I have only one Windows device, the Surface Go. I work on it occasionally, especially on short trips. I prefer Surface Go because of handwriting. I have a simple setup to meet my work requirements.

I spend the most time on a computer in three apps: terminal, text editor and web browser. I use Windows Terminal, Visual Studio Code and Chrome in Windows.

I use ColorTool to convert my favorite theme PaperColor into Windows Terminal schema. This is my full Windows Terminal config file.

Since I don’t do heavy development locally, I use PowerShell as default in the Windows Terminal. The command echo $profile will print the PowerShell config file path. The essential PowerShell config is enabling the Emacs style keybinding (full version here).

Set-PSReadLineOption -EditMode emacs

Scoop is very handy to install essential command line utilities, for example:

scoop install mingit ripgrep

I use the OpenSSH Client component in Windows, which can be enabled in “Settings / Apps / Manage optional features”. I used to set an SSH passphrase, but the ssh agent service is disabled. It can be enabled in PowerShell ran as admin:

# Run once as admin
Get-Service ssh-agent | Set-Service -StartupType manual

I have set the startup type to manual, so if I want to load the key, I have to start the service first:

Start-Service ssh-agent

However, the git installed by scoop uses its own bundled ssh client by default. It is easy to fix it by setting an environment variable GIT_SSH.

# Run once as logged in user
$SSHPath = (Get-Command -Name 'ssh.exe').Source
[Environment]::SetEnvironmentVariable('GIT_SSH', $SSHPath, 'User')

Restart Windows Terminal and now git will use the key in ssh agent.

Git has the same issue with GPG. Use git config to tell where the GPG program is:

git config --global gpg.program (Get-Command -Name 'gpg.exe').Source

Following is a list of other apps I used in Windows:

  • XMind: Mindmap tool.
  • Drawboard PDF: PDF reading and annotation.
  • Leonardo: an infinite canvas painting app.
  • Nebo: Handwriting notebook.
  • Clash for Windows
  • OneDrive and Google Keep for quickly synchronize data with other devices.

3 linked references to “My Windows Environment Setup”