Training Missions

Missions: Finding the command line on Windows

What we recommend and why

Most development tools for contributing to free, open source software projects are built with simple text-based interfaces. This includes UNIX-like tools such as diff and tar, often provided by the GNU project.

Many Windows users never learn about the command line, so these tools can seem arcane or intimidating. You can relax; the tools are often simple to use once you have them properly installed and can run them easily. We wrote this set of instructions so that you can get used to them and dive into the training missions as easily as possible.

We chose what we think is the best source for these programs. You'll use Git Bash, a project that is under active maintenance and creates a prompt on Windows that is similar to a UNIX-like system. These tools run within Windows, and are easy to uninstall whenever you want to. You will be able to refer to our quick reference for a refresher of what you learn in this tutorial. If you already think you might have these tools installed a different way, or want to learn about other ways to install them, read the "Alternatives" section on the left.