My life isn’t as Linux-on-Windows as this post would seem to imply, but this is stuff I feel I can write about.

Changing Canonical Git Branch

Previously, I documented changing the name of the core repository with a complex issue to trunk, and, of course, i was not the only one.

This one, from, goes fairly deep on both the details and reasons. And, Scott Hanselman also has instructions to Easily Rename your Git Default Branch.

Speaking of Scott, he mentioned a remote presentation he was doing on Twitch with DotNetNorth, which he started with a discussion about Windows Terminal, the replacement for older terminal technologies on Windows. I had tried to add git-bash from Git for Windows as a Windows Terminal choice before, and failed, so I asked, and he went into it. Another viewer entered this into the chat:

  "name": "git-bash",
  "commandline": "C:/Program Files/Git/bin/bash.exe --cd-to-home",
  "icon": "C:/Program Files/Git/mingw64/share/git/git-for-windows.ico",
  "startingDirectory": "%USERPROFILE%"

This (and whatever customization you add, because WT is very customizable) will allow you to run git bash with the cool new terminal.

But Why Use Git Bash?

Once upon a time, I was issued Windows NT and I wanted to have a real shell, because if you’re on a computer and can’t type ls -R | grep json | wc -l, what are you even doing?

This is when I got familiar with cygwin, which came from Cygnus, a company with a recursive algorithm for a name (Cygnus, Your GNU Support), and this served my needs for a good long time.

I think I switched over to git-bash before I was really using Git, and I can’t really think of why. It is a little bit of Unix for your Windows, which did what I wanted, but while there’s occasional updates to the whole thing, you cannot, for example, add modules to your Perl and such.

Meanwhile, PowerShell. PowerShell is now a shell that use on all the Linuxes — okay, not all, but Ubuntu, Debian, RedHat, CentOS, Fedora and OpenSUSE — and also MacOS, and as my friend Gizmo says, is close enough to a Unix shell for most people.

We always want more and different things for our systems, and while things are made for Windows, finding and installing all the things you want is always a pain. In Linux-land, we have apt and yum and a bunch of others I don’t use because I swing Debian-style, and there’s the BSD Ports and Packages Collection and all, and so, we’re used to being able to run install and upgrade commands from the command line to get and keep our toys up-to-date.

Thus Chocolatey

Once installed, getting the newest Strawberry Perl is as easy as choco install StrawberryPerl.

And then there’s WSL, which allows you to also run several competing Linuxes under Windows. I mostly run Ubuntu 18.04, because I have all the things set and installed that I want.

This means, I have git-bash Perl, Strawberry Perl and Linux Perl. And, because I want to have perltidy available with both the Win and Lin parts of VS Code. (Side note: I finally set up perltidy with Strawberry Perl on Windows!)

This is my toy machine, not a work machine by any means, so getting all these things worked out is not of great urgency.

Today I Learned

Within my WSL Ubuntu, I can run Explorer.exe . and have an Explorer window within my WSL Ubuntu. And now I can drag and drop between them and the tools handle it well. Previously, there were refresh issues between the file systems and you couldn’t rely on it, but WSL 2!

Final Thoughts

  • Craig, a Microsoft PM working on WSL, is asking about people’s interests in Linux GUI apps in WSL. Personally, most anything I would want to run as GUI in Linux exists as GUI in Windows, so by and large, I am not interested. It’s the terminal stuff in Windows that I found lacking. But if you are, that’s cool. Go tell Craig all about it.
  • I had been using Fira Code as my coding font of choice, but Scott mentioned Cascadia Code as an attractive monospace coding font with ligatures, and if you don’t like ligatures, you can use the also-packaged Cascadia Mono, which, when you’re beginning to deal with the actual UTF characters that are displaying as ligatures.
  • There’s also Notepads, which is prettier than Notepad and Notepad++. I’m sure I’ll go directly to VS Code more often than not, but still…

If you have any questions or comments, I would be glad to hear it. Ask me on Twitter or make an issue on my blog repo.