The interaction between a shell and the Bench environment

The isolated environment of Bench is available either via starting an app or starting a Bench shell respectively. Like apps, shells can be started with a launcher. Additionally, shells can be started from the toolbar in the main window of the Bench Dashboard. Bench supports three shells: Windows Command Prompt (CMD), PowerShell, and Bash.



When a Bench shell is started, the environment variables for the shell process are modified according to the isolation settings of Bench. Therefore, inside the shell and all its child processes, the Bench apps are available and the location of the home directory is potentially overridden and refers to the home directory in the Bench environment.

Quick Access

Not all three shells are allways available via the Bench Dashboard and their launchers. Instead there are configuration properties to control which shells are available.

Drag & Drop Launching

If the isolation features of Bench are activated, then the Bench apps are not available if a program is started the usual way from the Explorer, start menu or via the run dialog (Win+R).

To achieve starting a script or program, inside of the Bench environment, it can be run, of cause, by starting a shell via its launcher and then typing in the execution command for the program. But this can be quite tedious. Instead the script or program file can be dragged on to the launcher shortcut of a Bench shell.

By doing so, the path of the file is passed through the launcher, down to the Bench shell and the shell is executing the script or program. Because the script interpreter or the program is run as a child of the Bench shell now, the script or program inherits the environment variables of the Bench shell. And therefore, is executed inside of the Bench environment.

Shell Entry Points

For every Bench shell, there exists a batch script to start the shell inside the Bench environment.

These scripts are always availabe, regardless of the quick access properties.

Loading the Bench Environment with Hindsight

It is possible to load the Bench environment into an already running shell. This is simply accomplished by running the environment script env.cmd. Because this script is currently only generated as CMD batch file, this feature is only available for the Windows Command Prompt (CMD).

If there is the need to automatically run scripts or programs inside of a Bench environment, create the entry point for the automation as a CMD batch file, call the env.cmd first and do everything else, like calling Bench apps, afterwards.