Lambros Petrou
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit!" — Aristotle

Command prompt alternatives for Windows

Since I have been fiddling around with Windows Subsystem for Linux I realised how bad Command Prompt is compared to Terminator, my go-to terminal solution for Linux.

I wanted to find an alternative which at least offered multiple tabs, proper text selection and in general being a better terminal for Windows.

I tried several ones but for now I settled with ConEmu which has the extra benefit of being open-source.

One problem I had with it, is that when you go into the WSL mode, using the bash command, the arrow keys do not work. This was weird and confusing at first since they work if you go into WSL mode using Command Prompt.

The solution is to pass an additional argument when entering the WSL mode through ConEmu, as shown below.

# `p1` refers to tab-1.
# If you are entering this command to a different tab in ConEmu
# you have to use the proper tab-id.
bash -cur_console:p1

# Or you can open a new tab straight into WSL mode and avoid the tab-id
bash -new_console

Now all the keys should work properly.

This nice terminal application, along with the ability to use editors straight from the Linux subsystem as described in a previous article make Windows 10 a very viable solution for developers that love the command line.