Jason Lindquist (jlindquist) wrote,
Jason Lindquist

Proper terminal console on Windows

On Windows boxes I own or abuse regularly, cygwin has been a required install for years. I get a proper command-line tool set (proper shells, perl interpreter, enscript, pipe behavior) and archive tools (tar, gzip, bzip2). The installation has come a long way, and more so than I'd realized. First, the included ssh/scp installation is now fully functional. Previously, scp hadn't worked for me, which was okay, since pscp (included with putty) worked just fine. Unfortunately, even though I wasn't running cmd.exe, these were all still running inside Windows' standard command line window, with all its requisite flaws: Crappy scrollback, iffy fonts, and a truly craptacular cut-and-paste mechanism.

MARK_NOTARUS and Sean T. Fucking O'Connor pointed me at the now-fully-functional cygwin native (read: doesn't require an X server) rxvt. Two minor obstacles and I'm up and running. One: You have to install the Bitstream Vera font set into Control Panels/Fonts. If you don't, you get windows where each character is double-spaced horizontally. You can turn off the font and boldFont resources in /etc/X11/app-defaults/Rxvt, but then you get a small font that's kind of hard to read at a comfortable seating distance. Two, you have to stop using pscp and use the now-functional cygwin scp. pscp, when NOT built against cygwin (in other words, its binary distribution) doesn't grok cygwin's tty mechanism, so it doesn't know how to handle non-echoed passwords properly. (It echos your password (!!) and then doesn't pass it on correctly, so the connect fails.)

So here's my app-defaults file:
Rxvt*background:        black
Rxvt*foreground:        green
Rxvt*cursorColor:       red
Rxvt*scrollBar:         true
Rxvt*scrollBar_right:   true
Rxvt*font:              -bitstream-bitstream vera sans mono-medium-r-normal--*-160-*-*-m-*-iso8859-1
Rxvt*boldfont:          -bitstream-bitstream vera sans mono-bold-r-normal--*-160-*-*-m-*-iso8859-1
Rxvt*saveLines:         2000
Rxvt*loginshell:        true
Rxvt.backspacekey:      ^H

The shortcut in the Quick Launch bar uses the target C:\cygwin\bin\rxvt.exe -title rxvt -e tcsh -l

Also, rxvt properly groks the xterm title bar control character sequence. Finally, I get my usual title bar back (pwd user@host). It's been a bitch without that, having eight or ten windows stacked in the task bar with no way to tell which 'tcsh' window is the one I want.

[Edit 4/13/09] Per jessebunbun, there's a screen shot in the comments. Also, Bitstream Vera has a lower-case 'l' that is very distinct from the digit '1'. That's a HUGE win there.

  • Aurora reference

    For reference, the only two links I could find on Aurora shooter (and Westview '06 grad) James Holmes, prior to his attendance at Westview being…

  • Your friend, FunnyJunk.com

    If you've never heard of funnyjunk.com, it's run by a content thief. It's a haven for incompetence, stupidity, and douchebaggery. Site owner…

  • X-header crap

    It is ridiculous how big this section of my .muttrc has gotten. Every goddamned special snowflake mailer has to have its own collection of…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.