Windows binaries can now be invoked directly from the WSL command line

windows 10

Last night, Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14951 for PC to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring. It comes with several new features and bug fixes, you can read about it here. This update also includes two large updates to Windows Subsystem for Linux. First, they have added support for Ubuntu 16.04. Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial) is installed for all new Bash on Ubuntu on Windows instances starting in build 14951 replacing Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty). Second, users can now launch Windows binaries directly from a WSL command prompt.

Find the full change log below.

New Feature: Windows / Ubuntu Interoperability:

Windows binaries can now be invoked directly from the WSL command line. This gives users the ability to interact with their Windows environment and system in a way that has not been possible. As a quick example, it is now possible for users to run the following commands:


$ export PATH=$PATH:/mnt/c/Windows/System32

$ notepad.exe

$ ipconfig.exe | grep IPv4 | cut -d: -f2

$ ls -la | findstr.exe foo.txt

$ cmd.exe /c dir



  • Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial) is now installed for all new WSL instances. Users with existing 14.04 (Trusty) instances will not be automatically upgraded.
  • Locale set during install is now displayed
  • Terminal improvements including bug where redirecting a WSL process to a file does not always work
  • Console lifetime should be tied to bash.exe lifetime
  • Console window size should use visible size, not buffer size
  • Additional bugfixes and improvements