Windows Terminal

The other major announcement today for the command line on Windows is a new Windows Terminal app, which brings some much-needed attention to the basic command line shells in Windows. Windows Terminal will be delivered via the Windows Store and offers a bevy of features that should make any command line guru excited, even if you never use Linux, although it does tie in nicely to the WSL. Terminal will offer tab support, allowing you to have multiple different shells open at the same time, including Powershell, command line, SSH, and more. You can just launch a new shell and pick when you hit the plus sign for a new tab. It also supports tab ripping, so you can move one tab to a new session or different session if you’d like

Terminal also brings with it GPU accelerated DirectWrite based text rendering, which allows for additional characters to be supported as well as symbols, which means yes, emoji are now supported in the command line. Although this may sound like something no one needs, Microsoft showed a simple test suite which leverages emoji for pass, partial, and fail, and I have to admit that is a smart use for symbols, offering instant color-based recognition for the various results.

Microsoft has also developed a new font just for Terminal which is open-sourced. It’s designed as a monospaced font for programming, so it’ll be nice it develop over time.

Windows Terminal will also allow for theming, as well as extension support, and it’s an open-source project so you can download it yourself right now and compile it if you want to get in early. For those that aren’t interested in compiling it themselves, the team hopes to have it available by summer 2019 through the Windows Store for preview, and winter 2019 as a launch target for Terminal 1.0.

Terminal will allow users to create profiles for each shell if they’d like to, allowing them to customize the experience depending on what tool they are leveraging. You can change the theme, font, blur, transparency, and more, making each shell unique so you know exactly what shell you are in at any time.

As someone who uses the Windows command line quite a bit, Windows Terminal looks like a breath of fresh air, and catapults the command line years ahead of where it is now. Microsoft has updated it with some nice features over the last couple of releases, such as resizable windows, easier copy and paste, and more, but they were running into issues where additional changes may break existing scripts, so rather than continue down that path, they’ve started fresh. The existing console will still be available for backwards compatibility.

If you are a developer, a system admin, or just someone who wants to tinker with Linux or various shells, today’s announcements are very exciting. It’ll be fun to give these changes a spin when released.

Source: Microsoft Blog

Windows Subsystem for Linux
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  • prophet001 - Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - link


    You're joking right?
  • domboy - Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - link

    @prophet001 - who/what are you addressing with your "you're joking" question?
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - link

    That'd be me. And I'm not joking, just tossing out a theory about the future. While I will gladly admit that I'm wrong if nothing comes of it, the pieces are slowly falling into place and there is certainly a possibility it may happen.
  • imaheadcase - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - link

    What pieces? Microsoft for a long time has made certain things open source. A console in a windows OS and that is the pieces? lol Everything they do is not to sway towards linux, its to sway people away from linux.
  • linuxgeex - Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - link

    OSX is not based on Linux. It's based on MacOS + their version of the Mach microkernel. It has more DNA in common with BSD and NeXT.
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - link

    Wow, dog pile on that one. That's not central to the point I was making. With Microsoft cooking up Linux support and attempting to cut costs because the OS is not as directly monetized through license sales (yes nitpickers, it's still a big part, but MS is chasing a software store) the company is clearly seeking other revenue streams. Cheaping out on OS development by switching the underlying guts over to Linux makes sense. Dabbling with Linux is an indicator of that potential direction and (back to Apple, you nitpickers) given everyone else out there is *nix-based already, Microsoft is behind the times and late to the party. That might change soon enough.

    That's the point of my original post, not to piss into the wind with you people about Apple's kernel and the fact that it's just lifted BSD code. If you want to nerd out about that, talk to an actual nerd, not someone like me that doesn't do anything technical at all because I'm only focused on the finance and dividend chunk of the puzzle.
  • imaheadcase - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - link

    What are you talking about? No one in right mind thinks that is a good idea. The reason windows exists is because of ease of use vs linux based system no matter what UI they put on it. I mean case in point its a console being transferred over to windows system..that alone should tell you it will never work.

    You do know windows primary function is ease of use right? lol
  • PeachNCream - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - link

    *shrug* I'm only tossing out theories. Given the response, it's clear that a lot of people are feeling awfully insecure and highly emotional about something that will happen at a level of code far beneath their notice. It's interesting to say the least, how much certain people have invested in something as meaningless as the OS that runs the programs they use. The underlying OS's job is to act as an intermediary between a program you're executing and the hardware that will run it. Why is a change that will likely be fairly invisible to the end user worth the emotions? And even more to the point, why is someone tossing out a theory (someone that has literally no control over what will actually happen at Redmond's campus) worth so much feeling?
  • jimbo2779 - Thursday, May 9, 2019 - link

    The "feelings", as you put it, are likely more a result of a silly theory being banded despite obvious reasons for the contrary and also because the person stating that theory ignoring counter points.

    Often a debate turns into an argument not because of the topic at hand but because of the way in which a person is debating that topic.
  • Lord of the Bored - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - link

    I certainly hope they don't. We have too few choices of operating system already. Everything is a Unix derivative or Windows. I'm actually hoping the great Linux monolith shatters and some portion of that market goes in other directions(it is probably too much to hope that they eschew copying Unix entirely).

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