How to Change Your User Account in Windows 10’s Ubuntu Bash Shell


When you first install Ubuntu or another Linux distribution on Windows 10, you’re asked to create a UNIX username and password. Bash automatically signs into that user account when you launch the shell, but you can change those credentials if you need to.

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How User Accounts Work in the Linux Environment

When you set up a new Linux distribution by launching it after installing it, you’re be asked to create a user account for the Bash shell. Windows calls this your “UNIX user account.” So, if you provide the name “bob” and the password “letmein,” your Linux user account is named “bob” and has the home folder “/home/bob.” When you need to enter your password in the shell, you have to enter “letmein.” These credentials are entirely independent from your Windows user account and password.

Every Linux environment you install has its own configuration, including separate files, installed programs, and configuration settings. You’ll have to create a UNIX username and password for every Linux distribution you install.

How to Change Your Default User Account for Bash

To change your default user account in the Ubuntu Bash shell, open a Command Prompt window or PowerShell window.

To open a Command Prompt window, open the Start menu, search for “cmd”, and then press Enter. To open a PowerShell window, right-click the Start button (or press Windows+X), and then select “Windows PowerShell” from the Power User menu.

In the Command Prompt or PowerShell window (not a Bash shell window), run the appropriate command for your Linux distro. Replace “username” in the below command with your new username:

  • Ubuntu: ubuntu config --default-user username
  • openSUSE Leap 42: opensuse-42 --default-user username
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12: sles-12 --default-user username

You can…

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

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Sasha Harriet

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