Intended Audience

The instructions for this guide are geared towards users who are comfortable with Linux and want a useful setup, or dual-boot a Linux OS and want to share data with it. For the latter, this guide uses F:\ to refer to the shared drive. If you do not need a shared drive, you can mostly ignore those instructions.

Note: Previous iterations of this blog post included instructions on how to move C:\Users to a different drive. This has since been confirmed by Microsoft Support to create an invalid system configuration, and from experience will break a lot of things.

Extra Goals

This guide also goes through the process of setting up a web browser, a terminal, and a JVM manager.


This guide will not cover custom themes or any sort of modifications to system internals. All modifications done in this guide are achieved through use of registry modifications or official Windows tools.

Issues or Questions

The footer of this blog contains a link to my GitHub. Open an issue on the blog repository there to report issues or to ask questions.

Prerequisites and Terms

This is a list of terms, including drive names. These names may be different for your setup. I will not be mentioning when you should replace a drive name with your own. Look out for drive names in commands and variable strings.

This marks a section that is mainly opinionated. It doesn’t align with the goals of the guide, but might be helpful for people who don’t want to manage something when it comes up down the line.
The Windows Machine
A fresh Windows 10 installation
The boot drive/partition of Windows 10. This is the smaller/faster of the two drives in the two-drive setup.
The data and programs partition. When dual-booting Linux, this is your “shared with Linux” drive. In this case, it must be formatted to a filesystem that can be used on both Windows and Linux such as BTRFS. Do your own research. I am not to be trusted with filesystems.
Special Directories
These are directories that can be relocated per-user, such as Documents, Downloads, Desktop, Pictures, and Videos.
An all-caps identifier surrounded by underscores is meant to be a user-defined variable. It can be an environment variable if desired, but it is not required to be one. If something is required to be an environment variable, it should be explicitly mentioned.

First Boot

Relocating Special Directories

You can skip this section if not using F:\.

The special directories in your user profile can be relocated to more helpful locations, especially if you’re sharing data with a Linux installation. For this, right click on a special directory and go to “Properties”. One of the properties tabs should say “Location”. Here you can choose the new location of the special folder, pointing it to F:\Documents or F:\Downloads.

Removing the MAX_PATH Limit

Open an administrator PowerShell, and run

New-ItemProperty -Path "HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem" -Name "LongPathsEnabled" -Value 1 -PropertyType DWORD -Force

Using UTF-8 Instead of Latin-1 by Default

Open Control Panel. Select “Change date, time, or number formats” under “Clock and Region”. In the new “Region” window that opens, select the “Administrative” tab. Click the button that says “Change system locale…” and enable the box that says “Use Unicode UTF-8 for worldwide language support”.

Second Boot

Install WinGet

WinGet should already be installed, but check Microsoft’s Install winget guide to make sure.

Note that when running winget install, you have the option of specifying a -l/--location flag to choose the install directory. Only some installers will support this, however.

Install the Latest PowerShell (o)

PowerShell Core can be installed via winget install Microsoft.PowerShell.

Install gsudo

gsudo is the Windows equivalent of Linux’s sudo. It lets you elevate commands without starting a new command prompt. To install it, run winget install gerardog.gsudo.

Install a Better Terminal (o)

Windows Terminal, Hyper, Cmder, etc. all provide some nicer abstractions over the base cmd and pwsh. If you have a favorite terminal, you should install it now.

Windows Terminal can be installed via winget install Microsoft.WindowsTerminal.

Install a Browser (o)

If you prefer something other than Microsoft Edge, now would be the time to install it.

  • Google Chrome can be installed via winget install Google.Chrome.
  • Firefox can be installed via winget install Mozilla.Firefox.

Install WinCompose (o)

WinCompose allows you to enter special characters without the hassle of remembering numeric Alt-codes. It’s available at

WinCompose can be installed via winget install SamHocevar.WinCompose.

Install MacType (o)

MacType offers an alternative fond renderer that makes certain text much more smooth and crisp. It’s available at

MacType can be installed via winget install MacType.MacType.

If you use a Chrome-based browser, you will want to disable the renderer code integrity policy.

You will want to add exclusions for Source games, as the Source console will be effectively unreadable under MacType. When you have the game open, open the MacType Wizard, go to its Process Manager, find the game, and check both options under the right-click menu. Both “Exclude this process” and “Don’t replace fonts for this process” should be checked. Relaunching the game should make the console readable again.

Sycnex Debloater

Follow the instructions at to launch Windows10DebloaterGUI.

Run these options:

Remove All Bloatware
Disables any sort of advertising. Removes unimportant applications.
Disable Cortana
Does what it says on the box.
Uninstall OneDrive
Completely removes OneDrive support from Explorer. Will create a backup of your OneDrive files on your Desktop. If you get notifications about pwsh downloading a bunch of files, then you can permanently block the app to make the Debloater think there are no files left to download.


This is a tool that fine-tunes the debloating done by Sycnex Debloater. It’s available to download from

You will want to choose “Actions” and then “Apply only recommended settings”.

Note: This will disable clipboard history. If you’re like me and want Clipboard History, scroll down to “Activity History and Clipboard” and disable (make the switches red) the two options that mention “storage of clipboard history”.

“File” and “Exit” Shutup10. It will prompt you to reboot.

Extra Utilities


You most likely want to install Git on Windows without installing the entirety of Vim and Git Bash. Git for Windows provides a distribution called “MinGit” that does exactly this.

