Why is OSX terminal so much better than Windows command prompts?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/n3wjack/One of the simple reasons why I do most of my dev work on a Macbook is because OSX terminal windows just work way better than Windows command prompts. Notably for copy paste. I can for instance easily copy a command and paste it and re-execute on OSX, or copy it and paste it into an editor window, etc. The normal system-wide copy/paste keyboard commands just work.

Contrast with Windows, where every terminal window has that stupid edit window, and that stupid Mark command, and stupid paste command with no keyboard equivalent (or none that I know). Even the fancy new powershell prompts still have this same old stupid behaviour. it is the behaviour that the dos box had in Windows 95, probably even Windows 3.x before that. In 20 years it can’t be fixed??

Sorry, just in a grumbly mood this morning.

UPDATE: and hey to be clear I am just sshing from either OSX or Windows into Linux VMs. I don’t give a hoot about the native command line tools, except for needing SSH to be present WHICH WINDOWS SCREWS UP AS WELL. C’mon guys, show some pride in your work.

MORE UPDATE: Sadly the Quick Edit setting mentioned in the comments doesn’t really seem to work. Probably why it is off by default. Supposedly it enables Ctrl-C/Ctrl-V Copy/Paste but it doesn’t seem to work on my Win8 machine. Ctrl-C does something — the current selection in the window is forgotten — but doesn’t seem to put the selection into the clipboard. And Ctrl-V just sends a Ctrl-V to the input line, no change. This is true in both the command prompt and the powershell prompt.

5 thoughts on “Why is OSX terminal so much better than Windows command prompts?

  1. I don’t know of keyboard shortcuts, but you can speed things up quite a bit if you select “Properties-Options-QuickEdit Mode”.

    To copy text from the command line, highlight with your mouse and either right click or hit the “Enter” key. To paste, just right click the mouse.

  2. well, yes, but both grumblings are one click away from fine resolutions.

    Launch all command prompts with QuickEdit setting being on . Then CTRL-C/CTRL-V works, as well as mouse selection. Why is QE not on ? Why do you think , you had been in WIndows :)…. In Win2k QE default was changed only to break mouse aware console apps (emacs, vi among many others), lots of complains ensued…

    There are only dozen+ free SSH clients for WIndows. I use NX Client to connect to my *nix VMs, though WinSCP also worked.

    You are right of course , OS distro could include SSH client, but it doesn’t and it is trivial to add… Same for QuickEdit, one of the many customizations you need to do to get to dev env. I need to customize Linux environment to the similar degree when i bootstrap…

  3. thanks vlad. i had no idea the quick edit setting even existed! hopefully it changes the selection behavior to be line-oriented instead of block-oriented. i will try that.

    and yes i have an ssh client (in fact 3!).

    i guess i am just wondering why msft doesn’t go out of their way to make windows the best client for interacting with the modern devops world — bundling all the right tools, making it easy to connect up to cloud hosted vms, easy to spin up vms locally, etc. seems silly to let all these developers escape to macs. and then when i have people telling me “just use powershell”, i get doubly frustrated since this is no answer at all.

    anyway thanks for the tips

  4. Er, i totally got your point John and share it (esp. now that i am outside dev). Been asking these questions for years while in, there are more of the same.

    Personally, i think the bigger problem is cloud devs escaping to AWS , rather than client devs escaping to Macs.

    Well, with the newly found focus on Azure “dev experiences” there is hope..

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