The default command line shell in Windows is the Windows Command Processor, often called cmd.exe. This is the traditional command line interface for Windows users, and it is still used for many tasks. However, there are often times when an IT admin wants to change the default command line shell in Windows. There are several options available for doing this, and each has its own pros and cons.
The first option is to use a third-party command line shell. There are a number of shells available for Windows, such as Cygwin, Powershell, and 4NT. Each of these shells offers different features, such as support for Linux commands or additional scripting languages. Using a third-party shell can be beneficial if you need additional features that are not available in the Windows Command Processor. However, these shells may not be as widely supported, and they can introduce compatibility issues.
The second option is to use the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). WSL is a feature of Windows 10 that allows you to run a Linux shell in a virtual environment. This allows you to access Linux commands and utilities from within Windows. WSL also supports Windows commands, so you can switch between the two shells as needed. The main downside to WSL is that it is only available on Windows 10, so you cannot use it on earlier versions of Windows.
The third option is to use a third-party replacement for the Windows Command Processor. There are several replacements available, such as Console2 and ConEmu. These replacements offer additional features, such as tabbed windows, improved color schemes, and more. However, they do not offer the same level of compatibility as the Windows Command Processor, so they may not work with all Windows commands.
Finally, you can also customize the Windows Command Processor itself. This is done by editing the registry or modifying the command environment variables. This is a more advanced option, and it should only be attempted by experienced users.
In conclusion, there are several options available for changing the default command line shell in Windows. Each option has its own pros and cons, so it is important to consider your needs before choosing a solution. Third-party shells and replacements offer additional features, but they may not be as widely supported. WSL is a great option, but it is only available on Windows 10. Finally, you can customize the Windows Command Processor itself, but this is an advanced option that should only be attempted by experienced users.