Lovely console emulator package for Windows
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README.md

Cmder

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Cmder is a software package created out of pure frustration over absence of usable console emulator on Windows. It is based on ConEmu with major config overhaul, comes with a Monokai color scheme, amazing clink (further enhanced by clink-completions) and a custom prompt layout.

Cmder Screenshot

Why use it

The main advantage of Cmder is portability. It is designed to be totally self-contained with no external dependencies, which makes it great for USB Sticks or cloud storage. So you can carry your console, aliases and binaries (like wget, curl and git) with you anywhere.

The Cmder's user interface is also designed to be more eye pleasing, and you can compare the main differences between Cmder and ConEmu here.

Installation

Single User Portable Config

  1. Download the latest release
  2. Extract the archive. Note: This path should not be C:\Program Files or anywhere else that would require Administrator access for modifying configuration files
  3. (optional) Place your own executable files into the %cmder_root%\bin folder to be injected into your PATH.
  4. Run Cmder.exe

Shared Cmder install with Non-Portable Individual User Config

  1. Download the latest release
  2. Extract the archive to a shared location.
  3. (optional) Place your own executable files into the %cmder_root%\bin folder to be injected into your PATH.
  4. (optional) Create %userprofile%\cmder_config\bin folder to be injected into individual users PATH. Default is to auto create this on first run.
  5. (optional) Place your own executable files into the %userprofile%\cmder_config\bin folder to be injected into your PATH.
  6. Run Cmder.exe with /C command line argument. Example: cmder.exe /C %userprofile%\cmder_config
    • This will create the following directory structure if it is missing.

      c:\users\[username]\cmder_config
      ├───bin
      └───config
          └───profile.d
      
  • Both the shared install and the individual user config locations can contain a full set of init and profile.d scripts enabling shared config with user overrides. See below.

Cmder.exe Command Line Arguments

Argument Description
/C [user_root_path] Individual user Cmder root folder. Example: %userprofile%\cmder_config
/SINGLE Start Cmder in single mode.
/START [start_path] Folder path to start in.
/TASK [task_name] Task to start after launch.

Context Menu Integration

So you've experimented with Cmder a little and want to give it a shot in a more permanent home;

Shortcut to open Cmder in a chosen folder

  1. Open a terminal as an Administrator
  2. Navigate to the directory you have placed Cmder
  3. Execute .\cmder.exe /REGISTER ALL If you get a message "Access Denied" ensure you are executing the command in an Administrator prompt.

In a file explorer window right click in or on a directory to see "Cmder Here" in the context menu.

Keyboard shortcuts

Tab manipulation

  • Ctrl + T : New tab dialog (maybe you want to open cmd as admin?)
  • Ctrl + W : Close tab
  • Ctrl + D : Close tab (if pressed on empty command)
  • Shift + Alt + #Number : Fast new tab: 1 - CMD, 2 - PowerShell
  • Ctrl + Tab : Switch to next tab
  • Ctrl + Shift + Tab : Switch to previous tab
  • Ctrl + #Number : Switch to tab #Number
  • Alt + Enter: Fullscreen

Shell

  • Ctrl + Alt + U : Traverse up in directory structure (lovely feature!)
  • End, Home, Ctrl : Traversing text with as usual on Windows
  • Ctrl + R : History search
  • Shift + Mouse : Select and copy text from buffer

(Some shortcuts are not yet documented, though they exist - please document them here)

Features

Access to multiple shells in one window using tabs

You can open multiple tabs each containing one of the following shells:

Task Shell Description
Cmder cmd.exe Windows cmd.exe shell enhanced with Git, Git aware prompt, Clink (GNU Readline), and Aliases.
Cmder as Admin cmd.exe Administrative Windows cmd.exe Cmder shell.
PowerShell powershell.exe Windows PowerShell enhanced with Git and Git aware prompt .
PowerShell as Admin powershell.exe Administrative Windows powershell.exe Cmder shell.
Bash bash.exe Unix/Linux like bash shell running on Windows.
Bash as Admin bash.exe Administrative Unix/Linux like bash shell running on Windows.
Mintty bash.exe Unix/Linux like bash shell running on Windows. See below for Mintty configuration differences
Mintty as Admin bash.exe Administrative Unix/Linux like bash shell running on Windows. See below for Mintty configuration differences

Cmder, PowerShell, and Bash tabs all run on top of the Windows Console API and work as you might expect in Cmder with access to use ConEmu's color schemes, key bindings and other settings defined in the ConEmu Settings dialog.

