Windows.. I use it as my primary OS. Do I like it? Let’s just say I tolerate it. I do quite a bit of work in Linux, but sometimes, I wish I could use windows commands with a linux-like shell. I also can’t stand (ok.. abhor) the command prompt window. It’s just completely dysfunctional. Having to right click and set the “Mark” option just to be able to select text in a text window is.. honestly, retarded.
I’m not one to accept defeat and I really couldn’t find a solution that meet all of my needs so I just rolled my own. It’s been a few months and I’m finally getting around to writing about it. Why? Everyone who sees my solution wants something similar. It just makes life a bit easier.
This post doesn’t reveal any voodoo, it just simply enables a windows user to be a bit more productive.
So here are the requirements for what I wanted to do:
- Bash prompt
- Enable cygwin commands
- Screen! Yes, Screen!
- Select text easily
- Command Line SSH that is actually usable and doesn’t require me to set up a putty profile for every host I connect to. I like putty, but if you ssh a lot, it’s not a good solution.
- A Resizable Window
- A POSIX like Environment
So here’s how I did it.
1. Create a directory on your root drive called c:\environment
2. Download Console2 and install it in c:\environment\console2
3. Download and install Cygwin to your C drive somewhere
4. Add Environment Paths in your windows system environment for the console directory and cygwin.
Now, whenever you type “console” into the “run” box, you get a bash shell with cygwin running inside it. The really wonderful benefit is being able to use dos commands in addition to your cygwin commands.
Keyless login for the win!
ok.. I got overly excited by what is otherwise a very simple convenience, but now I can access a bash shell on my windows box that is integrated very tightly with my dos commands, but I just added the uber goodness of bash and a relatively posix-ish environment.
How much efficiency did I gain in my day to day activities? Probably another 30-40% and I’m all about making my time worthwhile.