Natively Windows only has access to the command prompt (cmd.exe). It has short falls, namely using ‘\’ instead of ‘/’ as a path separator, as well as missing out on a lot of traditional Unix terminal commands and opting for it’s own with a different syntax.
If you would prefer a more Unix-like terminal, you can get a fairly functional xterm terminal, though with a few shortfalls. To create this environment you’ll use a custom version of putty telnet/ssh client called puttycyg to connect directly to your Cygwin installation.
Natively, I found the Cygwin console to be a little glitchy (especially when scrolling) as well as the fact that it looks like this:
Putty has it’s own xterm terminal emulator which will give the distinctive Unix feel. The combination of Cygwin and puttycyg also makes using important tools like git quite easy (which are normally somewhat annoying to set up on Windows). Keep in mind these colours are my own custom ones – it won’t look this awful out of the box…
A full list of instructions on how to setup up this Unix like terminal environment on Windows can be found on the effective-cygwin GitHub page. Along with this are some standard configuration files to improve your experience, though these are entirely optional.
The effective-cygwin project is open source and still under development, feel free to contribute it if you find more information on how to improve the experience. If you have any comments or questions, as always please post them below!
To set up Hamachi as a virtual tunneling client through which you can play games without having to deal with the majority of firewall issues, follow these steps:
- Download unmanaged Hamachi. Go to https://secure.logmein.com/products/hamachi/download.aspx and download unmanaged Hamachi
- Create a logmein account. Go to https://secure.logmein.com/ click log in and then sign up and create an account
- Add a mesh network. Once you’ve created an account and signed in, click on the network tab on the left side and then click the “Add Network” button. From here select the “Mesh” network type and create a name for your new network and hit continue. Configure our join request and network password as you like and be sure to select “Free (up to 5 members) – Never expires“.
- Add yourself to the network. Start your LogMeIn Hamachi client on your computer and sign in. When the client opens up, under the “Network” menu, select “Join and existing network” and enter the Network ID (not the name!) and password. The Network ID is visible through your logmein network manager where you created the network in step 3. It’ll be under the edit menu for your network and will be in the format:
- Add others to the network. To add others simply send the same Network ID you used to join to the network to them (and the password if you set one).
- Play the game. Once you see both your name and the names of all the friends with green “direct tunnel” dots on the Hamachi client, you are connected! When playing online games via hamachi you’ll often be using the Direct-IP/TCP-IP multiplayer option. Here you’ll be entering the hosts Hamachi IP not their actual IP when joining. Note some games just won’t work with hamachi and some will have special steps you’ll have to follow see the respective pages on this site for more info.
If you have any questions, or experience issues setting up the network, or getting others to join it please post in the comments below. The more descriptive you are with the issue, the better the chances are that I, or someone else will be able to help you.