babun: Linux shell on Windows

If you are a serious Linux user forced to use Windows occasionally you must be missing the power of the Linux shell. How often do you feel the urge to run grep to search for a string in several files? babun (pronounced Baboon) brings a mini Linux setup (thanks to Cygwin) to the Windows desktop. It has a plugin based architecture to extend its functionality and has its own file manager too! babun is similar to msys2 but has a lot more customization around the shell.


  • Pre-configured Cygwin with a lot of addons
  • Silent command-line installer, no admin rights required
  • pact – advanced package manager (like apt-get or yum)
  • xTerm-256 compatible console
  • HTTP(s) proxying support
  • Plugin-oriented architecture
  • Pre-configured git and shell
  • Integrated oh-my-zsh
  • Auto update feature
  • “Open Babun Here” context menu entry

Cygwin is at the core of babun. However, babun makes it ready to use the minute you install the package. babun shell supports syntax highlighting, UNIX tools (grep, wget, curl etc.), software development tools (like python, perl), git (with git aware prompt, many aliases and tweaks), custom scripts (pbcopy, pbpaste, babun, etc.) & aliases and much more. Plugins included: cacert, core, git, oh-my-zsh, pact, cygdrive, dist, shell.


Download the latest release, extract and run the install.bat script. The default installation path is %USER_HOME%\.babun. To install to a custom path, use the /target option.


babun has a handy “open babun here” right click menu shortcut to open the shell anywhere.

The configuration file is located at: %USER_HOME%\.babun\cygwin\home\USER\.babunrc

You need to uncomment and update proxy related lines in config file to use a proxy. Git is preconfigured, simply add username and email to use it. There are many useful aliases provided by the git plugin.

Skim through .babunrc for many other options to tweak babun as per your needs.

To install a package using pact:

$ pact install arj

For more options on package manager:

$ pact --help

Show the current shell being used (default is zsh):

$ babun shell

Change the shell to bash:

$ babun shell /bin/bash

Check current configuration, any issues and available Cygwin updates:

$ babun check

Fetch updates:

$ babun update

Webpage: babun

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