Scott Hanselman

You can now download the new Open Source Windows Terminal

June 21, 2019 Comment on this post [27] Posted in Open Source | Win10
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Last month Microsoft announced a new open source Windows Terminal! It's up at and it's great, but for the last several weeks you've had to build it yourself as a Developer. It's been very v0.1 if you know what I mean.

Today you can download the Windows Terminal from the Microsoft Store! This is a preview release (think v0.2) but it'll automatically update, often, from the Windows Store if you have Windows 10 version 18362.0 or higher. Run "winver" to make sure.

Windows Terminal

If you don't see any tabs, hit Ctrl-T and note the + and the pull down menu at the top there. Under the menu go to Settings to open profiles.json. Here's mine on one machine.

Here's some Hot Windows Terminal Tips

You can do background images, even animated, with opacity (with useAcrylic off):

"backgroundImage": "c:/users/scott/desktop/doug.gif",
"backgroundImageOpacity": 0.7,
"backgroundImageStretchMode": "uniformToFill

You can edit the key bindings to your taste in the "key bindings" section. For now, be specific, so the * might be expressed as Ctrl+Shift+8, for example.

Try other things like cursor shape and color, history size, as well as different fonts for each tab.

 "cursorShape": "vintage"

If you're using WSL or WSL2, use the distro name like this in your new profile:

"wsl.exe -d Ubuntu-18.04"

If you like Font Ligatures or use Powerline, consider Fira Code as a potential new font.

I'd recommend you PIN terminal to your taskbar and start menu, but you can run windows terminal from the command "wt" from Windows R or from anotherc console. That's just "wt" and enter!

Try not just "Ctrl+Mouse Scroll" but also "Ctrl+Shift+Mouse Scroll" and get your your whole life!

Remember that the definition of a shell is someone fluid, so check out Azure Cloud Shell, in your terminal!

Windows Terminal menus

Also, let's start sharing nice color profiles! Share your new ones as a Gist in this format. Note the name.

"background" : "#2C001E",
"black" : "#4E9A06",
"blue" : "#3465A4",
"brightBlack" : "#555753",
"brightBlue" : "#729FCF",
"brightCyan" : "#34E2E2",
"brightGreen" : "#8AE234",
"brightPurple" : "#AD7FA8",
"brightRed" : "#EF2929",
"brightWhite" : "#EEEEEE",
"brightYellow" : "#FCE94F",
"cyan" : "#06989A",
"foreground" : "#EEEEEE",
"green" : "#300A24",
"name" : "UbuntuLegit",
"purple" : "#75507B",
"red" : "#CC0000",
"white" : "#D3D7CF",
"yellow" : "#C4A000"

Note also that this should be the beginning of a wonderful Windows Console ecosystem. This isn't the one terminal to end them all, it's the one to start them all. I've loved alternative consoles for YEARS, whether it be ConEmu or Console2 many years ago, I've long declared that Text Mode is a missed opportunity.

Remember also that Terminal !== Shell and that you can bring your shell of choice into your Terminal of choice! If you want the deep architectural dive, be sure to watch the BUILD 2019 technical talk with some of the developers or read about ConPTY and how to integrate with it!

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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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June 22, 2019 6:04
Now if there was only a way to escalate privileges in cmd and Powershell equivalent to sudo or even better, sudo su. Otherwise, (as a non-developer but a power user) I still can't use Windows Terminal for the majority of the stuff that I use the command line for.
June 22, 2019 7:20
Powershell sudo: `Invoke-Elevated`

Like a lot of `Powershell <-> sh` commands, it's not a 1:1 mapping, but it does the job. Sometimes a bit better, sometimes a bit worse.
June 22, 2019 10:18
I wonder, nobody uses the (second since recently) most popular OS - Windows 7 at Microsoft?
June 22, 2019 10:45
Thanks for the info and your profiles.json file Scott!

It's worth noting that you must have all the fonts mentioned in profiles.json installed on your system. Otherwise, Windows Terminal will silently fail to start.
June 22, 2019 10:50
@joe - I’ve been using this sudo for Windows for a while - works great from cmd or powershell. Or even WSL bash with a little bash function to help out!

As for the new terminal - insta-install. I built from source, but haven’t used it full-time so far...
June 22, 2019 11:01
This seems to be only available on Windows Store. Are there plans for a version available to people who prefer not to sign their device into a Microsoft Account?
June 22, 2019 12:41
I have a couple of questions:

1. In your settings Gist, where do you get the icons you're using from (and where do you have to place them)?
2. What's the correct way to get the VsDevPs.ps1 file used in your VS2019 profile? My VS2019 install doesn't appear to have that file.

June 22, 2019 17:54
@Stewart thanks for the suggestion, works great.

@Gareth it's a standard msix (well, msixbundle including all architectures), so if you find a site that generates "direct download" links from the "Microsoft Store", you can just install it.

(quotes might be a good idea for what to search for...)
June 22, 2019 19:48
Will it be possible to download a setup from somewhere? Store is blocked in my company.
June 22, 2019 23:26
Ah Microsoft. Still using the stupid backslashes.
June 23, 2019 2:35
This is fun! It's already more reliable and faster than Terminus.

I love the live update of settings too.
June 23, 2019 13:45
that was really useful
thanks a lot
June 23, 2019 20:28
Is there a reference for the profiles.json file somewhere?
June 24, 2019 6:36
I can get the terminal to open via typing 'wt' in the explorer, but how to pass the path?
June 24, 2019 6:37
Would be nice if there were a backgroundImages C:\someImagesFolder that the terminal could cycle through like a slide show.
June 24, 2019 12:39
Is there a page some where that lists and describes the various difference config settings?
I've taken a quick look on the Github page for the project (along with upvoting the UI and putting settings in user profile not in the horrible win app location) but can't really find it. I've also followed various links from this post.
June 24, 2019 19:54
I second Byron Adams comment - I typically will be in a folder and type either cmd or powershell in the address bar to open the respective shell in the current path. If this could also do that, it would be *perfect*
June 24, 2019 20:04
config info is here, for those looking
June 25, 2019 7:05
If any of you use the Dracula theme like I do everywhere, I've set it up for my terminal and put it in a repo out there.
June 25, 2019 11:05
Is there any information on the update frequency of the preview version?
June 26, 2019 11:46
Be warned that this version is unusable with most non-US keyboards, due to an issue that breaks all AltGr+key combinations.

June 26, 2019 18:01
thanks bro for such great work.... nomi
June 27, 2019 7:39
Why does this have to be a Windows Store app?! The worst platform ever created for anything.
June 30, 2019 12:26
Agreed on windows store. Why??? I have windows 10 enterprise edition (from MSDN!) and it doesn't install, saying that my windows version is too old (but it's up to date according to windows update).
July 03, 2019 5:51
Thanks for the info and your profiles.json file Scott!

It's worth noting that you must have all the fonts mentioned in profiles.json installed on your system. Otherwise, Windows Terminal will silently fail to start.
July 03, 2019 14:01
Hi, Scott. This is great, I have long to have it.

Thanks for the heads up, and do enjoy your day.
July 03, 2019 22:44
it seems that no matter what i do, setting a background image/gif via backgroundImageOpacity makes that opacity in front of a white background, no matter what i have background set to (#000000 for example). ANy idea how to make the opacity fade to black, and not white?

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.