looking for a decent windows terminal
July 10, 2008 12:53 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for an alternative to windows' CMD window/terminal. It isn't the shell itself that has me annoyed (although it stinks and monad is an improvement), but the terminal window. I'd love to have something like xterm or rxvt running- just the ability to resize the width of the window would be huge.

I'd prefer not to run a whole X server on my machine- that's why I'm not just running cygwin's rxvt. I've also messed with the Konsole project from sourceforge, but found it unreliable- it kept losing touch with the backend. I'd prefer not to shell out cash for something that outa be built in, but earnest recommendations for powershell et al will be considered. I'm running Vista 32 and 64.

posted by jenkinsEar to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

best thing I was ever able to find
posted by low affect at 1:03 PM on July 10, 2008

You can resize a Windows terminal window, just not with the mouse. Right-click title bar -> Properties -> Layout tab -> Window Size.

If that's not good enough, low affect's link will do the trick.
posted by xbonesgt at 1:12 PM on July 10, 2008

Response by poster: unfortunately, console keeps losing it's connection to the cmd process, at least on my machines. I know I can resize to a fixed width through the menu, but that's really ugly (at least to my too-long-in-unix sensibilities).
posted by jenkinsEar at 1:15 PM on July 10, 2008

I haven't used them in a while, but I remember console 2 being wonky, and console 1 working fine.
posted by low affect at 1:24 PM on July 10, 2008

Run a shell in emacs? Alt-x shell

Not an ideal solution, but imho better than the default terminal
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 1:48 PM on July 10, 2008

Best answer: You don't need to run the X server to use Cygwin's rxvt. I typically run it without the X server. I believe if you invoke rxvt (from the DOS-box Cygwin prompt, for example) without having DISPLAY set, it'll use MS Windows as the window manager, rather than looking for an X server.
posted by chengjih at 2:06 PM on July 10, 2008

I have multiple batch files of the form :

132x50.bat :

@echo off
mode con: lines=50 cols=132

for various combinations of 25, 50 and 60 lines and 80 and 132 columns.

I've found versions of less and vim for MSDOS will support the 132 column width, some other programs don't like 132 columns.

Some modes won't work when the command window is full screen.

This works for Win2K and XP - Win98 doesn't like 132 columns. It should work for Vista, but I don't have a Vista machine to try it out on.
posted by rfs at 2:06 PM on July 10, 2008

Best answer: PuTTYcyg is what I use on my XP installation for local cygwin stuff. It's far better than the Window's command window. I'll bet you could get Window's cmd running in it, even if you have to run "sh -c /cygdrive/c/???/cmd.com".
posted by philomathoholic at 2:19 PM on July 10, 2008 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Excellent, RXVT works without X- thanks chengjih!
posted by jenkinsEar at 2:20 PM on July 10, 2008

puttycyg all the way, I love it.
posted by RustyBrooks at 3:13 PM on July 10, 2008

puttycyg is the best!
posted by azazello at 3:27 PM on July 10, 2008

I'm a little late to the party, but if you just want a direct shortcut to rxvt, create a new shortcut and use the following as the target:

C:\cygwin\bin\rxvt.exe -e /cygdrive/c/cygwin/bin/bash --login -i

And if you really want cmd:

C:\cygwin\bin\rxvt.exe -e /cygdrive/c/WINDOWS/system32/cmd.exe

Then there's Poderosa, which is full of all kinds of bad-assery like tabbed windows, but it's more of a full featured SSH client that can also connect to local cygwin instances.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 9:06 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

I gave up on this a long time ago and now just PuTTY into my Linux VMs. It works unless you're developing Windows software.

puttycyg won't be able to run many non-cygwin applications properly, like the native version of Python.
posted by aye at 9:51 PM on July 10, 2008

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