First impressions of Bash on Windows 10

This past weekend I had a chance to mess around with the new Bash functionality that is available on Windows 10. Although I typically use a Macbook Pro for all of my development needs, I was curious to see how running Ubuntu on Windows would compare.

I decided to use my personal website, which is built using Hugo, as a test case. Here’s what I found.

The Good

  • Able to run Hugo on Ubuntu/Windows 10!
  • Able to use apt-get to install most of what I needed
  • Seems much less memory intensive than running a separate Virtual Machine with Ubuntu

The Bad

  • The Hugo file watcher does not seem to work (e.g. hugo server --watch=true).
  • New .md files created within Sublime Text were not initially recognized. I had to manually create new posts from the command line using hugo new post.
  • The Linux subsystem is mounted to a relatively obscure directory path: C:\Users\Jim\AppData\Local\lxss. This can make navigating to these files a bit cumbersome.

UPDATE: It seems like I had been using an incorrect workflow. Now I store my website code in C:\Code. I am then able to navigate to /mnt/c/Code/… in the Bash shell and run my usual hugo server --watch=true command. The live refresh is now working!

All in all I like the fact that I can use Bash on Windows now. Although the Macbook Pro is still my favourite development machine (for the foreseeable future), it seems like Satya Nadella is taking Microsoft in the right direction!

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