With the goal of making more developers use Windows, and to help them move their workflows over to Windows, Microsoft has taken the step to enable Bash scripting natively in Windows 10. This will be a new subsystem, and not an emulation layer, with full access to native Windows functions such as the file system and APIs.

Microsoft partnered with Canonical to provide an Ubuntu based subsystem into Windows. In the keynote, Microsoft spoke about how they have had lots of feedback regarding their Hosted Web App bridge which lets developers take web apps and provide them through the Windows Store as pseudo-native apps. The Web Apps can have access to the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) APIs for things like Live Tiles and Cortana integration, but without a lot of the overhead of re-writing into a native app. But the feedback was that a lot of the development tools they use require Bash scripting making it difficult to do the development on Windows, hindering Web App adoption.

Adding the Ubuntu subsystem into Windows is an interesting solution to this problem. Linux does a lot of things much differently than Windows, including having a case sensitive file system, among other things, so certainly some work would have been done on the back end to enable this in Windows.

This, like many of Microsoft’s announcements over the last year or more, have been about making it easier for devs to work on Windows, and expanding the install base of targeted applications with bridges and Xamarin.

I hope to have some more info on the Bash announcement in the next couple of days.

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  • aryonoco - Thursday, March 31, 2016 - link

    POSIX subsystem only provided source compatibility with Unix (and like all other versions of Unix, had its own peculiarities which meade porting software very difficult to it).

    This is binary compatibility, translating Linux kernel syscalls to to the NT kernel. Very different kettle of fish.

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