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Published on July 7th, 2015 📆 | 4880 Views ⚑


Babun — Windows shell

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Would you like to use a linux-like console on a Windows host without a lot of fuzz?
Try out babun!



Just download the dist file from, unzip it and run the install.bat script. After a few minutes babun starts automatically. The application will be installed to the %USER_HOME%\.babun directory. Use the /target option to install babun to a custom directory.

git clone


Windows shell: Babun Features:

  • Pre-configured Cygwin with a lot of addons
  • Silent command-line installer, no admin rights required
  • pact – advanced package manager (like apt-get or yum)
  • xTerm-256 compatible console
  • HTTP(s) proxying support
  • Plugin-oriented architecture
  • Pre-configured git and shell
  • Integrated oh-my-zsh
  • Auto update feature
  • “Open Babun Here” context menu entry



The core of Babun consists of a pre-configured Cygwin. Cygwin is a great tool, but there’s a lot of quirks and tricks that makes you lose a lot of time to make it actually usable. Not only does babun solve most of these problems, but also contains a lot of vital packages, so that you can be productive from the very first minute.

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Package manager

Babun provides a package manager called pact. It is similar to apt-get or yum. Pact enables installing/searching/upgrading and deinstalling cygwin packages with no hassle at all. Just invoke pact --help to check how to use it.



Babun’s shell is tweaked in order to provide the best possible user-experience. There are two shell types that are pre-configured and available right away – bash and zsh (zsh is the default one). Babun’s shell features:

  • syntax highlighting
  • UNIX tools
  • software development tools
  • git-aware prompt
  • custom scripts and aliases
  • and much more!



Mintty is the console used in babun. It features an xterm-256 mode, nice fonts and simply looks great!



Babun supports HTTP proxying out of the box. Just add the address and the credentials of your HTTP proxy server to the .babunrc file located in your home folder and execute source .babunrc to enable HTTP proxying. SOCKS proxies are not supported for now.


Developer tools

Babun provides many packages, convenience tools and scripts that make your life much easier. The long list of features includes:

  • programming languages (Python, Perl, etc.)
  • git (with a wide variety of aliases and tweaks)
  • UNIX tools (grep, wget, curl, etc.)
  • vcs (svn, git)
  • oh-my-zsh
  • custom scripts (pbcopy, pbpaste, babun, etc.)

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Plugin architecture

Babun has a very small microkernel (cygwin, a couple of bash scripts and a bit of a convention) and a plugin architecture on the top of it. It means that almost everything is a plugin in the babun’s world! Not only does it structure babun in a clean way, but also enables others to contribute small chunks of code. Currently, babun comprises the following plugins:

  • cacert
  • core
  • git
  • oh-my-zsh
  • pact
  • cygdrive
  • dist
  • shell



Self-update is at the very heart of babun! Many Cygwin tools are simple bash scripts – once you install them there is no chance of getting the newer version in a smooth way. You either delete the older version or overwrite it with the newest one losing all the changes you have made in between.

Babun contains an auto-update feature which enables updating both the microkernel, the plugins and even the underlying cygwin. Files located in your home folder will never be deleted nor overwritten which preserves your local config and customizations.

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Babun features an silent command-line installation script that may be executed without admin rights on any Windows hosts.


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