Microsoft Windows for the disdainful

Getting windows in a fit state for civilised usage


First and most important, modern windows is some kind of spam factory. Stop that production line. How to Disable All of Windows 10’s Built-in Advertising. I would happily pay $50 extra licensing fees for all advertising to be excluded from Windows, but that’s not an option they offer plebs.

Package management

Missing homebrew, the excellent Mac package installer? (I presume no one misses yum or dpkg, the adequate-but-stodgy Linux package managers.) The windows equivalent seems to be Chocolatey. I’ve found no use for it yet, since everything I’ve needed so far that seems to want decent packing is in the Linux ecosystem. But your mileage will surely vary.


Debbie Ding solved a bunch of problems for me at once, recommending everything for search (free, looks fancy but closed-source), wox as a spotlight replacement (open source) and seer ($12.18) as a quicklook near-replacement.

clipboard management

See clipboard managers. But in short, since 10.2018 windows has good clipboard management and this can be ignored unless one really hates it. equivalents

I want to have all my recently opened files and folders accessible with a keyboard shortcut. Who would not want that? People who do menially repetitive and narrow tasks, I suppose.

Application switching


Securing things

decent outgoing firewall? unsolved, but Windows Firewall Control comes recommended.



K-Lite Codec Pack Mega is necessary to get Windows talking to macOS and Linux regarding media formats. (thanks for the tip, Ableton.) There is some complicated configuration and possible clashes between solutions; be careful.

Where are my VSTs?


# VST2
64-Bit VST2: C:/Program Files/Steinberg/VSTplugins
64-Bit VST3: C:/Program Files/Common Files/VST3

To save veeeery long load times for plugins every time you change your sample rate, I recommend exclusing plugins from Windows Defender. This is probably a security risk? But I do not use Windows on the internet anyway.

Intercourse with filthy foreign OSes and other filesystem voodoo

Case-sensitive windows files system

NTFS can optionall have case-sensitivity.

Practically, this is how you do it via powershell.

    Windows Central — How to enable NTFS support to treat folders as case sensitive on Windows 10

# Root of the folder you want to enable/ disable case sensitivity for

[string] $PathRoot = 'folder here'

# Enable ($true) or Disable ($false) CaseSensitivity

[bool] $EnableCaseSensitivity = $true

# Loop all folders, apply SetCaseSensitivityInfo

@(Get-ChildItem -Path $PathRoot -Recurse -Directory | Select-Object -ExpandProperty 'FullName') | ForEach-Object {
    cmd /c ('fsutil.exe file SetCaseSensitiveInfo "{0}" {1}' -f ($_,$(if($EnableCaseSensitivity){'enable'}else{'disable'})))

Reading Linux FS

Ext4 etc can be handled by Paragon extfs for windows (USD20).

Dual boot

When making space on a computer for Linux when it is full of Windows, occasionall hiccups arise. Mihai Neacsu, How to shrink a disk volume beyond the point where any unmovable files are located. Alex Che gives some useful tips about failures modes of the above method.

Ubuntu subsystem

You would like to pipe the output of processes in windows? This is, for real, one of the main reasons I haven’t been using Windows. Anyway, it’s possible with their bizarre workaround of installing a miniature Ubuntu and running bash. Adarsh Verma, Installing the Ubuntu subsystem.

[…] launch the Windows 10 Developer mode to install any signed app and use advanced development features. This feature is a new addition and you need to enable this setting to run Bash on Windows 10.

To enable Developer mode in Windows 10, open Settings and go to Update & Security. Locate For Developers option in left tab and select Developer Mode.

Now select Turn Windows features on or off after searching in the Start Menu.

As the next step in our process of running Bash on Windows 10, you need to locate Windows Subsystem for Linux (Beta) and check the box to enable it.

Wait till the feature is installed on your Windows 10 PC. Now, reboot your system and proceed with how to install and run Bash on Ubuntu on Windows tutorial.

To do this, you need to open a Command Prompt window. Now type bash and hit enter.

Partition management

keywords diskpart, bcdedit, bcdboot.


Replacing Window with clones of windows

  • reactos duplicates windows but is open source

  • wine runs windows programs on Linux/macOS

    • Crossover is a friendlier commercial version of wine.