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PowerShell vs Bash explained; Which one is better?

PowerShell vs Bash explained; Which one is better?


Microsoft PowerShell and Linux Bash are two leading command-line interpreters in the market. Both CLIs are top-notch, but one will be better than the other in some respects. In this post, we will decipher just that. We will explain PowerShell and Bash to see which one is better than the other.

PowerShell vs Bash Explained

PowerShell vs Bash differences explained

PowerShell and Bash are from two different worlds but are meant to do the same thing. Let us first discuss what they are and then we can compare the two.

PowerShell is a Command-Line Interpreter and was developed by Microsoft in 2006 for developers and their scripting needs. With the help of this CLI, developers can build software and automate them using commandlets (cmdlets). It looks similar to MS-DOS, which was the building block of Microsoft Operating Systems. It has a very simple and intuitive User interface which allows users to code and script easily.

Bash, on the other hand, has been a part of the Linux ecosystem since 1989 and has been used and loved by programmers since then. One of the most interesting things about it is that it stayed relevant even though there are more glamorous shells in the market. Just like PowerShell, this can be used to automate scripts and manage the operating system. Due to the fact that almost every single major operating system is built on top of Linux, Bash is used by a lot of users.

Now, let us do, PowerShell vs Bash and see which one is better.

  1. Administrative Access
  2. Easy to use
  3. Functionality
  4. Availability across devices and flexibility

Hereinafter, we have discusses these parameters in detail.

1] Administrative Access

open an elevated PowerShell prompt in Windows 11

Both PowerShell and Bash allow the user to run commands with administrative privileges. PowerShell has both normal user mode and then administrator mode. To open PowerShell with administrative privilegesyou need to search it out from the Start Menu, right-click on it, and select Run as administrator. If want to open another session with administrative rights, you can Start-Process powershell -verb runAs. 

In PowerShell, one needs to open two separate windows for normal and admin mode, whereas, Bash allows you to run commands that precede with Sudo to give it admin access.

So, both CLI applications take different routes. That is why, it would not be fair to pick a better one, you should decide which one is better.

2] Easy to use

Even though this is a very subjective territory, how easy a CLI is depends on its syntax. Bash embraces an out-of-the-box syntax. Do keep in mind that even though it is unique and has a learning curve to it if you get started working on it, you will get acquainted with the syntax and it will not seem difficult.

Whereas, PowerShell’s syntax is similar to other .NET applications. It goes for a very orthodox approach and does not make things complex. PowerShell does not have a learning curve especially if you are accustomed to a Microsoft developer environment.

3] Functionality

PowerShell gives its users a lot of features. It is integrated with Microsoft Azure (Microsoft 365 Cloud) which makes it essential for anyone looking to break into the cloud industry. It also enables its users to manage the Windows OS by allowing them to configure the registry, manage installed applications and use other Windows Management tools.

Bash lacks these features, although one can write their own code and build new features in it, it won’t make up for their absence.

4] Availability across devices and flexibility

Bash or its variant will be available on every Unix-based operating system including macOS. So, it is fair to say that if you master Bash, can automate script using it, and can manage the operating system with it, you will be able to file working on almost every Unix-based OS.

PowerShell, even though can run on all platforms, primarily, it is built for Windows Operating System. Do keep in mind that Microsoft has a large share of the market, so it is pretty likely that your organization can integrate a Windows device if needed.

Hopefully, you have an idea, of which CLI you should learn first. However, it is better to have a knowledge of both Command Line Interpreters for an IT expert especially if you are a fresher and either want to start your carrier or switch to the role of system manager.

Read: Windows cannot find PowerShell

Which is easier PowerShell or Bash? 

Neither of the two is difficult. However, Bash goes for an unorthodox approach in its syntax. Once you understand its syntax, it won’t be a problem for you to understand the logic. PowerShell is quite simple, it doesn’t have fancy syntax, has a proper naming convention, and is not too difficult to learn.

Also Read: How to run Bash on Ubuntu on Windows?

Which one to learn PowerShell or Bash?

Even though it is advised to learn both scripting tools. PowerShell is more capable of the two. One of its biggest strengths is its integration with Azure. So, if you want to learn just one tool, it would be better if take PowerShell classes.

Read: How to run .sh or Shell Script file in Windows?

PowerShell vs Bash Explained


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