Windows Terminal: complete reference


Windows is the most popular PC Operating System in the world, and for good reason. Not only has Microsoft made the Operating system easy to use, but it has also blessed it with a gazillion of power-user-friendly features. Command Prompt, Windows Subsystem for Linux, and PowerShell were always good enough for advanced users. To make the whole command line programming system more streamlined, Microsoft released Windows Terminal. You can download and install the app from Microsoft Store.

Introduction

Windows Terminal is a terminal interface for command-line tools and shells, which allows users to put their favorite command-line applications under a single umbrella. It offers multi-tab support, personalized features — colored window, text formatting, and more — Unicode or UTF-8 character support, GPU-aided text rendering, and other noteworthy tools.

1. Productivity – Profiles

Windows Terminal lets you create multiple profiles for different shells. Essentially, you can configure these profiles in any way. I would cover some of the use cases to help you get started.

Steps to create new profile [more info]

  • Open the Windows Terminal application.
  • Click the drop-down button on the title bar.
  • Select the “Settings” option.
  • Click “Add new” option on the sidebar.
  • Type a name in the “Profile name” field.
  • Click the “Browse” button next to the Command Line field.
  • Select the CMD shell exe file and click “Open.”
  • Hit the “Save” button.
  • With that, you have added a new profile to the Windows Terminal.

Alternate, more advanced way is to click Open JSON file at the bottom left and edit the configuration file directly.

We would use the JSON file. Note that you might have to restart Windows Terminal to reflect changes on JSON. Each profile needs a unique GUID. You can either use the GUIDs exactly as follows or you can generate yours like following:

Generate GUID using PowerShell Core profile, showing my unique customization in Windows Terminal app

25+ Color Themes!

My code snippets would have references to these themes as an added bonus, if you would want to save countless hours creating and picking these color themes.

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cmd.exe and PowerShell profiles

This probably is the most obvious one. Windows Terminal would come with this profile.

{
 "commandline": "cmd.exe",
 "guid": "{0caa0dad-35be-5f56-a8ff-afceeeaa6101}",
 "hidden": false,
 "name": "Command Prompt"
},
{
 "commandline": "powershell.exe",
 "fontFace": "CaskaydiaCove NF",
 "guid": "{61c54bbd-c2c6-5271-96e7-009a87ff44bf}",
 "hidden": false,
 "name": "Windows PowerShell"
}

PowerShell Core profile

PowerShell Core is a cross-platfrom (Windows, Linux and macOS) software. It has command-line shell, an associated scripting language and a framework for processing cmdlets. If you are new, please check out their home page.

{
 "commandline": "pwsh.exe",
 "fontFace": "CaskaydiaCove NF",
 "guid": "{574e775e-4f2a-5b96-ac1e-a2962a402336}",
 "hidden": false,
 "name": "PowerShell Core",
 "source": "Windows.Terminal.PowershellCore",
 "tabTitle": "PowerShell Core",
 "colorScheme": "SMYCK"
}

Anaconda Environments

We can create a custom profile with command line arguments to start a profile with specific Anaconda virtual environment. In other words, you can very easily create different profiles or tabs, for each Anaconda environment you have.

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SSH Profile

When I was using AWS EMR or, AWS EC2 I had to use SSH prompt along with PuTTY. For authentication we would use ppk file and enable dynamic port forwarding. In principle Windows 10 has built in SSH client but for some reason, I ended up using a command line utility called Plink – from the same publisher of PuTTy.

{
 "commandline": "C:\\instals\\plink.exe -ssh -i %USERPROFILE%\\Documents\\data\\my-key.ppk -D 8088 ec2-user@xx.xx.xx.xx:xx",
 "cursorShape": "vintage",
 "guid": "{fc51cff4-926b-4287-b1a2-fa2f23dc78e5}",
 "hidden": false,
 "icon": "%USERPROFILE%\\Pictures\\icons\\rhel8.png",
 "name": "AWS EC2 Red Hat (RHEL8)"
},
{
 "commandline": "C:\\instals\\plink.exe -ssh -i %USERPROFILE%\\Documents\\data\\my-key.ppk -D 8088 hadoop@yy.yy.yyy.yy:yy",
 "cursorShape": "vintage",
 "guid": "{f8f0b31d-3ab5-49c7-b455-89dbfea31d14}",
 "hidden": false,
 "icon": "%USERPROFILE%\\Pictures\\icons\\aws.ico",
 "name": "AWS EMR SSH"
}

Git bash profile

If you have installed git bash, you can also create a profile for it.

