt update and sudo apt upgrade regularly.


Getting started with Bash on WSL can open up a world of possibilities for developers and enthusiasts. By leveraging the power of the bash shell within a familiar Windows environment, you can enhance your productivity and broaden your skill set. I encourage you to explore WSL, experiment with different Linux tools, and customize your environment to suit your needs.