I want to install Bash on Windows 10 using the Windows Subsystem for Linux, but I share my laptop with my family. I will have to enable developer mode to install Bash, but for obvious reasons I don't want to leave developer mode enabled.

Will Bash continue to work if I disable developer mode after installation? If not, can I just switch developer mode on each time I use the laptop and off each time I'm finished? Would it remove and reinstall WSL every time I do that or would it leave my files untouched?

  • What do you need bash for? My warm recommendation is to use cygwin instead of Microsoft's bash port.
    – simlev
    Mar 8, 2017 at 19:24
  • 1
    I've used cygwin for years, but WSL appeals because of its vastly superior package management (i.e. apt-get) and access to the full Ubuntu package repositories. Admittedly WSL is inferior in many ways (e.g. I/O performance, missing inotify support etc) but it's under heavy development and is probably going to catch up quickly. I already prefer it. At work I use Bash on WSL with cmder as a better console window - it's really nice. Mar 8, 2017 at 19:42
  • BTW - Bash on WSL isn't actually a port - it's the original ELF64 Ubuntu Bash binary running on WSL. Another reason to like it ;-) Mar 8, 2017 at 19:43
  • @SimonPoole Cywin can use apt-cyg
    – DavidPostill
    Mar 8, 2017 at 22:20

1 Answer 1


I do have bash installed as a Windows 10 feature, so I can answer you:

  1. Bash cannot be started if developer mode is turned off; if I try lo launch it I get the message: "In order to use this functionality, developer mode needs to be enabled".

  2. You can keep developer mode disabled and only enable it when you need to launch bash. No repeated installation is needed.

  3. The environment seems to stay the same after developer mode has been disabled and enabled again. Files are there where I left them, installed packages are there, no updates are missing.

  • 1
    This is working well. You can even turn developer mode back off straight after launching bash, and bash continues to run fine. It's only needed to launch. May 6, 2017 at 13:15
  • @simlev WSL does not require developer mode from Windows insider 16251. See this article.
    – Biswapriyo
    Aug 6, 2017 at 3:02

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