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I am a grad student who recently found out that I will have to switch to a Windows box for my research (despite my pleading). I know there are lots of guides out there for Windows users switching to Linux but I haven't found too many for the reverse. Does anyone have some good resources? I am used to doing everything in a bash shell. I like doing my text edits with vim and I like setting up shell scripts. I would like to make the transition as painless as possible.

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closed as off topic by Gilles, Michael Mrozek Feb 5 '12 at 23:27

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It will be painful, don't stick to linux ways. Use your mouse. Cygwin is horrible actually, especially when using threads, I tried it again during 2 days last week, couldn't build qemu-head because of their thread implementation lacking a fundamental feature (after hours of workaround for this dirty and hacky build environment). There's no need for a guide actually, it will require patience but most GUI are intuitive and in time you will be efficient. If you want to feel confortable, at least get vimperator on your firefox; every task will involve web browser or office/adobe softwares. – Aki Feb 5 '12 at 22:36
I don't think this question is on-topic here since it's about Windows. But see How do you configure a Windows machine for a Linux user? – Gilles Feb 5 '12 at 22:59
This is clearly about Windows. SU doesn't want the duplicate, but Gilles' link looks good – Michael Mrozek Feb 5 '12 at 23:27
Why not run Windows in a virtual machine in a Linux box? That way you can use both. Alternatively, you can run Linux in a virtual environment in a Windows box. – Faheem Mitha Feb 6 '12 at 5:47
Thanks for the info, sorry for posting in the wrong spot. – Usagi Feb 6 '12 at 14:10
up vote 6 down vote accepted

If you're trying to get your usual Linux tools on Windows, Cygwin comes to mind first:

Cygwin is a collection of tools which provide a Linux look and feel environment for Windows.

Check out the package list to see what tools are available there (bash and some other shells are available).

GnuWin32 is another collection of packages that comes in handy, without needing the Cygwin environment. They can be used directly from the Windows command prompt.

If you're into development, MinGW contains a great Windows port of GCC, and msysgit works well for version control. (Cygwin has GCC and git too.)
Java, Perl (strawberry), Python, PHP, Ruby, etc. have native Windows ports as well.

Add GVim (set as the default text editor) and a good ssh client like putty, and you shouldn't feel too lost in your new environment.

(OT here, but if you ever need to do native Windows scripting, SS64 is a good reference for cmd and PowerShell.)

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+1 for putty... – Aki Feb 5 '12 at 22:37

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