A little over a year ago I opened an issue for Visual Studio Code. Basically it was a suggestion to add documentation how to start a Cygwin terminal as integrated terminal.

The reason why I opened the issues was that it is not straightforward to use a Cygwin terminal in vscode.

The first thought was to simply start bash.exe from the cygwin /bin directory.

{
  "terminal.integrated.shell.windows": "C:\\cygwin\\bin\\bash.exe"
}

At first everything looks fine, but the problem is that the login script is not started and for instance the path is not properly set.

Frank@pc247 /cygdrive/c/Source/fesevur-com
$ ls
bash: ls: command not found

So let’s add the command parameter to make sure bash start as a login shell.

{
  "terminal.integrated.shell.windows": "C:\\cygwin\\bin\\bash.exe",
  "terminal.integrated.shellArgs.windows": [ "--login" ]
}

Still not the result I wanted. Now the terminal works as expected, but it starts in the $HOME directory instead of the workspace directory of vscode.

Frank@pc247 ~
$ pwd
/home/Frank

Then I realized that the chere package in Cygwin had to solve this problem as well. And since I already had that package installed (I use it every day), I added these command options and now it works.

{
  "terminal.integrated.shell.windows": "C:\\Cygwin\\bin\\bash.exe",
  "terminal.integrated.shellArgs.windows": ["/bin/xhere", "/bin/bash"]
}

Note that you don’t have to use the chere command to add the Bash here to the context menu of the Windows Explorer. You only use the xhere helper command.

Also note that when you want to use another shell then bash, you can replace the /bin/bash in terminal.integrated.shellArgs.windows with the full POSIX path to your shell of choice.`

I thought this would be helpful for others as well so I asked the vscode team to add it to the documentation, but they decided not to do that. But still I think others will run into this issue as well. Since I more or less restarted my blog, so I decided to write this post about it.

While writing this article I searched and found an article on Stack Overflow. This mentions another solution which probably doesn’t require the chere package to be installed. This is an assumption. I don’t have a machine where I run vscode and have Cygwin installed without chere. The difference with above is that an environment variable is set, which apparently has the same effect as starting /bin/xhere. Not sure if it works with other shells as well.

{
  "terminal.integrated.shell.windows": "C:\\cygwin\\bin\\bash.exe",
  // Use this to keep bash from doing a `cd $HOME`
  "terminal.integrated.env.windows": { "CHERE_INVOKING": "1" },
  "terminal.integrated.shellArgs.windows": [ "--login" ]
}