How to Run .sh or Shell Script Files in Windows 10 Using WSL

Explanation of .sh or Shell Script file A Shell Script file (.sh) is a type of script file used in Unix-based operating systems to automate tasks, perform system administration tasks and run commands on a terminal. It is essentially a text file containing a series of commands that can be executed in sequence.

Purpose of the outline The purpose of this outline is to provide instructions on how to run .sh or Shell Script files in Windows 10, which is not a Unix-based operating system. This can be useful for users who need to run Unix commands or scripts on their Windows machines.

Brief overview of the steps The outline will cover the following steps:

  1. Install Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)
  2. Create a Shell Script File
  3. Running the Shell Script File
  4. Troubleshooting any issues that may arise.

Install Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

A. Explanation of WSL Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is a feature in Windows 10 that allows users to run Linux distributions natively on Windows 10. This means that users can access the Linux command-line tools and utilities without having to install a separate virtual machine or dual boot system.

B. Instructions to enable WSL in Windows 10 To enable WSL in Windows 10, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Start menu and search for “Turn Windows features on or off” and select it.
  2. Scroll down to “Windows Subsystem for Linux” and check the box.
  3. Click OK and restart your computer when prompted.

C. Steps to install Ubuntu or any other Linux distribution from Microsoft Store To install Ubuntu or any other Linux distribution from Microsoft Store, follow these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Store.
  2. Search for the Linux distribution you want to install (e.g., Ubuntu).
  3. Click on the distribution to see more details.
  4. Click the “Get” or “Install” button to download and install the distribution.
  5. Once the installation is complete, click the “Launch” button to start the Linux distribution.

Create a Shell Script File

A. Explanation of creating a .sh file To create a .sh or Shell Script file, you will need a text editor such as Notepad or Visual Studio Code. The file should contain a series of commands that can be executed in sequence in a Unix-based terminal.

B. Instructions to create a .sh file using a text editor To create a .sh file using a text editor, follow these steps:

  1. Open your text editor (e.g., Notepad or Visual Studio Code).
  2. Write your script or series of commands in the text editor.
  3. Save the file with a .sh extension (e.g.,
  4. Make sure to select “All Files” as the file type when saving.

C. Example of a basic .sh file Here is an example of a basic .sh file that prints “Hello World!” to the terminal:

echo "Hello World!"

The first line #!/bin/bash specifies the interpreter to use, which is bash in this case. The second line echo "Hello World!" is the command that will be executed in the terminal when the script is run.

Running the Shell Script File

A. Explanation of how to run a .sh file To run a .sh file, you need to execute it in a Unix-based terminal. In Windows 10, you can use the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) to run the file.

B. Steps to run a .sh file in WSL To run a .sh file in WSL, follow these steps:

  1. Open the WSL terminal (e.g., Ubuntu).
  2. Navigate to the directory where the .sh file is located using the cd command.
  3. Make the file executable by running the command chmod +x
  4. Run the script by typing ./ in the terminal.
  5. If the script runs without errors, the output will be displayed in the terminal.

C. Example of running a .sh file Assuming we have a .sh file named “” in the home directory that prints “Hello World!”, we can run it in the WSL terminal by following these steps:

  1. Open the WSL terminal.
  2. Type cd ~ to navigate to the home directory.
  3. Type chmod +x to make the file executable.
  4. Type ./ to run the script.
  5. The output “Hello World!” will be displayed in the terminal.


A. Common issues while running a .sh file Some common issues that may arise while running a .sh file include:

  • File permission issues: The file may not have the proper permissions to be executed.
  • Syntax errors: The script may contain syntax errors that prevent it from running properly.
  • File path issues: The script may not be in the correct directory or may have an incorrect file path.

B. Troubleshooting steps To troubleshoot these issues, follow these steps:

  • File permission issues: Use the chmod command to ensure the file has the correct permissions. For example, chmod +x will make the file executable.
  • Syntax errors: Review the script to check for syntax errors. You can use a tool such as ShellCheck to help identify syntax errors.
  • File path issues: Ensure that the script is located in the correct directory and that the file path is correct.

C. Additional resources


Recap of the outline This outline covered the steps to run a .sh or Shell Script file in Windows 10 using the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). The outline included instructions to install WSL, create a .sh file, and run the file in WSL. Additionally, troubleshooting steps were provided for common issues that may arise while running a .sh file.

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Benefits of running a .sh file in Windows 10 Running .sh files in Windows 10 using WSL provides several benefits, including:

  • Access to Unix-based utilities and tools that are not available natively in Windows.
  • A more familiar environment for developers and system administrators who are used to working in Unix-based systems.
  • The ability to use shell scripts to automate tasks and improve productivity.

Future possibilities for using .sh files on Windows 10 As the use of WSL becomes more widespread, it is likely that the use of .sh files on Windows 10 will increase as well. This could lead to more innovative uses of shell scripts on Windows, such as automating tasks in Windows-based applications or integrating Windows applications with Unix-based systems.