Jun 24, 2016

Cygwin: Linux Commands on Windows

Are you used to Linux commands and for some reason need them in the Windows environment ? or simply would like to try some of the many Linux useful command line tools in the Windows? doesn't matter, Cygwin is the answer!

As stated on its official website, Cygwin is:

  • a large collection of GNU and Open Source tools which provide functionality similar to a Linux distribution on Windows.
  • a DLL (cygwin1.dll) which provides substantial POSIX API functionality.

It's provided in both 32 and 64 bit versions, so download the proper version for your Windows, if not sure, use the 32 bit version, you can get them here. After you open it, just click 'next' until achieve this screen (you can keep the default settings):

Here you must select at least one source for the files, just check the first line for the official mirror, then proceed until you see this screen:

This is the screen where you can select what you wish, for example, if you want the 'nano' text editor, search it and mark for installation:

Then proceed until the installation finish, after that, you will see a new icon at your desktop, that is the default Cygwin terminal, like the Linux Bash and the Windows terminal. That's it! Now you are able to use your new set of Linux command line tools, like the 'nano' editor:


If you wanna add/remove tools after the installation, you can do that by just running again the installation file, but always pointing to your Cygwin folder, if you used all the default settings in the first installation, then you shouldn't worry about this. 

Cygwin Terminal Vs Windows Terminal

The default Cygwin terminal can use all the installed Linux commands and tools, plus the Windows ones, if you check the 'env' command you will understand, because the Windows command line tools directory is mapped on the Cygwin terminal path, but the Cygwin binaries directory are not mapped on the Windows Path, so if you wanna use them in the Windows default terminal, you need add your Cygwin 'bin' folder to the Windows path. You'll see by yourself, the Cygwin terminal is much better, because between other cools things, allow us to increase/decrease the text font easily and change the window size. That's all!

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