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Terminal for Windows The Best Free Standalone Terminals for Windows 10 (2020)

adnanmostafa profile image Adnan Mostafa Updated on ・2 min read

If you are anyone that has tried to use a terminal on PC, I am sorry for your suffering. Below are some of the best terminal emulators that can up your workflow:

1. Cmder

Cmder terminal image

Cmder is a portable console emulator that builds on the already popular Conemu; Conemu is also worth checking out as it serves as an alternative to Cmder. Cmders website explains it perfectly:

Think about cmder more as a software package than a separate app. All the magic is happening through ConEmu. With enhancements from Clink.

Although, Cmder has sometimes issues with speed (even though it is advised as portable) it is still a great basic console emulator to pick up to meet your goals.

2. Hyper.is

Hyper Terminal Pokemon Theme

Hyper is sleek terminal that can be used in both PC and MAC, and is fully customizable in terms of the themes, plugins and shell. It still seems that there's a lot to work in terms of development as I ran into some errors installing zsh shell. Either way, it's a great extensible terminal to look into. (Note: if you want to pick up the Pokemon theme you can get it here!)

3. Terminus

Terminus terminal
"A terminal for the modern age" is the slogan of the terminus terminal. This terminal seems similar to a development environment it comes with split panes, fully configurable shortcuts, tabs and support of all major shells. This terminal is still new and it will be exciting to see what is next.

4. Fluent Terminal

Fluent Terminal
A terminal for PowerShell, CMD, WSL or custom shells, features even taking themes from iTerm with editable key bindings and quickly adjustable settings, Fluent is definitely worth checking out.

5. Alacritty

Alacritty Terminal
This one is a bit controversial. Alacritty has claimed to be "the fastest terminal emulator in existence." While that may not be entirely true a lot of users have reported fast speeds and low usage speeds using Alacritty. So although it may not be for everyone it maybe able to solve some lag/tearing issues you have had with your terminals.

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Discussion (18)

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chadalen profile image
Chad Alen

github.com/microsoft/terminal

Should be on the list. Considering this is windows terminals and this is Microsoft's new open source terminal.

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adnanmostafa profile image
Adnan Mostafa Author

I just saw this on Reddit the other day, and saw a bunch of mixed reviews on it. Currently, trying it out to see how it is!

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chadalen profile image
Chad Alen

It's an early preview, it will get much better.

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fredericrous profile image
Frederic R.

On windows I just wanted a power shell with tabs and found consoleZ which I prefer over cmder. github.com/cbucher/console Hyper.is looks cool but I don't want an electron app as my default terminal

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khanaza2 profile image
khanaza2 • Edited

This also should be considered.
IVT Secure Access: ivtssh.nl/
It has a lot of elegant features.
Single sign-on: Support for GSSAPI allows password-less login using SSH or Telnet with your Windows credentials. It has many ways to login without the need for typing passwords.

Quick search like “Spotlight”: Just press 1-2 characters of the server name to quickly select the server to connect. It is far better than the tedious job of going through the saved list of saved sessions manually.

Automatically highlight warning and error messages on screen. Red for "error, failed", yellow for "warnings" and green for "success, passed". This is great when running something that produces a lot of output on the screen. The colored text is very difficult to miss. More keywords can also be added to have them highlighted by default.

Automatically logs all sessions to a file name that is displayed on the screen. The list can be accessed with a keyboard short cut and each listing can be clicked to open the corresponding file in default editor. This eliminates the need to open the file and search for different warnings and errors manually after a big verbose script that also logs.

Mouse Support. Any filename on screen listed with an error message can be directly clicked with mouse to open it in default editor. IVT can even generate VI commands to allow positioning of the cursor with the mouse within this popular Unix editor. The user can program a combination of keyboard and mouse keys to trigger a user-defined script.

Built-in WinSCP support, drag & drop file transfer The terminal has built-in WinSCP support and function like "start WinSCP to this host, send the file to this server, send the file to windows host", that does not require any extra logging step. Alternatively, drop a file on the terminal window and it will be transferred to the host.

Tabbed window support The terminal supports the tabs in a single window and easy navigation keys “CTRL + arrows”.

Each tab has a progress indicator. The terminal has a progress indicator on each tab for the session they represent. A grey moving clock for showing terminal is still running the last command. A green "checked" box for command completed. This eliminates the need to go to different sessions to check the completion of a long-running command.

VT220 compatibility: IVT scores 110 out of 110 on the vttest compatibility test. The highest rating found for PuTTY is 82, which means various older programs that require exact emulation will work with IVT and fail with PuTTY.

Supports traditional search It also supports "CTRL-F" with which you can search for something on-screen and history buffer in upwards/downwards direction.

Run command simultaneously on every logged-in session. If you have to run something on every "logged-in session", like an update, build, etc., the terminal has a capability to run the same command on every logged-in terminal and after it is started, the progress indicators on each tab will show the status of that command on every machine.

Color schemesThe terminal has many color-schemes built-in that fulfill the coloring need for everyone.

Launch Duplicate session with keyboard shortcuts. The launched session is the exact duplicate of the session it duplicates (same host, user, and working directory).

Map actions/scripts to keyboard keys: The default setting of the terminal is good enough for everybody but it can be customized to use each and every keyboard shortcut to run scripts/tasks and that means that doing some specific things on different servers is just a keyboard key press away.

X-Server: The terminal can be easily integrated with X-server.

Configurable: It has literally hundreds of configurable options, which allow IVT to be customized to fit any given situation or environment. Scripts can dynamically change all settings to configure sessions automatically.

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omrisama profile image
Omri Gabay

Fluent Terminal's actually kinda cool; didn't know about it, so thanks.

Regardless, all of these terminals still fall short of the mark. In SSH, none of them support mouse commands. I know not everyone cares about that, but I still like using the mouse with Tmux and I can't do that while SSH'd in to my virtual machine with ANY of these terminals, except for MinTTY. Using MinTTY with Git for Windows has been solid for me, even though it's a tad laggy at times.

Not as bad as Hyper terminal though... ugh

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davefollett profile image
Dave Follett

I wish Git Bash had tabs 😢

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omrisama profile image
Omri Gabay

Me too, but until then Tmux is our saving grace

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krishnakakade profile image
krishna kakade

the thing is i am searching for terminal since couple of months and didn't no about the Terminus and i seen many times that used in article but know i am using it thanks to you .Your Appreciated ❤🐱‍🏍😊🔧

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himujjal profile image
Himujjal Upadhyaya • Edited

You can update this blog and provide a way to install all of this. Chocolatey commands should be more than enough.

Example:

gsudo choco install cmdermini
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Awesome list BTW.

My preference:
Newer Windows 10: Windows Terminal (probably the best terminal emulator ever built (irrespective of OS))
Older Windows: Cmder-mini

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bataillec profile image
bataillec

I used MobXterm for years since I worked only from Windows client to Unix server. It never lets me down ! ;)

mobaxterm.mobatek.net/

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cortes profile image
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ronaldoperes profile image
Ronaldo Peres

Nice,

I only knew the Cmder, but I think it is slow.

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jeklah profile image
Jeklah

Why, oh why, wasn't Babun on this list?!

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omrisama profile image
Omri Gabay

Babun's dead dude

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chickensalt profile image
chickensalt

The only thing that's keeping me from switching to Alacritty is that they don't support font ligatures... yet.

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ahmet profile image
Ahmet Çadırcı

Link is wrong in Alacritty

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adnanmostafa profile image
Adnan Mostafa Author

Thank you! Fixed the issue!