When comparing cmder vs Console2, the Slant community recommends cmder for most people. In the question“What are the best terminal emulators for Windows?” cmder is ranked 2nd while Console2 is ranked 7th. 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.
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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 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 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 Works nicely with command line applications
Such applications include CMD, Powershell, and MinTTY.
Pro Has built-in Quake style drop-down mode
This is an extremely useful mode whereby the console hides and shows on ctrl+~ similarly to a gaming console.
This feature is inherited from ConEmu.
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 Highly flexible
Pro Customizable aesthetics
Console2 comes with multiple window styles out of the box and allows the user to configure fonts, colors, and transparency to their liking.
Pro Can run any existing shell
Console2 facilitates the running of CMD, PowerShell, Cygwin, PuTTY, etc.
Pro Free and open source
Console2 is licensed under MPL 1.1/GPL 2.0/LGPL 2.1, making it free and open source.
Pro Easy-to-use text selection
Console2's text selection is intuitive and easy to use.
Pro Borderless mode minimizes crashes
Borderless windowed mode is basically a fullscreen mode but with a super fast alt tab option and seamless task switching without the risk of crashes or freezes.
Pro Highly configurable hotkeys
Hotkeys allow the user to easily trigger an action and can be configured to their liking.
Console2 allows the user to create tabs for separate instances of the terminal, allowing them to have both multiple shells and multiple instances of the same shell open.
Pro Dynamically resize window
You can change the width and height of the console window without having to reset your session.
Pro Transparency support
Console2 supports transparency. You can adjust how transparent the background should be.
Pro Supports fullscreen mode
Console2 supports fullscreen mode, making for greater visibility.
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 very very slow
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 The portable (mini) version does not have UNIX commands
UNIX command support is only available for the full version.
Con Not maintained
The development of Console2 has been abandoned. The latest change was made in 2013.
Con Stopping a script closes the tab
Usually when a script is running and you try to stop it with Ctrl-c, it stops and shows the empty command prompt waiting to get a new command. In Console2 this does not happen: instead the whole tab where the script is running is closed.