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I installed Cygwin, to be disappointed that bash by default runs within "cmd.exe". I googled around and found Console2. It's not a particularly well-designed application, as doing adjustments is slightly painful, although most of the time it works well.

I am still looking for a better way to survive in a Windows environment as even Console 2 occasionally crashes e.g. when trying to resize my terminal when editing in vim and there are plenty of other annoyances that I'm really not satisfied with.

Any ideas? I tried using Cygwin via PuTTY and that was an equally bad user experience.

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Recommended reading: How do you configure a Windows machine for a Linux user? –  Gilles Aug 9 '11 at 23:07

5 Answers 5

up vote 21 down vote accepted

MinTTY - here.

It makes Cygwin entirely usable on Windows. I would be lost without it. Based on the original PuTTY code, but integrates straight into Cygwin (and in fact, is bundled with Cygwin).

Start it with,

C:\cygwin\bin\mintty.exe -

Or where-ever you installed it. The '-' is key.

There are a few other useful additions for Cygwin as well, one being apt-cyg. It's not perfect, but it's better than running setup.exe every time you remember you're missing a package.

Even with Cygwin/X, I still use MinTTY as my primary terminal (I hate the scroll bars on xterm).

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I second MinTTY. –  mattcaffeine Aug 9 '11 at 15:09
Great suggestion! Tried it... Works like a charm! –  T.K. Aug 11 '11 at 7:27
Oh, how do I make it start in my home directory? I start mintty and it starts in /usr/bin and it doesn't even have a PATH variable. Thanks :) –  T.K. Aug 11 '11 at 7:34
Invoke it with a dash (i.e. '-') as its argument. If you've installed it through Cygwin's setup.exe, there should be a mintty start menu entry in the Cygwin folder that already does that. –  ak2 Aug 11 '11 at 8:27
Yeh I was just adding the - to the answer. –  EightBitTony Aug 11 '11 at 8:32

Alternatively, you can try AndLinux and work with a real terminal.

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That actually looks interesting. Will look into it. –  T.K. Aug 11 '11 at 7:20

rxvt is nice.

From my blog (currently down, thanks Google cache!):

My buddy Bill told me there is now a Cygwin command xhere and a setup command chere that will do all the Registry insertions for you. So launch Cygwin in the default crappy shell (with admin privs) and you can type:

chere -i -af -t rxvt -o "-bg black -fg white -sr -sl 1000 -fn \"FixedSys\" -ls" -s bash -e "Bash prompt here"

You can change -af to -cf for current user only if you don't have admin on the machine.

Because he was kind enough to give it to me, I will give you his command which seriously hurts my eyes. :) I also prefer the default size and expand it if needed.

chere -i -af -t rxvt -o "-ls -sr -sl 1000 -bg grey70 -fg black -geometry 120x65+300+15 -fn 10x16 -title Bash" -s bash -e "Bash prompt here"

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Personally I don't think there is a great solution on Windows unfortunately. I've opted to install the gvim windows package and use that for most of my editing (it adds a nice option in your right click menu to open with Vim).

As for CLI, you can keep using bash if you'd like. Other options include Windows PowerShell. I haven't bothered to learn it, but I've heard its pretty good.

The last solution is to run a VM in VirtualBox or VMWare Workstation. May not be ideal, but it lets you get Linux and edit/manipulate files from Windows via SMB Share or Shared Folders.

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The OP is going to have to weather this somehow and there ARE things to be suggested to improve the situation even if you don't personally think there are "great" ones. –  Caleb Aug 9 '11 at 17:24

Install Cygwin/X and use xterm. (And then you'll probably either want their version of gvim or the Windows native one.)

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