How to set up an amazing development environment on Windows


I have been using Linux for development for a long time and MacOS for quite a few years. The only handful of times that I developed on Windows was for a small fix or adjustment.

The display of my Macbook Pro died back in September and I went back to Linux to develop. Hoping that I would have the Macbook up and running as soon as possible. The repair quotation arrived and, to my surprise, the price was way out of my reality.

I then decided to give it a try to docker-desktop since a coworker from another team had success running our development stack.

(This guide is based on guides, StackOverflow questions, and discussions all over the internet. Unintentionally I may end up forgetting to give due credit.)

Hyper.js + Oh My ZSH as Ubuntu on Windows (WSL) Terminal


Install Windows Subsystem Linux —

Install Ubuntu on Windows from Microsoft Store or any other Linux flavor —

Install Hyper.js terminal —

I went for the hyper-material-theme to set it up press Ctrl + , to bring up Hyper.js configuration file. Look for plugins: [ edit and add the theme.

plugins: [

Setup Hyper.js to automatically open Ubuntu on Windows

  • Open up Hyper.js configuration again and type Ctrl + ,
  • Scroll down to shell and change it to C:\\Windows\\System32\\bash.exe
// the shell to run when spawning a new session (i.e. /usr/local/bin/fish)
// if left empty, your system's login shell will be used by default
// Windows
// - Make sure to use a full path if the binary name doesn't work
// - Remove `--login` in shellArgs
// Bash on Windows
// - Example: `C:\\Windows\\System32\\bash.exe`
// PowerShell on Windows
// - Example: `C:\\WINDOWS\\System32\\WindowsPowerShell\\v1.0\\powershell.exe`
shell: 'C:\\Windows\\System32\\bash.exe',

Install ZSH on Ubuntu Bash Windows

  • Run this sudo apt-get install zsh
  • Open your bash profile vim~/.bashrc
  • Add this to set it to use ZSH as default:
bash -c zsh
# ~/.bashrc: executed by bash(1) for non-login shells.
# see /usr/share/doc/bash/examples/startup-files (in the package bash-doc)
# for examples# If not running interactively, don't do anything
case $- in

Install Oh My ZSH

Install Oh My Zsh with 

sh -c "$(curl -fsSL"

Restart Hyper.js and you are done!

Docker Desktop, docker-compose, and nvm

Install Docker Desktop

Follow the instructions on, but it is basically the usual next-next-finish.

Install docker, docker-compose, and nvm

On your terminal install both docker and docker-compose

sudo apt-get install docker docker-compose nvm

Speed things up

zsh is smart with its completions, but it may get really slow and frustrating if you let Windows concatenate its PATH with WSL’s path.

Edit your /etc/wsl.conf with the following:

enabled = true
appendWindowsPath = false

Besides that, make sure that you are not running docker/node on your mounted hard drive(i.e. /mnt/c/), but instead the WSL filesystem. If you need to access it, with your IDE or editor, use the \\wsl$\ network path.

Running Selenium/Webdriver tests

Install google-chrome inside WSL with your favorite PPA repository. I am not going to teach you this since there an infinity of tutorials on the subject. It may or may not work with chromium, but I didn’t test.

Install Xming/Xlaunch with the notorious next-next-finish

Create a config.xlaunch file with the following and run it afterwards:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<XLaunch xmlns="" xmlns:xsi="" <?xml version="1.0"?>
<XLaunch xmlns="" xmlns:xsi="" xsi:schemaLocation=" XLaunch.xsd" WindowMode="Windowed" ClientMode="NoClient" Display="0" Clipboard="true" ExtraParams="-ac"/>

On WSL you need to export the DISPLAY variable(I recommend you put it on your bashrc or similar):

export DISPLAY=$(grep -m 1 nameserver /etc/resolv.conf | awk '{print $2}'):0.0

You should be able to run Google Chrome by now on your terminal: google-chrome

Don’t forget to install chromedriver:

npm install -g chromedriver --detect_chromedriver_version

End Notes

Wish I started this as a draft when I got the notebook and started the process, so I could document every step. However, this post consolidates every major step or issue that I had.

The speed is blazing fast compared to the one that I got on the MacBook. I never imagined that I would like to code on Windows. Guess my words come back to me 🤷‍♂️.