Better Cygwin Terminal

I recall at last week’s hackathon we were trying to push stuff using git on Cygwin.  It took a while to figure out ssh was missing, which is weird – you’d assume that’d be included in the default install.  After spending time at a decent terminal on a decent OS, the Cygwin shell definitely leaves something to be desired.

So I searched for ‘better cygwin terminal’ and the first result tells you exactly how to do it.  Basically, you go into C:\cygwin\Cygwin.bat, replace the line that reads:

bash --login -i


start rxvt -sr -sl 10000 -fg white -bg black -fn fixedsys -fb fixedsys -tn cygwin -e /bin/bash --login -i

Okay, I realize it’s kinda lame to re-blog top Google results, but more people should know about it – no one deserves to be squinting at a 80 by 25 window that you can’t even copy and paste from, nor can you scroll up and down on, nor can you resize.  The command line rocks, and people might never realize it experiencing it through Cygwin.

Also, I found that manpages were scrambled with special characters appearing as garbage in rxvt.  A fix for that is to add the following to .bashrc:


3 thoughts on “Better Cygwin Terminal

  1. Have a look at ‘mintty’ as well, which has a more modern interface with a graphical options dialog. It supports Unicode, so you don’t need the C.ASCII hack. Installing mintty via Cygwin’s setup.exe creates a shortcut in the Cygwin folder in the start menu. See

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