NOTE: Only the full edition of Cmder comes with a pre-installed bash, using a vendored git-for-windows installation. The pre-configured Bash tabs may not work on Cmder mini edition without additional configuration.

You may however, choose to use an external installation of bash, such as Microsoft's Subsystem for Linux (called WSL) or the Cygwin project which provides POSIX support on windows.

NOTE: Mintty tabs use a program called 'mintty' as the terminal emulator that is not based on the Windows Console API, rather it's rendered graphically by ConEmu. Mintty differs from the other tabs in that it supports xterm/xterm-256color TERM types, and does not work with ConEmu settings like color schemes and key bindings. As such, some differences in functionality are to be expected, such as Cmder not being able to apply a system-wide configuration to it.

As a result mintty specific config is done via the [%USERPROFILE%|$HOME]/.minttyrc file. You may read more about Mintty and its config file here.

An example of setting Cmder portable terminal colors for mintty:

From a bash/mintty shell:

cd $CMDER_ROOT/vendor
git clone https://github.com/karlin/mintty-colors-solarized.git
cd mintty-colors-solarized/
echo source \$CMDER_ROOT/vendor/mintty-colors-solarized/mintty-solarized-dark.sh>>$CMDER_ROOT/config/user_profile.sh

You may find some Monokai color schemes for mintty to match Cmder here or here.

Changing Cmder Default cmd.exe Shell Startup Behaviour Using Task Arguments

  1. Press Win + Alt + T
  2. Click either:
  • 1. {cmd::Cmder as Admin}
  • 2. {cmd::Cmder}
  1. Add command line arguments where specified below:

Note: Pay attention to the quotes!

cmd /s /k ""%ConEmuDir%\..\init.bat" [ADD ARGS HERE]"
Command Line Arguments for init.bat
Argument Description Default
/c [user cmder root] Enables user bin and config folders for 'Cmder as admin' sessions due to non-shared environment. not set
/d Enables debug output. not set
/f Enables Cmder Fast Init Mode. This disables some features, see pull request #1492 for more details. not set
/git_install_root [file path] User specified Git installation root path. %CMDER_ROOT%\vendor\Git-for-Windows
/home [home folder] User specified folder path to set %HOME% environment variable. %userprofile%
/max_depth [1-5] Define max recurse depth when adding to the path for %cmder_root%\bin and %cmder_user_bin% 1
/svn_ssh [path to ssh.exe] Define %SVN_SSH% so we can use git svn with ssh svn repositories. %GIT_INSTALL_ROOT%\bin\ssh.exe
/user_aliases [file path] File path pointing to user aliases. %CMDER_ROOT%\config\user-aliases.cmd
/v Enables verbose output. not set
(custom arguments) User defined arguments processed by cexec. Type cexec /? for more useage. not set

Cmder Shell User Config

Single user portable configuration is possible using the cmder specific shell config files. Edit the below files to add your own configuration:

Shell Cmder Portable User Config
Cmder %CMDER_ROOT%\config\user_profile.cmd
PowerShell $ENV:CMDER_ROOT\config\user_profile.ps1
Bash/Mintty $CMDER_ROOT/config/user_profile.sh

Note: Bash and Mintty sessions will also source the $HOME/.bashrc file if it exists after it sources $CMDER_ROOT/config/user_profile.sh.

You can write *.cmd|*.bat, *.ps1, and *.sh scripts and just drop them in the %CMDER_ROOT%\config\profile.d folder to add startup config to Cmder.

