I wanted to be able to type in Windows with a familiar text editor. I downloaded a terminal text editor called gvim, which I think is a good text editor, and it was able to be installed portably—this last is necessary as the computer I use I am not able to install anything on. However, even with having that, I discovered that I wanted to be to use the GNU tools I had become familiar with… hence a dilemma.
There are several projects that provide GNU utilities on Windows… I have learned. I am not an expert in these mind you—I have tried only one—however, I’ve heard good things about them all. The following are all terminal emulators and they include the GNU utilities: Cygwin, Gow (GNU on Windows), and Git-bash.
I have only tried the later one. The reason for this is because I’ve had it already installed as it comes installed with the Git program that I use at times. I would have like to tried for the first two, however I’m not too picky and Git-bash has done me well enough; it has the basic utilities and is pretty much ready to go.
Having GNU utilities available is handy for me and saves me a bit of time because of familiarity; another bonus is time saved that would be required to learn the Windows command line. The tools run just like they do on Linux/Unix and can be used on the whole file system. Many of the tools are there:
mkdir…. For example, I can type:
$ find /c/Windows/Web/ -type f -name "*Think*" /c/Windows/Web/Wallpaper/Think/Think_Black.jpg /c/Windows/Web/Wallpaper/Think/Think_Blue.jpg
By default the terminal emulator uses the already set Windows
%HOMEPATH% variable for shell’s
$HOME directory—this is usually
C:\Users\USERNAME. I decided to use my flash drive as the
$HOME directory where all my documents and settings could be kept. I had to create a batch script that defined the
%HOMEPATH% and then have it start Git-bash:
@echo off set HOMEDRIVE=%cd:~0,2% set HOMEPATH=\ start /B %HOMEDRIVE%\Downloads\Git\git-bash.exe
I then created a shortcut to flash drive root directory for quick access and to have a custom icon. I icon I choose was taken from the
git-bash.exe file when I was asked for the icon location.
An error was the first thing I had to fix… and it may just be for my particular version of Git; it complained to me when I tried to use it and I had to specify the certificate location. I did this by:
git config --system http.sslcainfo /d/Downloads/Git/mingw32/ssl/certs/ca-bundle.crt
After this I added
ssh-agent to my
~/.bashrc launch it:
# SSH agent auto-launch # 0 = agent running with key; 1 = agent running w/o key; 2 = agent not running agent_run_state=$(ssh-add -l >| /dev/null 2>&1; echo $?) if [ $agent_run_state = 2 ]; then eval $(ssh-agent -s) ssh-add elif [ $agent_run_state = 1 ]; then ssh-add fi
And likewise I added to the
ssh-agent -k as Windows would think that it was still running if I didn’t.
Now I’m working pretty good in Windows.