Bash on Windows Productivity Talk

The bi-annual Denver Dev Day was last week and I had the opportunity to present a topic titled “Using Bash on Windows to Increase your Productivity” to an awesome room of fellow techies. The idea for the session came from my increasing use of Bash and Linux, specifically Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), and I thought this talk might not only help others learn a few new tools or tricks but also help me learn what others are doing. I was right on both accounts! If you were there, thanks for coming and I hope it was worth your time investment. If you weren’t there, the session abstract and slides are below. Although, the majority of the time was in Bash showing different scenarios and trying different things folks threw out at me, which was fun! Here’s a sampling of what I showed:

  • Edit Windows files, with mnt and alias
  • Built in VS Code support
    • Launch project from bash
    • Integrated shell
  • Run any Win exe
    • Echo $PATH to show what was included and my modifications
    • Launching Visual Studio 2017
    • Docker tools
    • K8s / minikube
      • Running minikube start requires window to have administrator rights, so we discussed differences between Windows and Linux users/permissions
  • Run bash from CMD
    • dir | bash “grep Desk“
    • bash -c “ls -lh” | findstr Desk
  • Azure
    • Multi-window/multi-account (I use a separate Linux user for each Azure subscription)
      • Az account show | jq .name
    • Multi-pane with Help
  • Dotfiles (My work-in-progress dotfiles)
    • Github for environment consistency & rebuild
  • Shell in Azure

Session Abstract:

Did you know Windows 10 can run Bash on Linux?? While it may seem weird seeing those words together, that’s no reason to shy away and not consider how this new capability can be leveraged to increase your day to day productivity. Think about all the Linux features, code samples, tutorials and tools that are out in the world. Now think about all the Windows counterparts. Bash on Windows gives us the option to use all of it on a single operating system and I’ll show you how!

This session will show you how to get up and running and then we’ll spend some time looking at specific development scenarios and why you would want to use Bash. If development isn’t your focus, we’ll also look at some DevOps scenarios targeting Azure. Finally, I’ll show you some of my favorite tools, tips and tricks along the way that can help you leave the room with knowledge you can immediately put to good use.

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