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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computeruser
Member since:
2009-07-21

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.

Reply Parent Score: 1

kad77 Member since:
2007-03-20

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

Reply Parent Score: 1

computeruser Member since:
2009-07-21

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...

I don't think it's fair to say one is superior to the other; the projects have different goals and shouldn't be compared in this way. MinGW is primarily a port of GCC and related tools to Windows, and .NET support has no place here (as GCC doesn't support .NET either.) The Mono project provides open source .NET, and Mono runs on Windows.

MinGW only provides the ability to compile Windows API programs. Good programs should compile on any Win32 compiler that supports the same language (of course, this might exclude MS's own compiler in the case where MS's compiler is insufficient - for example, C99 support.)

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.

GCC shouldn't be anything more than one of many compilers people can choose on Windows. If a program requires GCC to compile, perhaps the program is doing something nonstandard.

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???

The decision shouldn't be difficult to make. Are you writing UNIX software? Are you writing Windows software? Are you writing software that only targets standard C/C++/some other library that supports both Windows and UNIX?

Reply Parent Score: 1

nimble Member since:
2005-07-06

Should MinGW focus on MS's UNIX subsystem???

No, because MinGW stands for Minimalist GNU for Windows, and SUA is not a core part of Windows. Also, SUA already has a gcc port anyway.

Edited 2009-12-24 09:30 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2