The new Windows Terminal and the original Windows console host, all in the same place!
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This repository contains the source code for:
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👉 Note: Windows Terminal requires Windows 10 1903 (build 18362) or later
Install the Windows Terminal from the Microsoft Store. This allows you to always be on the latest version when we release new builds with automatic upgrades.
This is our preferred method.
For users who are unable to install Terminal from the Microsoft Store, Terminal builds can be manually downloaded from this repository's Releases page.
⚠ Note: If you install Terminal manually:
- Be sure to install the Desktop Bridge VC++ v14 Redistributable Package otherwise Terminal may not install and/or run and may crash at startup
- Terminal will not auto-update when new builds are released so you will need to regularly install the latest Terminal release to receive all the latest fixes and improvements!
winget users can download and install the latest Terminal release by installing the
winget install --id=Microsoft.WindowsTerminal -e
Chocolatey users can download and install the latest Terminal release by installing the
choco install microsoft-windows-terminal
To upgrade Windows Terminal using Chocolatey, run the following:
choco upgrade microsoft-windows-terminal
The plan for delivering Windows Terminal 2.0 is described here and will be updated as the project proceeds.
Please take a few minutes to review the overview below before diving into the code:
Windows Terminal is a new, modern, feature-rich, productive terminal application for command-line users. It includes many of the features most frequently requested by the Windows command-line community including support for tabs, rich text, globalization, configurability, theming & styling, and more.
The Terminal will also need to meet our goals and measures to ensure it remains fast and efficient, and doesn't consume vast amounts of memory or power.
The Windows Console host,
conhost.exe, is Windows' original command-line user experience. It also hosts Windows' command-line infrastructure and the Windows Console API server, input engine, rendering engine, user preferences, etc. The console host code in this repository is the actual source from which the
conhost.exein Windows itself is built.
Since taking ownership of the Windows command-line in 2014, the team added several new features to the Console, including background transparency, line-based selection, support for ANSI / Virtual Terminal sequences, 24-bit color, a Pseudoconsole ("ConPTY"), and more.
However, because Windows Console's primary goal is to maintain backward compatibility, we have been unable to add many of the features the community (and the team) have been wanting for the last several years including tabs, unicode text, and emoji.
These limitations led us to create the new Windows Terminal.
You can read more about the evolution of the command-line in general, and the Windows command-line specifically in this accompanying series of blog posts on the Command-Line team's blog.
While overhauling Windows Console, we modernized its codebase considerably, cleanly separating logical entities into modules and classes, introduced some key extensibility points, replaced several old, home-grown collections and containers with safer, more efficient STL containers, and made the code simpler and safer by using Microsoft's Windows Implementation Libraries - WIL.
This overhaul resulted in several of Console's key components being available for re-use in any terminal implementation on Windows. These components include a new DirectWrite-based text layout and rendering engine, a text buffer capable of storing both UTF-16 and UTF-8, a VT parser/emitter, and more.
When we started planning the new Windows Terminal application, we explored and evaluated several approaches and technology stacks. We ultimately decided that our goals would be best met by continuing our investment in our C++ codebase, which would allow us to reuse several of the aforementioned modernized components in both the existing Console and the new Terminal. Further, we realized that this would allow us to build much of the Terminal's core itself as a reusable UI control that others can incorporate into their own applications.
The result of this work is contained within this repo and delivered as the Windows Terminal application you can download from the Microsoft Store, or directly from this repo's releases.
For more information about Windows Terminal, you may find some of these resources useful and interesting:
Cause: You're launching the incorrect solution in Visual Studio.
Solution: Make sure you're building & deploying the
CascadiaPackageproject in Visual Studio.
⚠ Note:OpenConsole.exeis just a locally-builtconhost.exe, the classic Windows Console that hosts Windows' command-line infrastructure. OpenConsole is used by Windows Terminal to connect to and communicate with command-line applications (via ConPty).
All project documentation is located at aka.ms/terminal-docs. If you would like to contribute to the documentation, please submit a pull request on the Windows Terminal Documentation repo.
We are excited to work alongside you, our amazing community, to build and enhance Windows Terminal!
BEFORE you start work on a feature/fix, please read & follow our Contributor's Guide to help avoid any wasted or duplicate effort.
The easiest way to communicate with the team is via GitHub issues.
Please file new issues, feature requests and suggestions, but DO search for similar open/closed pre-existing issues before creating a new issue.
If you would like to ask a question that you feel doesn't warrant an issue (yet), please reach out to us via Twitter:
This repository uses git submodules for some of its dependencies. To make sure submodules are restored or updated, be sure to run the following prior to building:
git submodule update --init --recursive
OpenConsole.sln may be built from within Visual Studio or from the command-line using a set of convenience scripts & tools in the /tools directory:
Import-Module .\tools\OpenConsole.psm1 Set-MsBuildDevEnvironment Invoke-OpenConsoleBuild
To debug the Windows Terminal in VS, right click on
CascadiaPackage(in the Solution Explorer) and go to properties. In the Debug menu, change "Application process" and "Background task process" to "Native Only".
You should then be able to build & debug the Terminal project by hitting F5.
Please review these brief docs below about our coding practices.
👉 If you find something missing from these docs, feel free to contribute to any of our documentation files anywhere in the repository (or write some new ones!)
This is a work in progress as we learn what we'll need to provide people in order to be effective contributors to our project.