{
 "commandline": "%USERPROFILE%\\AppData\\Local\\Programs\\Git\\bin\\bash.exe --cd-to-home",
 "cursorShape": "vintage",
 "guid": "{848fe68a-c7ab-4123-bbbc-bd24c792ca29}",
 "hidden": false,
 "icon": "%USERPROFILE%\\AppData\\Local\\Programs\\Git\\mingw64\\share\\git\\git-for-windows.ico",
 "name": "git bash"
}

Ubuntu Linux profile

If you have not already, follow these steps for installing Linux subsystem in Windows 10 and downloading a Linux distribution like Ubuntu from Microsoft Store: https://itsfoss.com/install-bash-on-windows/

{
 "colorScheme": "Ubuntu",
 "cursorColor": "#DD4814",
 "cursorShape": "filledBox",
 "fontFace": "Cascadia Mono",
 "guid": "{07b52e3e-de2c-5db4-bd2d-ba144ed6c273}",
 "hidden": false,
 "name": "Ubuntu-20.04",
 "source": "Windows.Terminal.Wsl",
 "icon": "%USERPROFILE%\\Pictures\\icons\\Ubuntu.ico",
 "useAcrylic": true,
 "acrylicOpacity": 0.85
}

2. Personalize – Oh my posh!

There is a very good chance that you have heard about this module.

Scott Hansekman’s YouTube video on how to set up Oh my posh

After you have completed the steps in the video above, and got it to work, you could download the themes and preview them using the following command. More documentation is available at: https://ohmyposh.dev/docs/.

$ Get-PoshThemes

If you are interested, you can download my very own custom theme for free at: https://gist.github.com/aarshtalati/085b9f757acb61242bbe8bd7c5829243.

Install PySpark on Linux


You probably have heard about it, wherever there is a talk about big data the name eventually comes up. In layman’s words Apache Spark is a large-scale data processing engine. Apache Spark provides various APIs for services to perform big data processing on it’s engine. PySpark is the Python API, exposing Spark programming model to Python applications. In my previous blog post, I talked about how set it up on Windows in my previous post. This time, we shall do it on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 or 7. You can follow along with free AWS EC2 instance, your hypervisor (VirtualBox, VMWare, Hyper-V, etc.) or a container on almost any Linux distribution. Commands we discuss below might slightly change from one distribution to the next.

Like most of my blog posts, my objective is to write a comprehensive post on real world end to end configuration, rather than talking about just one step. On Red Hat 7, I ran into a problem. I solved this problem without having to solve it.

The Author

Environment

  • Linux (I am using Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 and 7)
  • Java
  • Hadoop
  • Spark
  • Anaconda or pip based virtual python environment

I have broken out the process into steps. Please feel free to skip a section as you deem appropriate.

Table of Contents

Continue reading “Install PySpark on Linux”

Install OpenCV: ~10 min!


Disclaimers

  1. Tested on: Windows 7, Windows 10
  2. There could be other ways to get Open CV working on your Windows computer

Before installation

  1. Find you OS architecture
  2. Decide the Python version (e.g. 2.7 or 3.x)
  3. Install Anaconda, open terminal as administrator and , Continue reading “Install OpenCV: ~10 min!”

Getting Started: Python


I personally think that Visual Studio is the best IDE, and I spend most of my day in it. And I’d definitely by using Visual Studio as much as I can –  if you are on Windows, Visual Studio’s Python support is worth exploring.

I’d leave the choice up to you. Both IDE have free and paid options.

I think Visual Studio is an engineering marvel. If as much effort went into space travel as went into the design of this, we’d be on Mars by now.

That said if you  prefer to use PyCharm:

  • Please go to https://www.jetbrains.com/student/ and get your free full blown tools offered by Jet Brains, with all bells and whistles.
  • Here are two YouTube video series if you want:

Getting Started with PyCharm:

PyCharm Video Demos:

 

 

 

 

If you want to use Visual Studio:

Stop Wasting CDs; Install Linux Straight from an ISO


GNU/Linux comes in many different flavours, apart from the fact that each individual distro has a new release almost every six months, if not less. I have a habit of trying out every new version the moment it comes out, and I’m sure many of you do too.

Now, let’s assume you have downloaded a new version of a distro and are in the mood to try it out right away. It’s past midnight and you realise that you’ve run out of blank CDs/DVDs. So you will have to wait till the morning when the shops open, to be able to burn the distro image in order to install it. I’m sure a lot of us often face this problem. In this article I’ll share a simple trick by which you can install the new distro without burning it to a CD/DVD. The only requirement is that you Continue reading “Stop Wasting CDs; Install Linux Straight from an ISO”

Slackware 13: Is it Really Worthy of the 21st Century?


Slackware is old. No really, it’s OLD! If you’re used to the likes of Ubuntu or any of the other modern GNU/Linux systems, setting up Slackware would seem like you’re back in the early 90s.

Some will argue that Ubuntu and the rest that try to make life easier for desktop users don’t give that fine-grained control over the way you set up your system. Why should a distro try to make choices on your behalf? By configuring your system from the bottom up, you’d ultimately learn the internals.

Does it help? Yes, it does. Immensely! Does everyone have the time and inclination? Continue reading “Slackware 13: Is it Really Worthy of the 21st Century?”

Install Windows 7 Remotely


PC Quest Magazine December 2009 edition featured an elaborative article on Installing Windows 7 remotely using MDT 2010. Here is an excerpt:

“The  new version of MDT was released recently is  meant to automate deployment of Windows 2008 and Windows 7 in large environments. Continue reading “Install Windows 7 Remotely”