Windows Command Prompt Shell is a command line tool to get your work done without a user interface. While Windows has been upgraded in many aspects but the command prompt remains more or less the same. I like the Linux command line because it has some very advanced features that are very helpful like the auto-complete command feature. Windows Command Prompt still lags behind in terms of features and alternatives are to be sought in terms of enhancing the feature set.
I will share a few alternative command prompt shells that I know of which are good alternatives to the default Windows Command Prompt. Please note that although I use most of these command line shells, no single tool has been able to replace the default Windows Command Prompt. So you can use these shell as add-ons to the main command prompt.
PowerCMD is a great alternative to Command Prompt which offers tabular interface so you can open multiple command prompt tabs inside a single window which is pretty useful and saves from cluttering. It can also integrate to Windows Explorer context menu so that you can start the PowerCMD from where ever you want to. Another feature of PowerCMD is that you can customize a quick launch toolbar to quickly launch applications. It also offers command filtering and saving options. I don’t like the auto-completion feature in PowerCMD as it’s not as user friendly as the Linux one because you still need to browse through folders to get the actual command.
Console is an Open Source alternative to the default Command Prompt which offers multiple tabs support, text editor-like text selection, different background types, alpha and color-key transparency, configurable font and different window styles.
PowerShell was released by Microsoft mainly focusing on administrative and development tasks. It makes use of cmdlets in order to perform different tasks. It makes use of .NET technology in order to perform advanced complex operations.
Cygwin is another Open Source command line tool with Linux like interface which provides integration of Windows based applications. Cygwin tools are ports of the popular GNU development tools for Microsoft Windows. They run thanks to the Cygwin library which provides the POSIX system calls and environment these programs expect.
I’ve only mentioned a few which there are a lot of other command line tools that can either serve as an alternative to Windows Command Prompt or can be used as an add-on in conjunction with CMD. Here are a few others that I know of:
It would be great if anyone wants to add other Windows Command Prompt Shell (CMD) alternatives or add-ons in the comments below.