Shell Cmder Profile.d Scripts
Cmder %CMDER_ROOT%\config\profile.d\*.bat and *.cmd
PowerShell $ENV:CMDER_ROOT\config\profile.d\*.ps1
Bash/Mintty $CMDER_ROOT/config/profile.d/*.sh

Aliases

Cmder(Cmd.exe) Aliases

You can define simple aliases for cmd.exe sessions with a command like alias name=command. Cmd.exe aliases support optional parameters through the $1-9 or the $* special characters so the alias vi=vim.exe $* typed as vi [filename] will open [filename] in vim.exe.

Cmd.exe aliases can also be more complex. See: DOSKEY.EXE documentation for additional details on complex aliases/macros for cmd.exe

Aliases defined using the alias.bat command will automatically be saved in the %CMDER_ROOT%\config\user-aliases.cmd file

To make an alias and/or any other profile settings permanent add it to one of the following:

Note: These are loaded in this order by $CMDER_ROOT/vendor/init.bat. Anything stored in %CMDER_ROOT% will be a portable setting and will follow cmder to another machine.

  • %CMDER_ROOT%\config\profile.d\*.cmd and \*.bat
  • %CMDER_ROOT%\config\user-aliases.cmd
  • %CMDER_ROOT%\config\user_profile.cmd

Bash.exe|Mintty.exe Aliases

Bash shells support simple and complex aliases with optional parameters natively so they work a little different. Typing alias name=command will create an alias only for the current running session.

To make an alias and/or any other profile settings permanent add it to one of the following:

Note: These are loaded in this order by $CMDER_ROOT/vendor/git-for-windows/etc/profile.d/cmder.sh. Anything stored in $CMDER_ROOT will be a portable setting and will follow cmder to another machine.

  • $CMDER_ROOT/config/profile.d/*.sh
  • $CMDER_ROOT/config/user_profile.sh
  • $HOME/.bashrc

If you add bash aliases to $CMDER_ROOT/config/user_profile.sh they will be portable and follow your Cmder folder if you copy it to another machine. $HOME/.bashrc defined aliases are not portable.

PowerShell.exe Aliases

PowerShell has native simple alias support, for example [new-alias | set-alias] alias command, so complex aliases with optional parameters are not supported in PowerShell sessions. Type get-help [new-alias|set-alias] -full for help on PowerShell aliases.

To make an alias and/or any other profile settings permanent add it to one of the following:

Note: These are loaded in this order by $ENV:CMDER_ROOT\vendor\user_profile.ps1. Anything stored in $ENV:CMDER_ROOT will be a portable setting and will follow cmder to another machine.

  • $ENV:CMDER_ROOT\config\profile.d\*.ps1
  • $ENV:CMDER_ROOT\config\user_profile.ps1

SSH Agent

To start the vendored SSH agent simply call start-ssh-agent, which is in the vendor/git-for-windows/cmd folder.

If you want to run SSH agent on startup, include the line @call "%GIT_INSTALL_ROOT%/cmd/start-ssh-agent.cmd" in %CMDER_ROOT%/config/user_profile.cmd (usually just uncomment it).

Vendored Git

Cmder is by default shipped with a vendored Git installation. On each instance of launching Cmder, an attempt is made to locate any other user provided Git binaries. Upon finding a git.exe binary, Cmder further compares its version against the vendored one by executing it. The vendored git.exe binary is only used when it is more recent than the user-installed one.

You may use your favorite version of Git by including its path in the %PATH% enviroment variable. Moreover, the Mini edition of Cmder (found on the downloads page) excludes any vendored Git binaries.

Using external Cygwin/Babun, MSys2, WSL, or Git for Windows SDK with Cmder.

You may run bash (the default shell used on Linux, macOS and GNU/Hurd) externally on Cmder, using the following instructions:

  1. Setup a new task by pressing Win +Alt + T.
  2. Click the + button to add a task.
  3. Name the new task in the top text box.
  4. Provide task parameters, this is optional.
  5. Add cmd /c "[path_to_external_env]\bin\bash --login -i" -new_console to the Commands text box.

Recommended Optional Steps:

Copy the vendor/cmder_exinit file to the Cygwin/Babun, MSys2, or Git for Windows SDK environments /etc/profile.d/ folder to use portable settings in the $CMDER_ROOT/config folder.

