When comparing Enso Portable vs cmder, the Slant community recommends cmder for most people. In the question“What are the best power user tools for Windows?” cmder is ranked 6th while Enso Portable is ranked 41st. The most important reason people chose cmder is:
Cmder builds on [ConEmu](https://code.google.com/p/conemu-maximus5) console emulator, by adding enhancements from [clink](http://mridgers.github.io/clink/) (such as bash-style completion in cmd.exe and PowerTab in powershell.exe) and optionally extending it with [msysgit](http://msysgit.github.io), that brings Unix tools to Windows.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Extensible in Python
GChristensen recently upgraded Enso to Python 3.7, a great improvement over the original v2.5. You can write custom Enso commands in Python through its new web interface (or your favorite editor once you know where to put the files.) There's even an install command to pip install any Python package you need from PyPI. The sky's the limit.
Pro Optional quasimode
Letting go of CapsLock just feels faster than hitting enter (sometimes too fast: be sure to disable the reboot command before turning this on!) Even with quasimode enabled, you can make it modal for that command by tapping Alt.
Pro Easily teach the app to open specific apps and sites
There is a learning function to the app that allows the user to teach the app to open specific items by typing "learn as open" and then clicking on the item one wants it to learn to open.
Pro Can go to existing open windows
By using the "go" command users can switch to their already open windows making this a bit of a window navigator as well as a launcher.
Pro Minimal and portable version available
There is a portable version of cmder available which is just 10 MB in size. It can be put on an external device, like a USB stick, and run off it. There's no installation required.
Pro File explorer integration
Cmder can be added to the right-click menu, allowing the user to start a terminal session from the selected directory with a "Cmder Here" command. The functionality can be enabled by opening up a terminal with administrator privileges, navigating to the Cmder folder and executing
.\cmder.exe /REGISTER ALL.
Pro Has built-in Quake style drop-down mode
This is an extremely useful mode whereby the console hides and shows on ctrl+~ similar to a gaming console. This feature is inherited from ConEmu.
Pro Works nicely with command line applications
Such applications include CMD, Powershell, and MinTTY.
Pro Monokai color scheme
Cmder pretties up the default look of ConEmu using Monokai color scheme out of the box and allows flexible color and transparency schemes, including custom out-of-focus opacity.
Pro Integrates with graphical applications
Portable GUI applications can be integrated directly into the interface of the terminal emulator.
For example, it's possible to integrate ST3 with cmder by moving the portable version of ST3 to
/cmder/vendor/ and editing alias file in
/cmder/config/aliases to include
subl="%CMDER_ROOT%\vendor\Sublime Text 3\sublime_text.exe" $1 -new_console:s75V. Now writing
subl in the command line will open ST3. The alias of subl can be changed to whatever's needed and similarly, the
-new_console option's parameters can be changed to alter how the text editor integrates with the terminal emulator. It can be horizontal or vertical splits of varying sizes or tabs, etc.
Pro Works with VS Code, Hyper and IDEs
Cmder can be used with popular editors such as VS Code, which delivers aliases and clink as well as its color scheme to VS Code.
It can also be used without ConEmu and Hyper as an alternative terminal emulator, which makes customizing the UI through NPM plugins much easier.
Pro Works with ZSH and Oh My ZSH through WSL (using ubuntu 18.04)
Set ZSH as shell using "chsh" command, and launch the console using "ubuntu1804" command.
Pro Works with WSL bash.exe
CMDer works great with the Windows Subsystem for Linux. Just change your startup task to point to the bash.exe file.
Pro Highly flexible
Con Comes with a reboot command
And a shutdown command too. Installing these is optional, and I recommend that you don't, especially if you use the quasimode. Unless you like losing your work.
Con No message log
According to Raskin's philosophy which inspired Enso, a pop up "dialog" is a bad design. The OK button is a useless input that interrupts your flow. Enso's pop up messages, therefore, are transparent and quickly fade away on their own (like Android Toast messages). Unfortunately, this also means you can easily miss them if you're not paying attention. Raskin's solution was to keep a message log you can refer back to, but Humanized never got around to implementing that for Enso.
Con Usage tends to be slowed by the caps lock
Function of the app relies on the caps lock key being pressed to enter commands, which can slow some people down by having to hold that key down when they are typing commands.
Con Issues with non-unicode characters
'ls' command can have issues with non-unicode characters such as cyrillic. As of 1.1.2, 'dir' can be used as a substitute that will properly display non-unicode characters. Unfortunately, it's an issue with msysgit that isn't being officially addressed (a workaround is available) thus no official ETA on the bugfix is available.
Con Not as portable as advertised
Even though cmder is advertised as a "portable terminal emulator for Windows", it's not adequately minimalistic to be considered truly portable. In fact, one of the dependencies required to use it is the Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015.
Con Slower than ConEmu
Con Issues with escape codes
Sometimes it doesn't interpret terminal escape codes correctly and the output gets mangled using tmux over ssh, for instance.
Con Lots of conflicts with OS keybindings
By default, things lke ctrl-w will close your window unexpectedly when using nano or trying to delete a word in bash.
Con The portable (mini) version does not have UNIX commands
UNIX command support is only available for the full version.
Con Very slow
Scrolling in vim lags the screen and can crash.