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Sep 14, 2010

A Real Linux/Unix Terminal for Windows with Cygwin

Linux LogoIf you have not heard of it before, Cygwin is a set of Linux/Unix utilities made to run on Windows. Cygwin includes a plethora of tools including databases, programming languages, and command line utilities. But what I use it for mostly is to have a bash shell for Windows. That allows me to use most of the aliases, symbolic links, and other tricks I use to navigate Linux or Mac OS/X on Windows. It also makes file manipulation a lot easier.

The default Cygwin installation uses the same command window as the Windows command prompt. Which is a little clunky, to say the least. Specifically, cutting and pasting text is a pain in the rear. You have to jump back and forth to the menu to cut and paste text. It is slow, clunky, and annoying.

The solution. Install rxvt with Cygwin. This is a terminal emulator that gives you all those cool cut and paste shell features on Windows. Just install rxvt from the shell options as part of your Cygwin install. Then, create a batch file like this in your Cygwin directory.

@echo off
chdir \cygwin\bin
start rxvt -sr -sl 10000 -fg white -bg black -fn Consolas-20 -fb Consolas-20 -fm Consolas-20 -tn cygwin -e /bin/bash --login -i

I called my file, term.bat. Run the bat file and you get a bash shell and window that behaves just like it would on Linux or a Mac. Yays!

Credit to for a pointer that got me started on this.
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