ConEmu – A Colorful Windows Command Console Alternative

Windows 8 is Microsoft’s latest and the most powerful Operating System. When I used Windows 8, everything looked stunning and refreshing except the command line mode. The command line console has essentially remained the same since the very beginning. If you are a command line junkie, you will prefer to use Linux instead of Windows just because Windows does not offer a powerful toolset of command prompt.

ConEmu is a powerful emulator of command prompt in all versions of Windows including Windows 8. It supports 32-bit and 64-bit installations of Windows.  When I first installed it in my Windows 8 PC, Windows gave me a SmartScreen warning that the program had been blocked. Since I knew what I was installing, I safely clicked on the Run Anyway button.

Windows 8 SmartScreen Filter

When installing, ConEmu will give you an option whether you want to install a 32-bit version of ConEmu or a 64-bit version. This prompt should appear only on a 64-bit machine.

ConEmu installer

After installation, you’ll get a quick configuration prompt which you can leave as default and change the settings later according to your needs.

ConEmu startup settings

After that, you will be able to get your hands on the shiny new command prompt.

ConEmu console

You can run multiple command line sessions in the same window because ConEmu supports multiple tabs in the same window. You can click on the blue + button on the top right corner or use WinKey + W hotkey to open another command line session.

Another great feature of ConEmu is that it can intelligently detect the status of the command in progress and will change the title of the windows accordingly. It can also show the status of the command in progress. It will also show the progress bar on the taskbar icon.

If you are using Jump Lists, you can easily pin your favorite and most used commands and even batch files on a Jump List so that the commands are just one click away from being executed.

I have just started using ConEmu and exploring and loving every bit of it. Please share your experience with me in the comments below.

Download ConEmu

(Sources: hanselman, softwarecrew)

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