Alternative Cygwin terminal & shell
I just realised many, if not most, Cygwin users stick with their default terminal which is the Cygwin Bash Shell. I never understood why this is the default with each installation. It is no better than Command Prompt – horizontal window resizing is out of the question, custom fonts are limited and mouse support is, well… missing.
If you have used PuTTY to connect to remote machines, you would love MinTTY. It is based on code from PuTTY 0.60. Features as seen on the project’s homepage include:
- Native Windows user interface that tries to keep things simple.
- Support for UTF-8, CJK fonts, and Windows IMEs.
- Drag & drop and copy & paste of text, files and folders. (Files and folders are inserted as quoted filenames.)
- Extensive mouse support, e.g. mousewheel scrolling in less and opening files and URLs with Ctrl+click
- Window transparency, including glass effect on Vista and 7.
- Small program size and uick scrolling.
I encourage you to try Zsh as an alternative to Bash (the default). Bash is fine, but if you are looking for better history management, lots of plug-ins and options for customisations you need to move on. Check out oh-my-zsh for a collection of such add-ons.
You can install MinTTY and ZSH using Cygwin’s setup.exe.
MinTTY at your fingertips
Having a terminal keystroke away is essential in my day-to-day work. I need to be able to quickly get in and out of it – read how to do it.