Launch Visual Studio from Bash on Windows

Since I’m starting to use Bash on Windows (WSL) more regularly, I added a quick way to launch Visual Studio 2017.

  1. Edit .bashrc and add the VS path (I’m obviously using Enterprise so your path may be different):  export PATH=$PATH:”/mnt/c/Program Files (x86)/Microsoft Visual Studio/2017/Enterprise/Common7/IDE”
  2. I chose to add an alias, so I also added this to my .bashrc:  alias vs2017=devenv.exe
  3. Reload your shell:  . /.bashrc

Now I can quickly pop open Visual Studio by using “vs2017”. For example, to open an existing solution I can navigate to the folder containing the .sln and simply type “vs2017 mysolutionfile.sln” at my bash prompt and VS2017 will fire up with that project loaded.

Here’s my .bashrc if you want to see the full file.

5 thoughts on “Launch Visual Studio from Bash on Windows”

  1. shane says:

    I’ve added this to my .bashrc file and changed the directory to be the same as my directory. restarted bash. then when I attempt to run ‘vs2017’ bash just says it doesnt recognise the command.. when wanting to open a file do you go to the directory and literllay just enter “vs2017 MySolutionhere.sln”? thats what I’m attemptuing to do currently

    1. Ryan McIntyre says:

      Yeah, that’s how it works. Taking the alias out of the equation, see if you can run devenv.exe MySolutionhere.sln. That will tell you if the path is set up right.

  2. Kyle Van Bergen says:

    Is there a way to have it return control back to the terminal after it launches Visual Studio?

    1. Ryan McIntyre says:

      Add an ampersand (&) at the end. So “vs2017 &” will launch Visual Studio and return back in the terminal.

  3. Chris Ondrovic says:

    Thanks this was helpful I setup an alias like this

    alias ~vs=’devenv.exe $(find -type f -iname “*sln”) &’

    Just have to be in the root of my source control

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.