Tabs for Cygwin – Making Windows PHP/JS Development Closer to Linux

November 18, 2014 7:37 pm Leave your thoughts

tabbed terminalSometimes circumstances dictates what tools you can use for software development whether it’s due to vendor agreement, funding or simply organisation standard. Although¬†in my opinion, ideally PHP and JS software development are done under Linux or Mac (if you need to test iOS related things), in some cases we have to make do with Windows.

I’m not saying Windows is bad per se, however since most production servers for PHP are hosted under Linux, it’s best to develop under Linux. That way all the tools and commands are near to production environment. In any case, one way to get closer to Linux development machine under Windows machine is by using Cygwin.

After all these years, Cygwin has come a long way. I think it’s much more stable now than it used to be. However the thing that really annoys me is the lack of tabbing. Wouldn’t it be good if the Cygwin terminal looks like the picture above?

I love opening terminals in multiple tabs, I’ve done¬†that in both Linux and OSX. So I have been finding the easiest way to do this and today I’ll share it with you.

Note that the Cygwin version that I’m using is the 64-bit version and running under Windows 7.

Get the Tabs Happening

So here are the steps to get tabbing for your console:

  1. Download the software ConEmu. You can find it here.
  2. Once you’ve installed it let’s start setting up our Cygwin tab.
  3. Click on the + sign next to the search dialog box. Click on “Setup tasks…”.
    Ignore that 1: {Cygwin} option, that’ll be available after we complete the setup.
  4. Create a new group, call it “Cygwin”.
    Then under the commands section, enter the command:

  5. Then make this the default group to open up on start up. You can do this by clicking on the “Startup” option just above “Tasks” and make Cygwin the default group to run.
  6. If you see the screenshot below, it’s also possible to open an administrator console. This way you can do things like editing the /etc/host file, which is a link to the actual Windows host file.

This way, it’s now possible to have multiple tabbed console under Windows. In addition, using ConEmu, you are not restricted to Cygwin only of course, the default is Windows CMD console and you can make it run other default tasks too.

Hopefully the post to day helps you develop under Windows.

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