Monday, July 01, 2019

Windows Terminal Is Here (in Preview) and it Rocks!

In Windows, PowerShell and CMD.Exe both run inside a console. That console is where programs interact with a command line application. The console inside Windows has not had a lot of love, although has improved of late. But that has just changed big time with the release of the Windows Terminal. If you are running Windows 10 - just go the Windows Store and get it - it's free.

The installation does a great job of detecting the console applications including CMD.EXE, PowerShell.Exe, PWSH.EXE, and the versions of WSL you are running, By default, the terminal installer does not find PowerShell 7.

Configuration of the WIndows terminal is, today, done via hand editing the Profiles.JSON file. On My workstation, this file is: C:\Users\tfl\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.WindowsTerminal_8wekyb3d8bbwe\RoamingState\profiles.json - You may need to adjust it based on your userid.

To enable PowerShell 7,. I just added a new section at the top of the profiles section inside the profiles.json file. I added the following:

   "acrylicOpacity": 0.75,
   "closeOnExit": true,
   "colorScheme": "Solarized Light",
   "commandline": "C:\\Program Files\\PowerShell\\7-preview\\pwsh.exe",
   "cursorColor": "#FFFFFF",
   "cursorShape": "bar",
   "fontFace": "Consolas",
   "fontSize": 12,
   "guid": "{61c54bbd-c2c6-5271-96e7-009a87ff4442}",
   "historySize": 9001,
   "icon": "ms-appx:///ProfileIcons/{61c54bbd-c2c6-5271-96e7-009a87ff44bf}.png",
   "name": "Windows PowerShell 7.0.0 Core Preview",
   "padding": "5, 5, 5, 5",
   "snapOnInput": true,
   "startingDirectory": "%USERPROFILE%",
  "useAcrylic": false

If you wish to add PowerShell 7, as I do, you need to do is to ensure the guid value inside this profile block is unique. You can just munge an existing GUID, as I did, or use New-Guid cmdllet create one know to be unique.

Since I plan to use Pwsh 7 mainly, I also wanted the default shell to default to using PowerShell 7. That also involves updating the Profiles.JSON file. At the top of the file, in the Globals section, change the value of the defaultProfile to the GUID of Pwsh 7. Mine looks like this

 "globals" : 
   "alwaysShowTabs" : true,
   "defaultProfile" : "{61c54bbd-c2c6-5271-96e7-009a87ff4442}",
   "initialCols" : 120,
   "initialRows" : 30,
 ... etc

Once I have set these values in the Profile.JSON file, my terminal looks like this:

And away we go. There is far more you can do with the JSON file and I sure hope that by release later this year, there is a GUI to help configure the settings. I don't mind in the least having to deal with the JSON file and can live with this for now. 

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