How to add more to Git Bash on Windows
Git for Windows comes bundled with the "Git Bash" terminal which is incredibly handy for unix-like commands on a windows machine. It is missing a few standard linux utilities, but it is easy to add ones that have a windows binary available.
The basic idea is that
C:\Program Files\Git\mingw64\ is your
/ directory according to Git Bash (note: depending on how you installed it, the directory might be different. from the start menu, right click on the Git Bash icon and open file location. It might be something like
mingw64 in this directory is your root. Find it by using
If you go to that directory, you will find the typical linux root folder structure (
lib and so on).
If you are missing a utility, such as wget, track down a binary for windows and copy the files to the corresponding directories.
Sometimes the windows binary have funny prefixes, so you should rename the
.exe file to the standard name.
bin is on the PATH, it will be automatically available to Git Bash.
Note: Many interactive utilities, such as
nano, will not display properly with Git Bash's mintty terminal.
Try invoking them with
winpty instead, for example
winpty ipython will work nicely.
The Git-for-Windows team is focused on supporting Git, not a full UNIX shell environment.
If you are interested in more complete package with build tools, check my notes on Cygwin or Cmder--or install Windows Subsystem for Linux or WSL2.
Here are some utilities to add:
- Download the lastest wget binary for windows from eternallybored (they are available as a zip with documentation, or just an exe)
- If you downloaded the zip, extract all (if windows built in zip utility gives an error, use 7-zip).
- Rename the file
Note: I have noticed some bugs when using Wget on Git Bash to create WARC files. For more complex use of Wget, consider Cygwin instead.
Hugo static site generator can be downloaded as a binary and does not have a installer.
Dropping it into your
bin easily adds it to your Git Bash path.
Grab the Windows 64-bit version from the releases page.
Unzip the download, then copy
hugo.exe into your
Xpdf is a handy utility for manipulating PDF files.
- Download the windows version "Xpdf tools".
- Extract zip.
- Copy the contents of
- Check the docs to get started with tools such as
- Download the "stand-alone Windows Executable" from the ExifTool page (this will be a
.zipfile e.g. "exiftool-11.99.zip").
- Unzip the downloaded file.
- Inside you will find a file named
exiftool(-k).exe. Rename it to
Most utilities that provide binary releases for Windows can be added to GitBash following the same pattern. Here are some more handy examples:
Keep in mind you can easy add
make, but it doesn't come packaged with all the standard UNIX build toolchain--so you will have to ensure those are installed and on your PATH, or you will encounter endless error messages.
- Go to ezwinports.
make-4.1-2-without-guile-w32-bin.zip(get the version without guile).
- Extract zip.
- Copy the contents to your
Git\mingw64\merging the folders, but do NOT overwrite/replace any existing files.
As of 2018, recent versions of Git Bash include Nano, so this is unnecessary! Just be sure to choose Nano as your default editor when installing Git for Windows.
- Download the Nano binary from Nano win32-support page. You just need the
.exefile, which is named
nano-git-0d9a7347243.exe(as of this writing).
- Rename the file to
nano.exe, and copy to the
- This version of Nano will not work with Git Bash alone, but can be invoked using
winpty, for example,
winpty nano test.txt.