Cmder, My Favorite Windows Terminal

At a recent conference I learned about Cmder, an awesome terminal for Windows. I've only been using it for a couple of months, but here's what I really like.

  • Linux Bash, Windows CMD & Powershell all wrapped in one. This does a great job of letting me run commands for any of those terminals. It's much better than trying to remember the specific syntax for each one. It's like knowing 3 languages & having a friend who understands you when you use words from all three languages in the same sentence.

  • Multiple terminal layouts like tmux. This is great for running multiple terminal tasks at once, such as one process watching your development auto build, another watching your tests run & another for just basic work like git commits. Each terminal can be a different user or priviledge as well.

  • Custom Aliases! Do you type git commit all day? You can easily create an alias gc instead. Now you only have to type 2 letters instead of 10. You're now 5x more productive. Congratulations!

  • Having a different color schemes and background for different use cases is a huge win. If you ever have multiple terminals open, it can be hard to differentiate them all. Accidents happen! Don't delete your database on production when you meant to delete your test database. Another great scenario is using a different color scheme when opening a terminal as an admin user.

  • Cmder doesn't require an installation. This is nice because it's easy to carry it on a USB or back it up & sync it across machines as a GIT repository.

  • Ctrl+v to paste. Okay, this is becoming more common in Windows terminals but it works great here.

  • Awesome keyboard shortcuts like ctrl+alt+u to go up a directory. Jump between terminal instances with Ctrl+1 or Ctrl+2, etc. Ctrl+` minimizes & expands it.

  • It works great within VS Code as well!

  • It's highly customizable. You may spend an entire weekend configuring it. Be warned.

If you're a pro at it, I would love to hear your thoughts or additional tips in the comments. If you decide to download it for the first time, let me know what you think as well!

Download Cmder at

Matt Ferderer

I am a Software Developer primarily using JavaScript and C#. I write about Building Software, Web Security and Artificial Intelligence. Besides tech, I occasionally write about fitness, education & business.