Bash vs PowerShell [Quick Comparison Guide]

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The Unix world created Bash, which has long been the go-to shell for Linux and macOS users. On the other hand, Powershell is a Microsoft creation that has established its dominance in the Windows ecosystem. While both shells provide powerful command-line capabilities, they are distinguished by their distinct origins, philosophies, and syntaxes. This article, Bash vs PowerShell, examines the key differences between Bash and PowerShell, examining their strengths and weaknesses as well as the scenarios in which each shell excels.

Key Takeaways

  • Getting a firm idea about PowerShell, bash, and their advantages.
  • Exploring the differences between Bash and PowerShell.
  • Learning where to use these to fulfill your purpose.

Watch a Quick Comparison Guide on Bash vs PowerShell

What is Bash?

Bash is a command line environment that basically interacts with Unix operating systems. It was originally designed to be used in Linux environments, but in recent years it has gained traction in Windows environments, which can be attributed to the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). WSL made it possible to run a true Linux shell on top of Windows, So, you can use the Bash shell to interact with Windows in the same way you would on a native Linux machine.Running Bash shellAdvantages of Bash

Bash which is the default shell of Linux and some other operating systems offers some advantages that I am going to show you in this article.

  • Starting time is less.
  • Command and syntaxes are simple.
  • Robust job control capabilities.
  • Provides tools for debugging and error handling.
  • Highly portable across different Unix-like systems.

What is PowerShell?

Similar to Bash, PowerShell is Microsoft’s next-generation command-line interface. It functions as both a scripting language and a management tool. It is primarily used for automation tasks, such as management tasks. Although it includes many built-in commands, additional commands can be added by using external modules. Poweshell is available in cross-platform versions for Linux and macOS.Running powershell in windowsAdvantages of PowerShell

There are some advantages of Windows PowerShell worth mentioning In this section I’ll point out some advantages of Powershell.

  • Extremely capable scripting language.
  • Extensible formatting methods.
  • Access to hard-to-access data.
  • Data formats are built-in.
  • The typing system is extended.
  • Comprehensive and consistent API.
  • Easy to automate tasks.

Differences Between Bash and Powershell

In this segment, I will discuss the differences between Bash and Powershell on the basis of some key features.

Feature Powershell Bash
Creation Introduced in the year 2006. Introduced in 1989.
Purpose It is used for task automation and configuration management for Windows. It is a user shell and command line interpreter.
Input and Output It treats input and output as objects. It treats inputs and outputs as text structures.
Command-Line Interface More Graphical Command Line Interface. Simple text-based Command Line interface.
System It is native to Windows and can also be used on Linux and MacOS. It is native to Linux but usable on Windows, MacOS, Unix, and BSD.
Best Suited For Microsoft environments and programs, such as Active Directory, SQL, etc. Linux environments and servers.
Availability Installed by default in Windows, but can also be extended with the API. Installed by default in Linux, nothing to download or install.

Comparison Based on Commands

In this article, you will find some differences between Bash and Powershell based on the commands used in both systems.

Tasks PowerShell Command Bash Command
List Files and Directories Get-ChildItem or ls ls
Create .txt file New-Item <filename.txt> touch <filename.txt>
Copy a File Copy-Item cp
Move a Line Move-Item mv
Delete a File Remove-Item, rm, del rm
Delete a Directory Remove-Item, rmdir rm-r
Change Directory Set_Childterm cd
Show Current Directory Get-Location pwd
Write a Comment #comment #comment
Clear the Screen Cls, clear , CTRL + L Clear , CTRL + L
Print a String echo “string”, write host echo “string”
Create Varibale $var var
Search a Path $env:Path $Path
Use Boolean Values $true , $false true , false

So What Should You Use?

The operating system you’re using and your particular needs will both influence your decision between PowerShell and Bash. PowerShell is likely the better choice if you primarily work with Windows systems or need to interact with Microsoft technologies.

On the other hand, Bash is a better fit if you work in a Unix-like environment or need to automate tasks related to file manipulation and system administration. Finally, familiarity with both shells can be beneficial because they each have their own strengths and can be useful in different situations.


In this article, I have tried to point out bash vs PowerShell, based on commands, and the differences between these two shells. In summary, I can conclude that Bash is for administration and managing automation tasks on Linux, while, on the other hand, PowerShell kind of does the same task but on Windows Operating Systems. Though you can find some crossover between these two, it is evident that both peak in their native systems.

People Also Ask

Which is easier PowerShell or Bash?
Scripting is much easier and more pleasant with PowerShell because its syntax is very similar to many other scripting languages (unlike bash). PowerShell also wins out when it comes to naming conventions for built-in commands and statements.  

Is Bash the same as PowerShell?
No, PowerShell is a command shell and scripting language included with most Windows operating systems. On the other hand, Bash is the command shell and scripting language used by the majority of Linux distributions.  

Should I learn bash or PowerShell?
It actually depends on the task you will be handling. Bash is useful for its simplicity, and Bash scripts are useful for automating tasks on Linux. PowerShell can handle some more difficult tasks, but it is most useful on Windows, particularly for administrative tasks, because most other tasks are simply handled in the GUI.  

Does Bash run on PowerShell?
No, using Bash directly on Windows through Command Prompt or PowerShell terminal is not possible as the command language is not known to the system.  

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Lamisa Musharrat

Hello there. My name is Lamisa Musharat, and I'm an Linux Content Developer Executive at SOFTEKO. I earned a bachelor's degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET).I learned Linux out of my curiosity and now I find it useful as automation is easier using Linux. I take great pleasure in assisting others with Linux-related issues. I really want you to enjoy and benefit from my efforts.Read Full Bio

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