Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 23rd Dec 2009 23:49 UTC, submitted by diegocg
Linux After two long years since the last release, Cygwin 1.7 (a Linux-like environment that runs on Windows systems) has been released. Among many other improvement, this release adds support for Windows 7 and Server 2008R2.
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The distinction is rather simple... MinGW provides GCC to compile native Win32 applications. Cygwin provides a Unixlike environment on top of Windows, including an implementation of a Unixlike API, and also uses GCC as its compiler.

Yes, this is the basic understanding I've been operating under... but in regards to the differences, I see MinGW as more of a ReactOS/OpenBSD reverse engineering, co-mingling effort, whereas Cygwin perhaps takes an understanding (to what extent, I don't know) of Win APIs and tries to write a layer over an interface...

I guess philosophically I've always found MinGW to be superior, but they seem to have stalled out on Win32, and don't seem to have a coherent or discernible (help!) plan for .NET / Win64 / wow / etc...

Where do the two projects have advantages moving forward? MinGW always has the latest GCC, unofficial or not, where Cygwin has greater compatibility at the expense of "being older than CentOS"/dirt

Do we just rely on Win32 being around due to legacy forever, and stick with MinGW? I haven't been able to do x64 apps forever, and hardly could care for the most part as memory is adequate.. for now..

Will MinGW just creep along until Ernie moves on?

For windows being a huge platform, GCC seems hardly relevant at times. I thought with all the alt OSes, and linux trudging along in popularity and needing to gain wider app support, there would be keener interest in GCC on windows than I've seen over the years.

I see no compelling reason to hitch my wagon to the plodding pace of Cygwin, when MinGW covers my porting needs/interests year after year adequately... Should they converge? Should MinGW focus on MS's UNIX subsystem???

EDIT: thx, ba1l .. posted this at same time as you answered many of the Qs in it!.. ;-)

Edited 2009-12-24 04:36 UTC

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