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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  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - link

    Yup, we've found a live one here. I'm not interested in preaching about operating systems. As you're proving, they can be a bit of a religion which incites the usual hormone-fueled crusade emotions. I do think Linux has a few niches where it works out quite well, but its not for everyone (unless you've got an Android in your pocket which is another debate entirely, heh). However, if any single company can put the Linux kernel to good use and dress it up so that the end user can just click their icons, play video games, and veg out on Facebook, Microsoft would be it - at least in the PC space. We all know what happened to Windows on phones. Reply
  • FormerRedHead - Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - link

    I would take Oracle on Linux any day over Windows. WebLogic, Jboss, or WebSphere, too, for that matter. And PowerShell does not hold a candle to what one can do with bash. Reply
  • imaheadcase - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - link

    Every windows user now hates change..you saw the huge blowback from simply changing to win 10 in the first place. Linux is and will always be more of a geek OS. Pretty evident by now. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - link

    You're going to blow a blood vessel in your brain being wrapped up that tightly over software. Reply
  • baka_toroi - Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - link

    You're right about that. I need to go live in the countryside before it gets to that point, using a single computer running nothing but FreeDOS. Reply
  • HStewart - Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - link

    I don't believe this mean that Windows is becoming Linux based OS, just that it allows Windows to Host Linux subsystem in it environment. One can run Linux Applications without dual booting Windows. Older version of Windows did this with OS/2 subsystem and where is OS/2 today. Reply
  • mooninite - Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - link

    Your analogy is wrong and also wildly out of date. IBM OS/2 was not open source. Not being driven by multiple players either. Windows did have a Unix subsystem at one point, too, and now it is all coming back.

    I don't understand the comments on this article. Windows fanboys (fanboys are still a thing?) are scared to hell about this... ? :-/
    Reply
  • Reflex - Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - link

    macOS is BSD based, not Linux. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - link

    Yes, but we are talking about branches of the same tree here. BSD is probably the weirdest branch of Unix (I suspect pot had something to do with it) with System V and Linux being arguably more closely aligned to one another, but there are still lots of shared principals and thinking. iOS as well as it's another OSX/BSD critter. Reply
  • Reflex - Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - link

    Um, no we aren't talking about branches of the same tree. Linux is a completely different design and architecture than true UNIX, of which BSD is a direct branch of. Linux was implemented from scratch as a POSIX compliant OS, it uses a monolithic kernel architecture and works on a different set of principles. There is often binary compatibility, but that is true of a lot of operating systems, for instance Windows NT and later has also been POSIX compliant and long had a full subsystem for POSIX applications (Unix apps could run on Windows).

    BSD and Linux are as different from each other as Windows and Linux are. And historically speaking, BSD is not the 'weird one' in the family.
    Reply

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