I have a buddy who recommended switching to z shell as my terminal. He showed me some pictures and it looks nice and pretty, so I started researching.
Most results suggested installing Cygwin and then using the Cygwin terminal to install z shell. I went and did all that, it seems cool, but when I tried that apt-cyg install zsh, I received an error that said the certificate had expired. It wouldn’t install! Let’s try to find another solution.
Enter Windows Subsystem for Linux
I’ve been wary about trying this. It seems pretty new still, but the install directly from the Windows store was SO EASY. I have high hopes.
Just enable Windows Subsystem for Linux, find your Linux distro and install. I went with Ubuntu because I’m familiar with it.
I found this article from howtogeek.com to be really helpful: “How to Use Zsh (or Another Shell) in Windows 10”.
As a total newb, I don’t even know what kind of upgrades I could expect to make to my shell. Here’s an article on becoming a command line power user. You’ll walk through the new shell, theme, and adding customization.
Here’s a Z shell theme recommended to me. I was on board as soon as I saw the pretty colors, but I’ll probably stay forever due to the Dragon Ball Z nostalgia.
Check out the manual there as there’s plenty of things you can do. I would at least install the fonts they recommend and see how you like them.
Annoying Windows Alert Sound
I found my Windows was making that terrible du-da-duuunn sound every time I double tabbed in the new shell. I figured I probably don’t want the terminal to play sounds, so I just opened the “volume mixer” in Windows and muted the console window.
Wrapping Up and Next Steps
Turns out there’s a lot of customization available. Definitely look into different plugins and try using the ones you think you’ll be using a lot. And I encourage you to get creative with your aliases as well.