Setup Terminal for Windows

2019-08-05 — Written by Lance Pu

I recently moved to a Windows environment, Windows 10 to be exact, and trying to set up a Unix terminal. Since Windows is not Unix based, things can be a bit difficult...

There's a simpler way to use Unix commands on Windows, called Git Bash, but I wanted to have a pretty terminal with themes using oh my zsh (...and to torture myself)

There are many articles online for how to set up zsh on Windows, I am listing the steps below that worked for me...

Install Windows Subsystem for Linux

  1. Control Panel => Programs => Turn windows features on and off
  2. Check the checkbox for Windows Subsystem for Linux
  3. Wait for install to finish and restart computer

Install Linux

  1. Go to Microsoft Store
  2. Search for Linux There are many flavors of Linux to choose from, I'm using Ubuntu 18.04LTS (LTS stands for Long Term Support)

Install Hyper terminal


Install Powerline Font for Windows

  1. Go to Powerline Fronts Github Page
  2. Download the repo as ZIP
  3. Extract the zip file
  4. Run Powershell as Administrator and navigate to the extracted fonts folder
  5. To install all the fonts using the provided script, run the following command as Administrator using Powershell:

    powershell -ExecutionPolicy Bypass .\install.ps1

    This command temporarily set the ExecutionPolicy in order to execute a foreign script, you can double check your ExecutionPolicy remains unchanged by using Get-ExecutionPolicy, default is Restricted

Configure Linux

  1. Launch your installed Linux. (If it's the first time, you will need to set a username and password)
  2. Install ZSH by using sudo apt-get install zsh
  3. Open your bash profile, nano ~/.bashrc
  4. Add bash -c zsh to the top of the file.
  5. ctrl + o to save the file, ctrl + x to exit nano
  6. Install Oh My Zsh using sh -c "$(curl -fsSL"
  7. Default theme of Oh My Zsh is robbyrussel, but another popular one is agnoster. You can change it by editing the ~/.zshrc file.

Configure Hyper

  1. Launch Hyper
  2. Open Preferences (ctrl + , or Right click on the terminal window and select Preferences)
  3. Look for plugins and edit:

    plugins: [

    verminal is a terminal theme for hyper, hyperpower gives your terminal a little pop, and hyper-search give you a search window on the Terminal (ctrl + shift + f in Windows), you can search for them to see what they do

  4. Look for fontSize and put the following above it:

    verminal: {
    fontSize: 14,
    fontFamily: "Source Code Pro for Powerline"

    Remember the Powerline fonts we installed earlier? You can choose any of them

  5. Look for shell and edit the following:

    shell: 'C:\\Windows\\System32\\bash.exe',
  6. Look for shellArgs and edit the following:

    shellArgs: ['--login', '-c', 'zsh'],
  7. Restart Hyper, and if everything is configured correctly, enjoy your shiny new terminal! 🎉🎉🎉

One issue I find while using Windows Subsystem for Linux is the configuration difference for developing NodeJS, I have a seperate article talking about that

Thanks for reading!