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Does anyone know why we can't have nice terminal emulators on Windows? I would kill for something that was a fraction as good as the default terms in OSX or Ubuntu.

Oh, and if the NSA is listening, I wouldn't actually kill, that's just an expression. Please don't arrest me.

I am working on package for windows that can do just that. Totally portable and extensible. Based on ConEmu. But I am looking for beta testers. if anybody is interested drop me an email.

Currently it looks like this. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/52646091/cmder.png

Should work for you if you are using anything. But works out of the box with cmd + msys-git + some other godness.

Also spit window support, aliases, fullscreen, history search. Sublime Text like shortcuts.

I'm assuming by terminal you don't just mean CLI, which I think PowerShell has been a great step forward (but I wish I didn't have to keep dropping back to the default command prompt to get certain commands working.)

If my assumption holds, I did find this article recommending Console2. http://lifehacker.com/5857540/the-best-terminal-emulator-for...

+1 for Console2, back when I had to use Windows at a previous job I used Console2 as it was the closest thing I could find to the linux terminal emulators I'm used to.

If you have cygwin, you can install gnome-terminal. Works perfectly ... once you get it working ;)

Yeah, good luck with that. I spent like a damn week trying to run gnome-terminal under Cygwin, and never did get it right. I'd love to hear any tips, though.

I've been using Console2 for a while and really like it. Last week a colleague pointed out an alternative called ConEmu. It's actively developed and has a bunch of extra features. I'm trying it out but haven't made up my mind which I prefer yet. The decision seems like it will largely be a tradeoff between configuartion complexity and flexibility. https://code.google.com/p/conemu-maximus5/.

I use ConEmu as well.

I like the tabbed interface and the way it does select/copy/paste (close to the Windows way) in the CMD console. And, it has some pretty cool support for the FAR Manager.

Here's a nice writeup by Scott Hanselman: http://www.hanselman.com/blog/ConEmuTheWindowsTerminalConsol...

Use comemu myself when dealing with windows. It makes things better, but still cmd and ps really are horrible command interpreters.

PowerShell is ok until you actually have to use it for something non-trivial, at which point it's the usual "layers-of-pain" that you get with anything Microsoft these days.

Try mintty[1], comes default with Cygwin these days. Not perfect, but a lot better than the alternatives I've tried. It supports select-to-copy and middle-mouse-to-paste, which is something that's very deeply embedded in my muscle memory.

[1] https://code.google.com/p/mintty/

Yuck yuck yuck. And yuck to ctrl-Insert / shift-Insert too, though that's better. I very much like the fact that on OS X the default copy-paste keys are command-c / command-v which don't conflict with UNIX's use of ctrl. If I can bind Windows-C / Windows-V to copy/paste in a terminal emulator I'd be happier.

Select-to-copy is yuck for two reasons: 1: After you select, it copies and then deselects. This is annoying if you want to see that you selected the right thing, and it doesn't allow you to change your selection if you see you were off by a character. 2: I like to select to mark my place sometimes, but I don't want that to change what's on my system clipboard.

ctrl/shift Insert is yuck because it's a two-hand keystroke and doesn't have an easy way to remember whether shift or ctrl is the copy. (I don't often make mistakes between the two, but it leaves me unsure of myself which is a half second lost to hesitation each time.)

I have the same problem with ctrl/shift Insert, but I'm very happy with select-to-copy, which on Linux doesn't conflict with the ctrl-c/ctrl-v content (they're separate clipboards).

I miss middle-click to paste and select-to-copy where ever I can't use them.

Can we have just one thread without blithe, off-topic comments about the NSA?

Of course. Any discussion of a story about the NSA cannot, by definition, have any off-topic comments about the NSA.

Aren't we entitled for a bit of humor ?

From my past experience on HN, humor is not well received. I've been scolded numerous times for cracking a joke or two. Personally, I appreciate humor on HN, but I can understand how people don't want HN comments to turn into redit comment threads.

Humor is fine. It's just that we're merciless critics. Or, how I usually phrase it: you're not as funny as you think you are.

I have a theory as to why. Discourse on serious discussion on such topics, which are scientifically unsolvable (design, business, entrepreneurship) are often deferred to those who have 'been there, done that', which of course is a logical bias.

So to the humour. The issue is HN can't tell the difference between satire of itself and real advice. Each of which is probably equally valuable. Nobody wants to hear this. They all want to feel good. And get rich! And have authority!

Humour has no place here...

Are you kidding? This isn't reddit. This is SERIOUS.

The short answer: CSRSS isn't very good. Compare and contrast with the *nix model of how the terminal works and you'll have a pretty good idea of why Windows terminal programs are as limited as they are.

