Unified Command Line in Windows

Some working notes on getting a unified terminal experience on Windows. The ultimate problem is every tool set for Windows wants to install a complete GNU environment and doesn’t bother checking if you already have one installed. The ultimate kicker is: you basically can’t do it.

Have you ever tried to install some command line tool for Windows and noticed that every single one wants to install a full MinGW tool chain? Yeah, I noticed that too. The problem is each one knows nothing about the other and does not play well. Couple that with the path mangling in CygWin and I started to get fed up.

So, I went back to MSys. At some point, I will get around to adding the links back in. So far, I have

$ pacman -Syuu
$ pacman -S man git vim zsh

And I installed the x86_64 compiler just to be safe.

To get MSys to respect the Windows path (and be able to find the system Python and Pandoc and MikTex and …) set [MSYS2_PATH_TYPE=inherit]. I still haven’t found how to change the default shell without editing msys2_shell.cmd.

Well, I just realized we need CygWin anyway. It has an X server. Combine that with offlineimap and mutt simply work, and that points to the idea that we should just use MSys as a useable terminal.

Written on January 19, 2017