Bash on Ubuntu On Windows (First Impressions)

Last week I installed the most recent Windows Insider Preview Build (Instructions Linked)  in order to try out the recent new feature for Windows 10. Bash on Ubuntu on Windows is a native Ubuntu installation which lives alongside Windows 10, albeit sandboxed in its own file system. More details can be found here but the long story short is that it works as advertised. After getting the Windows Insider update, bash can be found from the start menu. Clicking on the familiar orange circle opens a black terminal similar to the standard ubuntu window. From there the user has access to commands like ls, find, top, and most importantly, apt-get. I took a bit to customize my setup and play with bash, and so far I have been really impressed, despite the growing fear that microsoft plans to embrace, expand, and exterminate ubuntu. Unfortunately though, their choice of name is clunky and contains 100% more prepositions than necessary. (For some reason, this fits the Microsoft ethos in my mind...)




What's Good:


My main ambition when installing bash ON Ubuntu ON Windows was to use VIM along with my linux based plugins on Windows 10. It took a while, but I found that powerline fonts can be enabled, as long as you are okay changing the default bash font. I also found that my Windows file systems can be found on /mnt/. This means that I can happily use VIM to edit files on my Windows OS exactly like I wanted to.


What's Bad:

So far the only issues I've noticed so far have been due to screen refreshes. For example, if you resize the window, it is likely the active buffer will disappear for 1-100 keystrokes and frantic presses of the enter key. Similarly, VIM can grow when the view pane grows, but refuses to shrink. Other than glitches, I am confounded why Microsoft insisted on using such an antiquated terminal to run Bash in. As far as I'm aware, they took the oldest version of the cmd prompt they could find on their floppy archive and loaded it up. I wish I could use MinGW  or even their new powershell terminal instead (did I just write that?). Instead, users of Bash on Ubuntu on Windows on Toast can't even select text, copy, or paste yet. Of course, the current version of Bash on Ubuntu on Windows on Toast  à la Mode is in BETA and I am certain that these usability concerns will be cleared up in future updates.