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Apr 17, 2012

Get the UNIX feel in Windows 7

Every once in a while I've really missed having a Unix shell on my Windows box. When your e.g. monitoring a log file, Notepad just doesn't cut it. I've been using Cygwin on and off as an alternative to get access to handy tools such as catgreplesstailvi and so on. But I haven't really been too excited about Cygwin.

I discovered recently that Microsoft provides a Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications built-in to Windows 7. Fantastic! As with many other features, you'll have to enable it in "Windows features". When it's enabled, you'll need to download and install the Utilities and SDK for Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications. Then you'll find shortcuts to a C shell and a Korn shell in your start menu. I went with the C shell, which gave me tab completion, the up/down arrow command history etc.



And there it was! tail -f on a logfile:


If you haven't yet discovered the brilliance of Unix and its common tools, you might want to check out Microsoft's familiarization video :)


Unix-Klingz out.

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