Kenny's Blog

13 Apr 2014

Clink: A Linux Enthusiast's Journey in a Windows World

I’ll be honest. I run a really contrived development setup on my Thinkpad T430. I run Windows 8.1 with classic shell, a VMware workstation debian instance running in the background most of the time, and a fully configured cygwin installation.

I ran just ubuntu on my machine for quite a while, but I was missing a few things:

  • The Microsoft Office suite (with proper text rendering)
  • X-CTU (among other tools)
  • Good graphics support
  • Multimonitor support on my Nvidia Optimus supported card
  • Blue screens of death

Just kidding about the last one. But really, I was hurting after 6 months, so I moved back to windows. Then I really started to miss linux, and the level of control I had over my development environment. So then I installed Cygwin… but that wasn’t quite the same either. I finally settled on running VMWare workstation to substitute in most of my other linux-y needs. Its been great so far! Except for one thing: the windows command prompt.

Heres where clink comes in. One of my friends commented how hilarious it was that someone would write such a thing. But really, clink fills my need for a more linux-y command environment, because the windows command prompt was really killing me.

A quote from the website:

Clink combines the native Windows shell cmd.exe with the powerful command line editing features of the GNU Readline library, which provides rich completion, history, and line-editing capabilities. Readline is best known for its use in the well-known Unix shell Bash, the standard shell for Mac OS X and many Linux distributions.

And that exactly what it does! It fully integrates into your windows command prompt, and satisfies your inner neckbeard. I highly recommend it for any Linux users who are trapped in the windows world. We’ll see how long this lasts me until something else drives me insane..