A hack for mintty to use as Windows command console cmd

If you’re like me, vain in changing the Windows command console (cmd.exe) and if you like the functionality and look and feel of mintty (cygwin), here’s how to change the look and feel of cmd.exe:

  1. Install Cygwin with Shells -> Mintty included.
  2. start <cygwin directory>/bin/mintty %COMSPEC%

Start is a windows command for spawning new applications.

<cygwin directory>/bin/mintty is the application you want to start.

%COMSPEC% is the parameter for mintty.  Windows will substitue this to cmd.exe.  Well you can call it directly using “start <cygwin directory>/bin/mintty cmd.exe”

Example screehshot:

Hope this helps


5 thoughts on “A hack for mintty to use as Windows command console cmd

  1. I feel your pain, but I’m sorry to say that running cmd.exe in mintty won’t work very well, because cmd.exe really wants to run in a Windows console rather than in a terminal based on Cygwin pseudo terminal (pty) devices.

    While the basics of entering and correcting a command with backspace are fine, things like tab completion or recalling previous commands aren’t. Even just moving the cursor along the command line won’t work correctly.

    Some of these issues can be rectified by running cmd.exe through the ‘conin’ wrapper discussed at http://code.google.com/p/mintty/issues/detail?id=56.

    1. true… ive reverted to the old ways. sad to say.

      but i really like the transparency and the adaptive UI of mintty; like when used with the FlyakiteOSx with Monaco font for windows, it really kicks ass.

      Ill work on your suggestion though. Thanks very much =)

      1. Yeah, that screenshot does look rather good. Of course you could just switch to bash (or zsh) for even more OS X feel. 😉

        Also, if you install Cygwin into C:\, that becomes it’s root directory, with the likes of /usr and /etc appearing next to /Windows and /Users, thus adding further to the OS X illusion.

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