Hyper terminal on Windows 10

February 4, 2018

Not having the right terminal emulator on Windows 10 (or any other OS for that matter) is like having a never-ending existential crisis. Before I ended up with the iTerm2 on macOS, I found myself feeling a little bit off with the built-in terminal. Luckily I found iTerm2 when I was tinkering with my Vim because I was trying to get the vim-airline package running without unicode issues.

If the built-in macOS terminal felt off and awkward, the default Powershell and Ubuntu WSL’s Bash were two softwares that I harbored an intense despise at. I had to rely on the Git Bash (and it came with Vim and SSH, which is good), but I could never get that feel when using them. After reading Paul Stammy’s post on his blog, I realized that there was a potentially good alternative for my terminal needs: Hyper. I found myself against this idea at first because Hyper is built on Electron (and Electron is notoriously slow), but this is the lesser evil. Other alternative would be running VcXsrv, which is an X emulator, so I could use xfce4-terminal or terminator but seriously, emulating is not the best idea to go for. I tried it, and it felt really awkward.

Ultimately, I ended up with Hyper. Paul shared a trick on using Hyper with Ubuntu WSL’s bash instead of defaulting to Powershell. To do that, you have to edit the Hyper’s configuration file. Click on the hamburger menu top-left, then “File”, then “Edit”, then “Preferences…” or simply with a keyboard shortcut Ctrl + comma. The configuration file is an easy read and would not strain your eyes. I uncommented this line:

shell: 'C:\\Windows\\System32\\bash.exe',

Hyper will then run with Ubuntu WSL’s bash environment. All packages installed in the Ubuntu WSL can be run just fine. This is not the best alternative, but still a good alternative.