Cygwin on Windows

September 11, 2015 | Views: 2880

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Cygwin is a large collection of GNU and Open Source tools. Its a good way to get to know Linux.  Cygwin is a DLL module that’s a POSIX Emulation DLL from Red Hat that allows programs written for Unix / Linux systems to run on Windows. Originally “Cygnus Support”, Cygnus Solutions was founded in 1989. They  developed Cygwin [among other stuff] and in 1999, Cygnus Solutions merged with Red Hat.

Cygwin’s header files and libraries  make it possible to port Unix applications. Programs  must be specifically compiled for Cygwin, some changes to source code is required to make them run.  An awesome emulator that  provides a Linux-like development environment on Windows systems.  It is possible to launch Windows applications from the Cygwin environment, as well as to use Cygwin tools and applications. If you want to get to know Linux and don’t want to commit to a Virtual Machine set-up, Booting a Live Distro, or installing a dual boot on your system Cygwin is a good alternative. This will show you how to install Cygwin on Windows. It was done on Win7 64bit but should be similar for all Windows Versions.

The first thing is to get Cygwin. There is 32-bit and 64-bit installations available. You can check what version Windows you have by clicking on  >Control Panel-> >System Security-> >System<  At the top it will show what Operating System under >Windows edition< and below that under >System< it will show System Type like “64-bit Operating System”  [Alternative way to get to ‘System‘ is to right click on the >My Computer< icon and choose ‘Properties‘]
If you want to feel like an Uber Computer Genius you can get the version info from the command line by typing:     wmic os get osarchitecture     This will tell you 64bit or 32bit.
Command_Bits
Go to  Cygwin Install   and pick the one for your system.
Cygwin Website
When you install it for the first time Cygwin does not install every package. It only installs the base packages that will take up about 100mb. setup-x86.exe or  setup-x86_64.exe is used for the initial setup as well as all updates or changes so make sure you remember where you saved it. Start the installation process hit next.
Cygwin_Setup
Pick install from the internet click next and then choose where you want Cygwin to be installed. The default is good. It recommends to choose ‘All users’ so go with that.
Cygwin_Setup02

After you click next, pick where you want setup to store the installation files it downloads. Again the default is good although the install files can take up a lot of space. I downloaded them all and it took up around 10Gb. [It will only do around 100mb by default] If you are short on space choosing the hard drive  you keep for storage would be the best choice.
Cygwinsetup65

Hit next and select your connection.
Cygwin_Internet_Cone_X
After that click next and you will need to pick a server location. Try to choose one that is closest to where you live. The closer the better, it usually means faster downloading speeds but there are other factors involved that determine how quick the files will download.
Cygwin_Server_Choice
After you’ve found your server hit next and watch as it downloads. When its done it will take you to the package menu. Leave all the defaults and click next. It will download and install everything you need to get started with your Linux environment. Hit finish and you are ready to play with Cygwin.
cygwin_Package_Menu
There should be an icon on your desktop  just open that up and behold your Bash Shell. To get started check out these websites:

Cygwin Cheat Sheet

Using Cygwin

Beginner’s Bash

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5 Comments
  1. Would you choose Cygwin over a VM?

  2. Great intro into cgwin. It’s a good resource for a beginner without an existing Linux installation yet would like to test out the commands in Cybrary/OP3N ‘s https://www.cybrary.it/cybrary-0p3n/0p3n-linux/ additional study materials.

  3. I use it’s g++ compiler.
    That’s good I think.
    Hope you have a nice day.
    ——————–DAGONCHU

  4. If you add :\cygwin\bin to your System Environment variables, it lets you use a combination of CMD shell and Bash from a CMD promt and Powershell.

    I tried to check your attached resources but didnt see this clearly laid out anywhere.

    To edit your Sytem Environment variables open sysdem.cpl as admin and navigate to:
    Advanced (tab) > Environment Variables (button).

    You can add it to either the User Path, or the System Path. If you are adding it, make sure you follow the procedure that all the other locations use in the variable:
    ;c:\cygwin64\bin;

    Add it to the end of the existing path. Do not edit this in any other way!!! Do not delete anything or put extra spaces in!! This can cause your PC to fail to reboot properly if edited incorrectly.

    If you edit the User Path variable then it will only stay on your account. If this is going to used on a terminal server, or anywhere you may have more than one account that will find this handy, add it to the System Path variable.

  5. this is good way to practice linux/unix commands

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