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Building and running Windows Terminal

The big news from Microsoft over the last week has been the announcement of Windows Terminal. An open source project from Microsoft currently up on GitHub. Windows Terminal allows you to run multiple tabbed CLIs from the one window. Not only that but they can be a mix of different CLIs --cmd, PowerShell, Python, Bash, etc. Pretty cool right. Windows Terminal is GPU accelerated ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . Will allow for transparent windows, emojis, and new fonts.

As of today there are no pre-built binaries of Windows Terminal from Microsoft, that’s planned for sometime in Winter 2019 (that’s Northern Winter people), only the source code is up on GitHub. 1.0 release isn’t planned till at least the end of the year. The code is still very Alpha but never the less I decided to see what’s involved in building and running Windows Terminal on Windows 10.

Below I listed the steps and process I took to build and run Windows Terminal if anyone is interested in trying it out themselves. There’s a number of prerequisites required but nothing to difficult.

Prerequisites

Windows 10 (Build 1903)
As of today (May 2019) you need to be in the Windows Insider program to get this version. You’ll need to enable this inside of Windows 10 and download the latest build.

Visual Studio 2017 or newer
You can probably use a different IDE though I ended up using the community edition of Visual Studio 2019 which is a free download. Microsoft specifically calls out a few packages that you need if you’re running Visual Studio.

  • Desktop Development with C++
    • If you’re running VS2019, you’ll also need to install the following Individual Components:
      • MSVC v141 -- VS 2017 C++ (x86 and x64) build tools
      • C++ ATL for v141 build tools (x86 and x64)
  • Universal Windows Platform Development
    • Also install the following Individual Component:
      • C++ (v141) Universal Windows Platform Tools

Developer Mode in Windows 10.

Build and Deploy Process

The first thing you want to do is check that you’re on at least Windows 10 build 1903. You can check this by going to Settings > About. If you’re not on at least this build you can turn on Release Preview by going to Windows Insider Programme under Settings.

Next you want to make sure you’ve enabled Developer mode. You can do this in Settings > For developers

Now we can grab Visual Studio 2019 Community Edition. This is a super small and quick 20 GB download and install. <sarcasm emoji>

Make sure you select the right Workloads and Individual components from the prerequisites above.

Once the install completes comes the fun part of building. Skip the Visual Studio wizard and go to File > New > Repository

Under the Team Explorer window select Clone and enter in the Windows Terminal git path (https://github.com/microsoft/terminal.git). Make sure Recursively Clone Submodules is selected. Windows Terminal relies on git submodules for some of its dependencies. You’ll need around 200 MB to download the repo.

Once the package downloads you may receive an error that some NuGet packages are missing in the Error List. Even if you don’t it’s still probably a good idea to just update the packages.

Go to Tools > NuGet Package Manager > Package Manager Console. Then in the Package Manager Console type in Update-Package -reinstall

Head over to the Solution Explorer window and select Solutions and Folders view and select OpenConsole.sln

We’re now just about ready to build. Up in the top menu bar select Release for the build, x64 for the architecture, and CascadiaPackage for the package to build.

All things being equal we should be ready to now build. Select Build > Build Solution. Initially I had a few fails here, which were all down to available space. You’ll only need around 12 GB for a build to succeed <another sarcasm emoji>. It should take a few minutes and hopefully when complete you get a successful build with no errors. Finally select Build > Deploy Solution.

Once deployed you can find Windows Terminal (Dev Build) on your Start menu which you can now run.

When you first launch Windows Terminal you won’t see any tabs. Pressing CTRL+T will open a second tab and display a pull down menu where you can further select different CLIs. Settings can also be found under this menu which can be modified via a json file. It’s in the profiles.json file you can change transparency, fonts, colours, and of course add new types of CLIs.

Windows Terminal is still very rough around the edges. Microsoft are calling this a very early alpha release and this does show. It is exciting though to see what is coming. Windows Terminal has huge possibilities. I’ll be following it closely over the coming months and looking forward to spewing out emojis all over my terminals. 🙂 😮

Melbourne VMUG 2016 – The Year That Was

So before I head back to work tomorrow to wrap up my year.  I thought it would be a good opportunity to reflect back on the year that was with the Melbourne VMware User Group.  It was a big year for me with the Melbourne VMUG.  After years of just turning up to events I finally became a member of the committee team.  It’s been an awesome experience where I’ve met some great friends I might not have otherwise meet.

Melbourne VMUG kicked off its year, as with previous years, with its annual User Con in February.  For the first time in five years we had a venue change to the Crown Promenade.  It was a risky move but paid off. Hey, if VMworld can get away with having it in a casino so should we.  Support from the community on the venue change was overwhelmingly positive.  With ~350 attendees it was one of our biggest User Cons to date.  We had some great international guests with Chris Wahl and Keith Townsend.  The day rapped up with an after-drinks / vBeers party a short walk along the Yarra River across at the The Boatbuilders Yard.

We continued the year with three more quarterly meetings.  Each of them held at the Telstra Convention Centre and venue sponsored by Telstra themselves.  Having Telstra provide the venue facilities has been an absolute coup for VMUG.  The facilities are located in the heart of Melbourne CBD with easy access in and out for our community members.

The facilities provide us with two meeting rooms allowing us to run two side by side tracks during the quarterlys.  This has been another one of those surprisingly successful moves.  By running two tracks we have been able to provide more content to our community then we normally would otherwise.  At the end of each of the quarterlys we held vBeers paid for by the meeting’s sponsors at Trokia Bar, a small bar just across the road from the venue.

In between the User Con and the Quarterly meetings with also held separate vBeers events.  These were all held at Beer Deluxe at Federation Square in Melbourne CBD.  Unlike the Quarterly meeting vBeers these ones aren’t usually sponsored.  The settings for these vBeers have always been to provide a smaller more intimate environment to network with peers.

By using left over sponsor funds from the year Melbourne VMUG was able to sponsor the final vBeers of the year at Beer Deluxe.  This turned out to be one of the bigger vBeers MVMUG has held for some time.  It was also well supported by VMware with a number of their local SEs coming out to show support.  We even managed to get a few Sydneysiders to come out and show them how it’s done in Melbourne.

The Melbourne VMUG committee also got out and help sponsor VMUG at the Synology 2017 Conference at the Melbourne Convention Centre a few months back.  This was an invite request from Synology.  We pulled out the banners, and spruiked VMUG with flyers, pens, and t-shirts.  A great experience promoting our user group to a slightly different demographic of small business and storage enthusiasts.

We, the Melbourne VMUG committee, now switch to 2017 User Con planning with VMUG HQ.  We’ve already had a few meetings in and things are looking really good so far.   The same venue has been book at the Crown Promenade for the 23rd of March.  We’ve secured two keynote guests, which i think I can now safely say will be Duncan Epping and Amy Lewis, and we’re working towards a few more international guest to make this our best User Con to date.

Finally a big shout out to Melbourne VMUG committee this year.  The leaders Craig Waters, Andrew Dauncey, and Tyson Then, these guys have been the rock for MVUG throughout 2016.  They have also been great to lean on throughout the year for me.  Also not forgetting Justin Warren, Damien Calvert, and fellow 2016 committee newcomer Brett Johnson.  Not to mention VMware liaisons Ramon Valery, who has now moved over to Nimble storage, and his replacements Mo Jamal and Kev Gorman.  It’s been a massive year and look forward to working with you all next year.

Hope you all have a great New Year and look forward to seeing you at our User Con in 2017!

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