ConEmu is known for a good while for being the best app for anyone who is working with CLI in Windows.

Checkout cygwin [1]. I think the main problem with a good terminal on Windows is that terminals depend heavily on having programs to run on them, and Windows, because of its lack of good terminal, doesn't have the programs to run with it. From what I have heard, PowerShell looks promising.


Powershell (and cygwin as well IIRC) still have lousy terminal emulators. The issue isn't the lack of good programs nor the shell, it's the Windows GUI "wrapper" around the CLI shell. In Windows neither cmd.exe nor Powershell allow you to alter the width of the terminal in real time. Nor have sane copy/paste options, region highlighting and so on. There's no tabbed grouping, clickable URLs, etc. Sure, some of the aforementioned can be tweaking in the preferences. But on the whole, the Windows terminal emulators are pretty poor when compared to (for example) Konsole.

Cygwin is pretty awful as well. I hear a lot of people suggest it but I really couldn't get on with Cygwin. I found MinGW to be a much better solution (which also ships some pretty cool terminal emulators as well)

I've used Cygwin (with mintty and bash), and it's not terrible. Not as nice as on other platforms, but definitely better than the other things I've seen on Windows.

Before mintty, I used Putty and connected to a local SSH server. Putty is pretty nice too.

Yeah I like PuTTY.

Have you tried MinGW? It's a fork of Cygwin and (in my opinion at least) fixes a lot of problems with Cygwin's install process.

Have you tried setting Quick-Edit for your command line? The right-click copy/paste works well enough (though not nearly as good as a linux terminal). But the highlighting is still garbage.

ConEmu (my personal preference) or Console 2 will improve your experience a bit. Both are pretty flexible tools.

Clink (https://code.google.com/p/clink/) is also something I have found useful.

If you have cygwin, you can install gnome-terminal. I use it daily and it is awesome. Way better than console2 or any other windows based emulator I've tried. You may need to install it using Cygwin Ports though.

To be honest, I wiped windows and installed Linux in the end. Since I was trying to make windows behave like Linux, it made more sense just to run Linux.

In regards to powershell, check out PowerGUI for a better experience.

I always have Cygwin around on my Windows installs. I highly recommend changing the terminal for it to RXVT, though, which works a lot better than the various things they've had by default the past few years. It's just takes a minute or two of tweaking things to setup - usually I don't even edit the main start script anymore since I always launch from the folder context menu setup by the chere program in Cygwin.

I had previously seen glitches using the cygwin terminal with VIM. Using GNU screen with cygwin has been done though.

I recently switched to MobaXterm [1] and liked it so much that I paid for the Pro edition. I also love how I can launch X apps on my Fedora dev VM and forward them to my Win7 desktop - I know should be able to do that with CygWin but I could never get it to work properly.

[1]: http://mobaxterm.mobatek.net/

I too switched to Moba recently after trying just about everything else. Some of the things I really like about it over the competitors:

* single binary installer

* X server

* Tabs

* Automatic SFTP sidebar when connecting via SSH

* painless SSH-tunneling (I can never remember the order of arguments on the command line)

* dancing Tuxes

There's probably more things I haven't even discovered yet (which may be too much for some people, who just want a simple terminal emulator). It's not all roses, it has locked up a couple times on me, but thanks to tmux it doesn't bother me much.

SecureCRT isn't perfect, but does very well in balancing power with usability, for me.

I don't know if you could use Chrome's SSH extension -- it's actually a super good terminal emulator -- if you check out the source they wrote some code to run tricky sequences through xterm and figure out what it does.

I used this (I think) briefly for about a day on ChromeOS and was very unimpressed. Is there at least a way to turn off the weird character fade effect, or whatever it's called? I didn't look long but I couldn't find one.

I use ConEmu + Powershell/Mintty for Vim/Rails development. I don't notice a difference with it vs my OSX or Linux machines. I also use it for working on my linux VPS and have 0 problems

I'm not a bash scripting poweruser though.

I'm assuming you use PuTTY, what are you missing?

I like the FuTTY fork of it at the moment.

There's also KiTTY [http://kitty.9bis.net/], another great fork of PuTTY.

I use tera term when on Windows, it requires an install but I like it more than others. The installer does include some other weird programs that I don't like, but if you only choose to install tera term itself it is good.


A fork of the original Console 2, called Console : https://github.com/cbucher/console/

I find cygwin + rxvt-native on Windows pretty serviceable.

Version 20050409-21. Ouch. Maybe rxvt-uncode and an X server would be a better option. 256 colour terms, unicode, proper bitmap font support, and not been dead for 8 years.

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