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Setting Up CMDER on Windows 10

👋 Thanks for reading! Things have changed since this was written, take it with a grain of salt ;)

Nothing quite compares to Iterm2 + Oh My Zsh, but on a Windows 10 this is the best I am able to find. Here’s a screenshot:


First download Cmder. Unzip into “Documents” and run cmder.exe. Answer any questions when prompted.

I find that the default cmder:cmd terminal works well. It can run git and basic linux commands. The only issue I have found is that daisy chaining alias is not permitted.


Click the top left icon and open settings.

General > Fonts > change size to 22
Startup > Tasks > {cmd:Cmder} > add a startup dir

Set Up Aliases

The default terminal is cmd.exe. Aliases are added in the cmder/config/user_aliases.cmd.

For other terminals they will need to be added to other places… for example nano ~/.bash_rc for git bash.

Here is a nice set to use:

gl=git log --oneline --all --graph --decorate  $*
ls=ls --show-control-chars -F --color $*
history=cat -n "%CMDER_ROOT%\config\.history"
unalias=alias /d $1
vi=vim $*
cmderr=cd /d "%CMDER_ROOT%"
gs=git status
gc=git add . && git commit -m $*
gpu=git pull origin
gp=git push
gco=git checkout $*
gb=git branch

Customize the UI

Bad practice, but I found it was easier to change the source 😇

In cmder/vendor/clink.lua make the following changes:

After Line 38

# after this line:
if cwd == nil then cwd = clink.get_cwd() end

# add a new match to trim the path down to two folders.
local customPath = cwd:match('(\\[^\\]*\\[^\\]*)$')
if customPath == nil then cwd = cwd else cwd = "~"..customPath end

Lines 50 & 51

# change the colors and prompt icon from
local cmder_prompt = "\x1b[1;32;40m{cwd} {git}{hg}{svn} \n\x1b[1;39;40m{lamb} \x1b[0m"
local lambda = "λ"
# to
local cmder_prompt = "\x1b[1;32;40m\x1b[0;35m{cwd} {git}{hg}{svn} \n\x1b[1;32;40m{lamb} \x1b[0m"
local lambda = "➜"

Update git_prompt_filter() function
This is the function that displays the git status.

local function git_prompt_filter()

  -- Colors for git status
  local colors = {
    clean = "\x1b[32;3m",
    dirty = "\x1b[33;3m",
    conflict = "\x1b[31;1m"

  local icons = {
    clean = " ✔",
    dirty = " ✎",
    conflict = " ✘"

  local git_dir = get_git_dir()
  if git_dir then
    -- if we're inside of git repo then try to detect current branch
    local branch = get_git_branch(git_dir)
    local color
    local icon
    if branch then
      -- Has branch => therefore it is a git folder, now figure out status
      local gitStatus = get_git_status()
      local gitConflict = get_git_conflict()

      color = colors.dirty
      icon = icons.dirty
      if gitStatus then
        color = colors.clean
        icon = icons.clean

      if gitConflict then
        color = colors.conflict
        icon = icons.conflict

      clink.prompt.value = string.gsub(clink.prompt.value, "{git}", "\x1b[0m(\x1b[1m"..color..verbatim(branch).."\x1b[0m)\x1b[1m".. icon)
      return false

  -- No git present or not in git file
  clink.prompt.value = string.gsub(clink.prompt.value, "{git}", "")
  return false