Tech Help

Supercharge your CLi

In this post, we’ll explore how Windows Terminal can revolutionize your command line experience inside of Windows 11. Windows Terminal offers a streamlined interface for maximizing productivity when working in the command prompt, bash or Powershell, all at the same time. Join us as we uncover tips and tricks to elevate your productivity while working in the command line. Let’s dive in and unleash the full potential of Windows Terminal!

  1. I would suggest installing Windows updates before proceeding.

First we need to install Windows Terminal. The recommended way (according to Microsoft), is to install via the Microsoft Store, but you can also install from Github here https://github.com/microsoft/terminal/releases
For ease of use we’ll install from The Store.

 

Let’s launch Windows Terminal and see what’s available.

 

Windows Terminal’s default screen is a version of Powershell that came with your build of Windows. (Mine is 5.1) You’ll notice in the dropdown the other available command line apps are Command Prompt and Azure Cloud Shell. You can add to this list by installing an app/OS that uses a shell. We’ll install Ubuntu, but first we need to install WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux.)

1 – Open Control Panel and choose “Turn Windows features on or off”. 2 – Choose “Windows Subsystem for Linux” 3 – Hit Ok button  

After you hit OK you’ll be required to reboot.

Now that we have WSL installed let’s install a distro of Ubuntu Linux. Open the Microsoft Store and search for Ubuntu. I chose version 22.04.3, but any will work, just make sure it’s an official version.

Now that we have Ubuntu installed let’s relaunch Windows Terminal and see what options we have. 

Nice, we now have Ubuntu as one of our options. Go ahead and launch that.

NOTE: if you get an error about needing a kernel update open a command prompt and run “wsl –update“. Also, if your Windows 11 is running this from a Hyper-V VM then you’ll need to run this command from the host computer. Set-VMProcessor -VMName NameOfVM -ExposeVirtualizationExtensions $true

Finally, we have a prompt for Ubuntu!

If you want to change the look and feel of Windows Terminal you can do that under Settings.

The GIFs below go over settings I would consider changing.

The last thing we’ll go over is Profiles. This is how you add a shell program manually. When you install a programming language like Python it doesn’t get added to Windows Terminal automatically like WSL distributions. 

I’ve already installed Python so we’ll create a profile for it.

Settings -> Add a new Profile -> Set the Name and Command Line -> Save

I had to save the coolest feature for last, Tab Tearout. You can separate tabs and combine them as well. 

There you go. That’s Windows Terminal and some of the cool things you can do with it. I hope this post was helpful. In addition to my blog posts you can find more content at my YouTube channel.

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