Tutorial Thursday

The Windows Command Prompt (found by going to Run and typing in CMD) is actually a tool that I use quite often. It doesn’t do nearly as much as what the Terminal can do in Linux, but there are some things that are always helpful, like the tracert function to trace a domain/IP address and follow it across the world as your request scours its way through the tubes that we now know as the Internet. The tracert function is used something like this:



tracert 123.456.123.456

That is just one of the functions that I use…but I’ll save these for another post on another day. What I want to focus on in this post is making the most out of the Windows Command Prompt.


First off, everything has tabs these days and the Terminal in Linux does as well. A nifty little program called Console for Windows will let you customize the Command Prompt so much more, and best of all is that it includes tabs! It doesn’t cost you a thing and it is even open source.

The program couldn’t be much easier to use. You just have to download it (my mirror)and run it…no installation required. You can customize everything from the background image all the way to the font (as seen above). Instead of sitting here listing all of the options, why don’t I just show you them with a bunch of screenshots (click on the thumbnails to enlarge):

Console  Appearance  More Appearance  Behavior  Hotkeys  Tabs

One other tool that I use all of the time is Putty so that I can connect to our Web server via SSH and manage it. On the Putty page you’ll also find a download link for an application called Plink. That is a command-line version of Putty that we can actually integrate right into the Console program. Here are the few steps that are needed to do that:

  1. You can either download Console and Plink separately, or you can download this ZIP package that I put together that has both applications included.
  2. I’ll assume that you just downloaded the package I put together. Extract the files and go to the Edit -> Settings -> Tabs section and Add a new Tab.
  3. As long as the Plink executable is located in the same folder as the Console application you can just enter in the following into the Shell field:
    and replace the “” with your own domain name or IP address. It should look like this (click to enlarge the image):
  4. In the Title field, name it what you want such as Plink. Then close out of the settings and restart the Console. After it is restarted you can get a new Plink tab by going to File -> New -> Plink (or whatever you named it).

That’s all there is to it. Now you’ll be able to have both a command prompt and SSH utility in one convenient tabbed interface. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget to mention that it is pretty nice being able to set your own background and font choices so that it is a little more personalized!

Console Homepage
My DivShare Mirror of Console
My DivShare Mirror of Console with Plink