Note: MinGW could work if the init scripts include profile.d but this has not been tested.

The destination file extension depends on the shell you use in that environment. For example:

  • bash - Copy to /etc/profile.d/cmder_exinit.sh
  • zsh - Copy to /etc/profile.d/cmder_exinit.zsh

Uncomment and edit the below line in the script to use Cmder config even when launched from outside Cmder.

# CMDER_ROOT=${USERPROFILE}/cmder  # This is not required if launched from Cmder.

Customizing user sessions using init.bat custom arguments.

You can pass custom arguments to init.bat and use cexec.cmd in your user_profile.cmd to evaluate these arguments then execute commands based on a particular flag being detected or not.

init.bat creates two shortcuts for using cexec.cmd in your profile scripts.

%ccall% - Evaluates flags, runs commands if found, and returns to the calling script and continues.

ccall=call C:\Users\user\cmderdev\vendor\bin\cexec.cmd

Example: %ccall% /startnotepad start notepad.exe

%cexec% - Evaluates flags, runs commands if found, and does not return to the calling script.

cexec=C:\Users\user\cmderdev\vendor\bin\cexec.cmd

Example: %cexec% /startnotepad start notepad.exe

It is useful when you have multiple tasks to execute cmder and need it to initialize the session differently depending on the task chosen.

To conditionally start notepad.exe when you start a specific cmder task:

  • Press win+alt+t

  • Click + to add a new task.

  • Add the below to the Commands block:

    cmd.exe /k ""%ConEmuDir%\..\init.bat" /startnotepad"
    
  • Add the below to your %cmder_root%\config\user_profile.cmd

    %ccall% "/startNotepad" "start" "notepad.exe"`
    

To see detailed usage of cexec, type cexec /? in cmder.

Integrating Cmder with Hyper, Microsoft VS Code, and your favorite IDEs

Cmder by default comes with a vendored ConEmu installation as the underlying terminal emulator, as stated here.

However, Cmder can in fact run in a variety of other terminal emulators, and even integrated IDEs. Assuming you have the latest version of Cmder, follow the following instructions to get Cmder working with your own terminal emulator.

For instructions on how to integrate Cmder with your IDE, please read our Wiki section.

Upgrading

The process of upgrading Cmder depends on the version/build you are currently running.

If you have a [cmder_root]/config/user-conemu.xml, you are running a newer version of Cmder, follow the below process:

  1. Exit all Cmder sessions and relaunch [cmder_root]/cmder.exe, this backs up your existing [cmder_root]/vendor/conemu-maximus5/conemu.xml to [cmder_root]/config/user-conemu.xml.

    • The [cmder_root]/config/user-conemu.xml contains any custom settings you have made using the 'Setup Tasks' settings dialog.
  2. Exit all Cmder sessions and backup any files you have manually edited under [cmder_root]/vendor.

    • Editing files under [cmder_root]/vendor is not recommended since you will need to re-apply these changes after any upgrade. All user customizations should go in [cmder_root]/config folder.
  3. Delete the [cmder_root]/vendor folder.

  4. Extract the new cmder.zip or cmder_mini.zip into [cmder_root]/ overwriting all files when prompted.

If you do not have a [cmder_root]/config/user-conemu.xml, you are running an older version of cmder, follow the below process:

  1. Exit all Cmder sessions and backup [cmder_root]/vendor/conemu-maximus5/conemu.xml to [cmder_root]/config/user-conemu.xml.

  2. Backup any files you have manually edited under [cmder_root]/vendor.

    • Editing files under [cmder_root]/vendor is not recommended since you will need to re-apply these changes after any upgrade. All user customizations should go in [cmder_root]/config folder.
  3. Delete the [cmder_root]/vendor folder.

  4. Extract the new cmder.zip or cmder_mini.zip into [cmder_root]/ overwriting all files when prompted.

Current development builds

You can download builds of the current development branch by going to AppVeyor via the following link:

AppVeyor

License

All software included is bundled with own license

The MIT License (MIT)

Copyright (c) 2016 Samuel Vasko

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.