Linked by Kroc Camen on Wed 17th Dec 2008 19:43 UTC, submitted by weildish
General Unix IBM's primer to Cygwin. Cygwin is a UNIX-like environment for the Microsoft Windows operating system. Cygwin includes a real UNIX shell, a Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX) emulation library, and thousands of UNIX utilities ported to Windows. Learn how to drop to Cygwin and use its UNIX-like command line to manipulate the system.
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I tend to think the same way. I prefer to go all-out; if I'm using Windows, I want plain old Windows with COMMAND.COM, CMD.EXE, or maybe the PowerShell. If I'm using Linux, I want it pure. If I'm using DOS, well, same thing. I hate how FreeDOS installs the GNU utilities by default (and lots of other unnecessary crap unless you go through a list and spend a few minutes un-checking stuff). It just doesn't feel right, it's way out of place.

On the other hand, I do like playing around with virtual machines and DOSBox (which looks, feels and acts just like the real thing), but then, those are self-contained and can be kept pure. I can see the use in PuTTY, as it allows you to log into a UNIX/Linux machine and use it as if you were actually on it (all in a little Unix-like command window), but I have a hard time seeing the use of Cygwin myself. Sounds like just using UNIX/Linux would be a better choice, and maybe Windows in a VM if absolutely required.

Honestly, although I don't think it's well-maintained (if at all), I think UnxUtils provides better integration with Windows. It's made up of Windows-native .exe versions of common GNU utilities, which can be used in the regular command prompt by simply dropping them in C:\WINDOWS or (better yet) extracting them to a new folder and adding it to the PATH. These don't require a special program like Cygwin just to run, and again, they're native Windows binaries.

Edited 2008-12-18 19:51 UTC

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