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:

MinTTY preview


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.