Windows Dev Tools

I wrote this article earlier about my hackintosh development setup. Sometimes we're stuck on Windows for whatever reason, so this is how I setup my dev-environment when I have to use Windows. It's from the perspective of a developer who likes OSX and Linux, so it might not be your cup of tea, if you like how Windows works already.

Install Stuff

Install all of these, first


Right-click the taskbar and choose "Settings", check "Use small taskbar icons". There are lots of other options in there. I like the dark theme, under "Colors", for example.

I right-click stuff in the start menu and choose "Unpin from start menu" for everything, then drag the right-side of the start menu to make it smaller. I disable Cortana so I get a local-computer search, by default, but you'll have to reboot for it to take effect.

I generally remove all icons on taskbar except "File Manager", "Atom", "ConEmu" and "Chrome". You can manage what is stuck there by right-clicking and choosing "Pin to taskbar" or "Unpin from taskbar".

I end up with something that looks like this:



ConEmu is a much better terminal emulator than CMD or MiniTTY, which comes with git-bash. If configured correctly, it looks pretty nice and makes working on Windows better.

This is how I set it up, but feel free to configure it however you like.

Right-click on the window-bar and choose "Settings":

  • Under "Main" check "Anti-aliasing"
  • Under "Startup" set "Specified named task" to {Bash::Git bash}
  • Under "Colors" set the scheme to "Monokai"
  • Under "Appearance", uncheck "Show search field in tab bar" and "Show buttons (toolbar) in tab bar"
  • Under "Tab bar" set it to "Auto show" so you will have no tabs unless you open multiple tabs.
  • Under "Transparency" check "Active window transparency" and set it to something slightly less than opaque
  • Under "Status bar", uncheck "Show status bar"
  • Under "Default term" check "Force ConEmu as default terminal for console applications"

Now, you should have something that looks like this:



Hit Win-X and choose "Command Prompt (Admin)" If you're not in powershell, type powershell.

Type npm i -g --add-python-to-path windows-build-tools to install build tools that will make native node modules work. This adds python, a C compiler, and some other cool stuff, and gets it you all ready for node-development.