Powershell vs. Terminal

I usually write code and do various types of web development on OS X or Linux. Now, however, I find myself without a Mac for a while, using Windows 10. So far so good - I have VirtualBox with Ubuntu running. When I’m in Windows, however, I’m using Powershell for much of what I use Terminal for in OS X. One thing I can’t figure out: how can I get multiple tabs on PowerShell and/or get multiple PowerShell windows open, with different shell instances?

Just start two command line sessions (cmd) then run powershell (ps)?

Cmder and ConEMU are the frontrunners in this space. There are others.

Keep an eye on Bash in Windows 10. It’s pretty great but has some minor hiccups still like lack of a native 256 color shell. I run an x11 server which works, but can be a bit janky to get up and running. Pretty darn fast.

Otherwise ConEMU is my preferred solution, along with the native powershell ISE but I don’t do much with powershell.

The new bash is great for the linux environment isn’t really appropriate for working inside windows. If you need to do that, cygwin bash is still the way to go.

How so? It can access everything in the windows environment by /mnt/c

Having used cygin & msys for years I greatly prefer w10 bash already.

The one hiccup is editing files in windows inside the lxrun chroot or whatever you call it. That apparently is a bad idea/doesn’t work. This hasn’t been an issue for me, I just don’t store files there that I want to access in windows.

You can’t run windows executables inside the bash shell natively. There are ways around it, but I would wait until MS fixes it.

Oh true, that just never bothered me. I think of it as closer to VirtualBox but much faster and better integration.

If you need to do linux stuff, the new linux environment inside windows is excellent. But if you need to do windows stuff, best to stick to native for now-- and I include cygwin bash under native.

Thanks - that’s exactly what I was looking for.

Or just start 2 powershell sessions ;).

Powershell ISE also supports Tabs. Not sure about separate sessions however.

I pin Powershell to the taskbar, and by right-clicking, I can open a new session or the ISE. Probably can do multiple separate ISE sessions that way…

If you need a no-fuss quick way to get a cygwin bash enviornment up and running, check out http://babun.github.io. You can still go nuts tweaking it out to wazoo, but it is better functioning right out of the box than a base cygwin install.

Looks like cmder has a documentation section about integrating with babun, so even better.

Pyperkub is right, use ISE windows instead of straight powershell.exe. While powershell.exe is ok for running scripts already written I’d never try to use it interactively; it’s just so awkward to type into compared to the ISE, well, frankly there is no comparison. :)

And, yeah, with the ISE you can open multiple tabs to have independent sessions going, or just run powershell_ise.exe a couple of times from the start menu; either way should be fine.

I use Fish on OS X and it’s awesome.


I have been using zsh for years now, and recently got it to the point I am fairly happy but looking at the fish syntax makes me think I should try switching to that.

zsh is just different from bash to make it not compatible but not different enough to not suck arse like bash.