Since I’m forced against my will to use Windows at my new job, I’ve quickly started using Cygwin. I haven’t used Windows in about 6 years, and I’m very use to using the command line. The folks at work actually use the windows command line, which I of course refuse to do.
I always knew about Cygwin but never actually needed to use it. It’s… well ok. It’s a good emulation of a linux terminal, however there were several things missing:
- (g)vim didn’t work
- opening a new tab put me back into my home directory… errr!
- vim and the tweaks I use won’t save because swap files can’t be saved
Here’s how a I fixed all the following. 🙂
Tabs and extras
For now, I’m using Console 2. Console 2 allows you to run several different terminals within tabs in the app. It works, well enough, but I still am having problem with the window being the correct size. Sounds like mitty might take care of weird window size problems and scrolling issues; but I haven’t tried it out yet.
gvim didn’t work right out of the box, neither did vim for some reason so I ended up putting this in my .bashrc file:
alias vim='/cygdrive/c/Program\ Files\ \(x86\)/Vim/vim73/vim.exe' alias gvim='/cygdrive/c/Program\ Files\ \(x86\)/Vim/vim73/gvim.exe'
open new tab from last directory
One feature I never realized I took for granted, from the Ubuntu terminal is opening a new tab and automatically being in the last directory you were in. My hack to make this work was the following:
First I like to record ever command I run, I find this helpful for that (very) occasional time you need to see what command you ran months ago. In this command, I’m also tracking the last directory I was in.
case "$TERM" in xterm*|rxvt*|cygwin) PROMPT_COMMAND='echo `date +"%b %e %Y %H:%M:%S"` $? \"`history 1|cut -c7-`\" in `pwd` >> ~/_audit; echo `pwd` > ~/_dir_history' ;; *) ;; esac
Notice the last bit:
echo `pwd` > ~/_dir_history'
That’s where I write to a file in my home directory.
Then in my .bashrc file I cd to that directory:
cd "`tail -1 ~/_dir_history`"
getting vim to work and dealing with e303 unable to open swap file for
Finally, the pesky problems with vim opening up. By default the $TEMP location where vim wants to write swap files to was c:\cygwin\tmp. This didn’t work for some reason. (permission problems?) If you want to know where this directory is point to, open vim and run:
To solve this, in my _vimrc file (windows can’t use “.vimrc” so the windows version of vim uses _ instead of .) I had point to a different location for the temp directory, so I added this:
I made a new directory in my c:\ called tmp and just used that directory. No more errors. BTW… if you want to see errors in vim this command is extremely handy:
All in all, my setup is now a lot closer to what I’m use to with Ubuntu. I still really really hate using Windows, but at least I have a command line, BASH, and node.js runs in windows. 🙂
The “clear” command doesn’t work in cygwin so I had to add this alias to my .bashrc:
alias clear='echo -n ^[[2J'
I used vim to add ^[. To type the control character and the rest type the following into vim: Ctrl+v, Esc, [, 2, J