While I grew up using Windows, I transitioned to my much-loved Mac years ago. I don't want to start a flame war here on operating systems. I do, however, want a terminal a little closer to what I'm used to.

I'm not asking for full POSIX support - I don't have the patience to install CygWing - but I miss tabbed terminals, being able to easily cut and paste, and my good friends ls, mkdir, rm, et al. (For these last ones, I could always put .bat files on my path, but that's going to get old fast.)

Anybody have a terminal application for XP?

+4  A: 

I'm using powershell, its awesome to keep you from going crazy, and it has rm and mkdir and ls. Tabbed terminals is still not in powershell, and copy paste is similar to cmd, but its way better than cmd.exe.

+1  A: 

I know you said you don't want to install anything, but I strongly suggest you give Services For Unix a shot:

+3  A: 

PowerCmd is great, with a ton of features including tabs, cut/copy/past, etc.

Console is also a great replacement and is a bit more stripped down than PowerCmd (which can sometimes be a little too feature rich.

Also, with both of these, if you have powershell installed, it is possible to run powershell from withing either.

Adam Haile

PowerShell is worth looking into.

+1  A: 

I use Console with unxutils

Console for the tabs and easier to manage select/copy/paste

unxutils for ls, rm, grep, uniq, sort ... and other goodness.

+5  A: 

Some more options:

MSYS: a Minimal SYStem providing a POSIX compatible Bourne shell environment, with a small collection of UNIX command line tools. Primarily developed as a means to execute the configure scripts and Makefiles used to build Open Source software, but also useful as a general purpose command line interface to replace Windows cmd.exe.

GNU utilities for Win32: ports of common GNU utilities to native Win32. In this context, native means the executables do only depend on the Microsoft C-runtime (msvcrt.dll) and not an emulation layer like that provided by Cygwin tools.

MSYS has incredible installation and use problems on Vista, the last installer was created back in 2001, and really only works well on XP.
Not sure what you're talking about, I've been using msys fine on Vista for probably a year now, and the latest installer was definitely not created in 2001.

PowerShell is amazing, however for anything other than the most basic commands there is a learning curve when switching from bash etc.

I went back to using cygwin.

+2  A: 
Mark Biek
+1  A: 

If you are a bit of a Pythonista then iPython is tough to beat. It has some of the more common shell commands coded in (i.e. ls, pwd, cd etc.), can also run any other shell command by prefixing with '!' (i.e. !latex file.tex) but also is a full Python shell with history, tab-complete, multiline editor support, logging etc. etc.

Moreover, you can install iPython back on your UNIX boxes as well as Windows meaning your environment can follow wherever you go.