Setup Your Windows Devbox Like a Pro πŸ’»πŸ”©πŸ”§

3 minute read

This article follows the previous one where we have cried our Goodbyes to Docker Destop 😭.

Let’s now look at some base config you can start with when setting up you dev box for dev! Let us focus only on the base windows setup, which can be used as a foundation for any tooling specialisation.

If you are a developer, a frontend dev, backend dev, full stack or just want to know what should I have no my windows dev box as a starting point, then this article is for you.

For the best experience with Windows, before you begin experimenting and installing all sorts of tools, you are going to need some basics.

Get some soft!

First off, you will need some proper tools to use on Windows for development. These should be at the top of your list.

If you cannot use Docker Desktop, you can just setup Docker in WSL and run it using your impressive Windows Terminal!

Once you have these tools set up, you should be able to contribute to most code projects.

Before you run off and get busy with code, you need to verify and do some windows config updates, these are not so obvious, but you will encounter these at some point.

Enable Long File Path Names in Windows

Then you going to have to enable Windows Long file names.

  1. Open up Windows Terminal as Administrator.
  2. Run the following command:
reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem" /v LongPathsEnabled /t REG_DWORD /d 0x1 /f
reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Policies" /v LongPathsEnabled /t REG_DWORD /d 0x1 /f
  1. Test if settings have been applied
reg query "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem"
reg query "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Policies"

Enable Long File Path Names in Git

Now you are going to have to tell Git to use long file names, just in case it won’t do it by default.

  1. Open up Windows Terminal as Administrator.
  2. Run the following command: git config --system core.longpaths true

Now you can happily clone Linux/Unix repos that have very long paths!

Setup Environment Varibles

To get the best out of your shell, you need to set up some environment variables that will give you access to

  1. Run sysdm.cpl as Administrator and on the Advanced tab, click Environment Variables.
  2. Add new Variable JAVA_HOME point to C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_301.
  3. Add new Variable M2_HOME point to C:\software\apache-maven-3.8.4 (where you installed maven)
  4. Under the System Variables select Path then click Edit
  5. Under the System Variables click New and add the following:
    • Variable name: JAVA_HOME
    • Variable value: C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_301
  6. Add the following new paths:
    • %JAVA_HOME%\bin this will allow you to run java
    • %M2_HOME%\bin this will allow you to run maven
    • C:\Program Files\Git\usr\bin this will allow you to run various Linux commands, sed, awk, grep etc
  7. Click Ok to all the remaining dialogue boxes to save all the changes
  8. Verify java is installed by opening Windows Terminal and running java -version - you should see a Java JDK version if all went well

After this, you should have the following paths in your command line path:

C:\Program Files\Git\usr\bin

Configure Docker

Create .wslconfig in ~/ with the following content.


This will ensure that WSL will not use up all of your resources. See more on Advanced settings configuration in WSL.

Once you reboot, your WSL should behave, and you will be able to use it with nice tools! Let me know what else you think should be on the list!

Thank you

I hope you enjoyed this guide. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me. I will be happy to help.

Let me know what you think and don’t forget to tell your friends.

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