Navigate to the latest release of Git for Windows: Download the latest version of MinGit that does not mention busybox, and is 64-bit. (At the time of writing, this is

If you want Git to be installed for all users, you can extract it to C:\Program Files\, such that git can be found at C:\Program Files\Git\cmd\git.exe. Make sure to edit C:\Program Files\Git\etc\gitconfig to not be self-referential.

If not, extract Git to your %LocalAppData%, such that git can be found at %LocalAppData%\Git\cmd\git.exe.

Then add the full path to the cmd folder to your User Path environment variable.

Haskell (GHCUp)

Download the latest version of the GHCUp installer to somewhere on your PATH. Recommended is to add a new directory to your PATH, such as F:\Win\ghcup or %LocalAppData%\ghcup.

Set the environment variable GHCUP_INSTALL_BASE_PREFIX to F:\Win\ghcup or %LocalAppData%\ghcup respectively. Then, run ghcup install ghc. Afterwards, there should be a new %GHCUP_INSTALL_BASE_PREFIX%\ghcup\bin folder that you should add to your Path.

Java + Scala

If you will also need Scala tools, Coursier ships with a Java manager. Instead of following the instructions for using cmd, you can run this command for PowerShell:

Invoke-WebRequest -Uri "" -OutFile ""
Expand-Archive -Path ""
Rename-Item -Path "cs-x86_64-pc-win32.exe" -NewName "cs.exe"
Remove-Item -Path ""

Before running .\cs.exe, make sure to set the COURSIER_CACHE environment variable to the location of your choice: Coursier has a bug right now where it will fail to find the default cache location (#2031, #2118). When using F:\, you may want something like F:\Win\Program Files\Coursier\Cache\v1. If you’re not sure, refer to the the Coursier cache documentation.

Make sure to set COURSIER_BIN_DIR and COURSIER_JVM_CACHE as well. If you set COURSIER_CACHE to _COURSIER_ROOT_\Cache\v1 (in the above example, _COURSIER_ROOT_ would be F:\Win\Program Files\Coursier), then I recommend COURSIER_BIN_DIR to be _COURSIER_ROOT_\bin and COURSIER_JVM_CACHE to be _COURSIER_ROOT_\Cache\jvm.

In full, if your _COURSIER_ROOT_ is F:\Win\Program Files\Coursier, then

  • COURSIER_CACHE: F:\Win\Program Files\Coursier\Cache\v1
  • COURSIER_BIN_DIR: F:\Win\Program Files\Coursier\bin
  • COURSIER_JVM_CACHE: F:\Win\Program Files\Coursier\Cache\jvm

Try to run .\cs.exe. If you get a VCRUNTIME140.DLL missing error, or nothing happens, download the vc_redist.x64.exe from

If running .\cs.exe succeeds, you can run .\cs.exe setup, which will install Coursier and basic Scala development tools to COURSIER_BIN_DIR. If this succeeds, you will be able to remove the downloaded cs.exe and run the cs that exists on your PATH.

cs java --available will list JDKs available for installation, and cs java --jvm _JDK_NAME_ --setup, with _JDK_NAME_ set to an entry of that list, will download that specific JDK and set it to be your default with JAVA_HOME.

Java (no Scala)

Install Jabba.

JavaScript (Node + Yarn)

Install nvm-windows. Once you have a node installed, install Yarn with gsudo npm install --global yarn.

Yarn by default will dump things in %LocalAppData%\Yarn\. If you use F:\, you most likely don’t want this. Configure Yarn to use a more appropriate directory:

yarn config set prefix _YARN_ROOT_
yarn config set cache-folder _YARN_ROOT_\Cache
yarn config set global-folder _YARN_ROOT_\Data\global

Replacing all instances of _YARN_ROOT_ with your desired Yarn root, for example F:\Win\Yarn. You do not have to create a YARN_ROOT environment variable, although you can if you would like.

Next, add the output of yarn global bin to your Path. For example, if your output looked like

PS> yarn global bin

You would add F:\Win\Yarn\bin to your Path. If you created a YARN_ROOT environment variable, you can substitute it here.

Note that there is currently a bug in Yarn where it will think it’s running on a Linux machine when generating wrappers (#6295). You will need to edit any of the .cmd files of installed binaries. For example, with yarn global add vsce, you would want to edit the vsce.cmd found in the yarn global bin folder from

@IF EXIST "%~dp0\/bin/sh" (
  "%~dp0\/bin/sh"  "%~dp0\..\Data\global\node_modules\.bin\vsce" %*
) ELSE (
  /bin/sh  "%~dp0\..\Data\global\node_modules\.bin\vsce" %*


@IF EXIST "%~dp0\cmd.exe" (
  "%~dp0\cmd.exe"  "%~dp0\..\Data\global\node_modules\.bin\vsce.cmd" %*
) ELSE (
  cmd /c "%~dp0\..\Data\global\node_modules\.bin\vsce.cmd" %*


Install the Visual C++ Build Tools. The default options will work. If you use F:\, you will want to change the directories listed in the “Install Locations” tab.

Download rustup-init.exe from the rustup website. If you use F:\, make sure to set the RUSTUP_HOME and CARGO_HOME environment variables to your desired locations. If you’re not sure, refer to the Rust documentation.

Then, run rustup-init.exe.