Windows to Linux without using Putty each time?
Why Use Cygwin?
I have been a long time Putty user when logging from my Windows to GNU environments. It works great, but sometimes I just want the feel of a Native Command Line.
Cygwin is an open source tool that allows POSIX like environment naively from Windows. Cygwin runs on most Windows machines and is a distribution of GNU. Just like with Putty Cygwin allows for customization of the tool through themes. There are a few tricks to customizing the theme versus Putty that give developer/administrators more options. Let’s step through developing and changing the default theme in Cygwin.
Changing Themes in Cygwin
Step 1 Install Cygwin
Make sure you have Cygwin installed and running.
Step 2 Install Mintty
Download and Install Mintty. You can download and install Mintty or use Cygwin Package manager to install.
Step 3 Open Cygwin Options
After installing go to Cygwin options – Looks. Go to the 4bit theme generator or select ‘Color Scheme Designer’ to be director to 4bit Theme generator. The theme generator allows you to use prebuilt schemes or create your own custom shell. For my environment I created a custom theme with a slightly dark purple background.
Here’s my custom Cygwin Theme
Step 4 Download Or Copy .minttyrc
Once you have selected or developed your customer Cywin theme select the ‘Get Scheme’ button in top right. The file type you need to export is mintty (.minttyrc). If you have trouble getting the file to export just right click to open in new tab and copy the configurations.
Step 5 Overwrite Or Edit the .minttyrc file
Extremely important step and one that I always forget (which is the reason I created this post), where to edit theme file. If you download the .minttyrc file move and overwrite the file in the Cygwin64/home/[username] directory. Alternatively you can just edit the existing .minttyrc configuration file.
The ability to customize themes for your console is one of my favorite things versus staring at a generic white or black terminal. Use the 4bit Theme Generator to build your own custom theme or search around to find one that suits your style. Post screen shots of your terminal in the comments below. I’d love to see what other developers/administrators are using.
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