Fix the 'input device not a tty' error in Mintty by using the 'winpty' command prefix: Step-by-step guide

When using Mintty, a popular terminal emulator for Windows, you may encounter the error message 'input device not a tty' when attempting to run certain commands or applications. This error is related to the compatibility of Mintty with some applications that require a TTY (terminal) interface. To resolve this issue, you can use the 'winpty' command prefix.

In this guide, we will walk you through the process of fixing the 'input device not a tty' error in Mintty by using the 'winpty' command prefix. We will also provide answers to some frequently asked questions about this error and its resolution.


  1. Prerequisites
  2. Installing WinPTY
  3. Using WinPTY with Mintty
  4. FAQ


Before proceeding with this guide, you will need the following:

  1. A Windows system with Git for Windows installed, which includes the Mintty terminal emulator.
  2. An internet connection to download and install the necessary software.

Installing WinPTY

To resolve the 'input device not a tty' error in Mintty, you will need to install the WinPTY utility. WinPTY is a Windows software package that provides a PTY (pseudo terminal) device, allowing you to run applications that require a TTY interface in Mintty.

Follow these steps to install WinPTY:

  1. Open Mintty by searching for 'Git Bash' in the Start menu and clicking on the Git Bash icon.
  2. Run the following command to install WinPTY:
curl -L | tar xzv -C /usr/local

This command will download and extract the WinPTY package to the /usr/local directory.

  1. Add the WinPTY binary to your system's PATH environment variable. To do this, open your ~/.bashrc file in a text editor, and add the following line at the end of the file:
export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/bin
  1. Save and close the ~/.bashrc file.
  2. Restart Mintty to apply the changes.

Using WinPTY with Mintty

Once you have installed WinPTY, you can use it as a command prefix to resolve the 'input device not a tty' error in Mintty. To do this, simply prepend the winpty command to any command or application that produces the error.

For example, if you encounter the error when running the python command, you can resolve it by running the following command instead:

winpty python

By using this command, you will be able to run the python command without encountering the 'input device not a tty' error.


1. What is a TTY and why does Mintty have issues with it?

A TTY (short for "teletypewriter") is a terminal device that allows users to interact with a computer system by providing input and receiving output. Mintty, being a terminal emulator for Windows, emulates a TTY device. However, some Windows applications are designed to work with a native Windows console rather than a TTY, causing compatibility issues and leading to the 'input device not a tty' error.

2. Are there any alternative terminal emulators for Windows that don't have this issue?

Yes, there are alternative terminal emulators for Windows that do not have this issue. Some popular alternatives include Windows Terminal, Cmder, and ConEmu.

3. Can I use WinPTY with other terminal emulators besides Mintty?

Yes, WinPTY can be used with other terminal emulators that also have issues with TTY compatibility. However, the installation process and usage may differ depending on the terminal emulator. Refer to the documentation of the specific terminal emulator for instructions.

4. How do I uninstall WinPTY if I no longer need it?

To uninstall WinPTY, simply remove the /usr/local/winpty directory and remove the WinPTY-related line from your ~/.bashrc file.

5. Can I use WinPTY with WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux)?

WinPTY is specifically designed for Cygwin and MSYS2 environments like Mintty. If you are using WSL, you should not need to use WinPTY, as WSL provides native TTY support.

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