For those not familiar with Linux and the Bash shell, the reason this command is so deadly can be broken down into its three parts. “rm” is the command for removing or deleting files. “-rf” contains the additional commands for recursive and force. In combination, this causes all files, folders, and subfolders to be removed, without providing any prompt for the user, even those which are write protected. Finally, “/” represents the root location of the file system, where all files and folders are stored and where the command will look for files to delete. Often usage of this command is restricted or generates a warning on modern Linux systems as, should it be executed, everything will be deleted.
This danger made it an obvious choice to try out on Windows 10’s Bash shell though you would hope it was tried from the safety of a virtual machine or throwaway installation. Fortunately (or unfortunately), this command doesn’t cause anywhere near the damage it does to Linux, although the Bash terminal itself is not so lucky, being reduced to a useless black window when started up.
Windows isn’t fully safe from misuse of the Bash shell, as if you run the terminal as administrator and target the /mnt/c directory, the C drive can be deleted. Although, with the lengths you have to go to in order to wipe your operating system, if it happens then it’s likely your own fault, and really, it’s no more dangerous than the command line already in Windows.
At Build 2016, Microsoft showcased something almost unbelievable, the Linux Bash shell running natively on the Windows 10 operating system, using Ubuntu binaries. Kevin Gallo, director of the Windows Developer Platform ran the demonstration during the keynote he delivered at Microsoft’s developer conference. This functionality is born of a collaboration between the producers of Ubuntu Linux, Canonical, and Microsoft with the goal of allowing developers to make use of Linux-only tools even when working on Windows.
The Bash shell isn’t the only thing that is coming over to Windows 10 either, with a wide array of Linux GUI-less utilities also being made available to run on the bash terminal. According to Canonical’s Dustin Kirkland “most of the tens of thousands of binary packages available in the Ubuntu archives” will run, not only utilities like cp, find, grep, and ssh, but also aptitude, apache, MySQL, python, perl, ruby, php, gcc, tar and so on.” The whole thing works by translating the shell’s Linux system calls directly into Windows system calls in real time, which should yield impressive integration with the operating system.
Both Gallo and Kirkland see this move as strengthening the position of both of their platforms, with Gallo wanting to make Windows more accessible to developers while Kirkland sees it as extending the reach of Linux and Ubuntu, as well as the importance of open-source software over proprietary apps. The implications of this move by Microsoft could be quite extensive as the addition of the enormous array of open source software available on the Linux platform may, in fact, draw users away from using Windows-specific applications. However with the Microsoft Azure platform already making use of Linux and Microsoft SQL server, they may be starting to fully embrace the Linux OS and may just be a win for them in the end.
You ever forgot that you had some money in the bank? Or perhaps you found and old wallet with £20 in the back, some change in your pocket when your doing the washing, or maybe a few pennies in your cars ashtray? Of course you have, but that isn’t worth a damn thing compared to what Christopher Koch has done.
In 2009 Bitcoin was relatively new, the coins were cheap and Mr Koch from Norway decided to invest $25 in the digital currency, which back then was enough to grab him 5000 coins. Then he did something interesting, he forgot about them.
Fast forward to the present and Koch was reminded about the coins by a news story and spend nearly a full day trying to recall his password for his digital wallet, naturally you can imagine his face when he saw just how many bit coins he had and how much they’re worth.
He bought 5000, at time of writing they are worth $199.40 each!
He’s cashed in a fifth of his investment and bought himself a lush new apartment in his home town. Now that is what I call a great investment.