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UNIX Review: Review: Improving the Windows Experience with Cygwin

Mar 20, 2003, 04:00 (17 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Marcel Gagné)

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"Long-time Unix and Linux users realize that sometimes nothing beats the power of the shell, not to mention the bevy of tools that the *nix environment provides. This is where Cygwin shows its power. Cygwin is actually a collection of GNU tools ported to Windows, which is done through the use of a Cygwin runtime library. Using Cygwin, a developer can use Cygwin's runtime (or the Win32 API), the gcc compiler, and accompanying debugging tools, to port Unix and Linux software to Windows.

"The reason for Cygwin goes beyond simply porting Linux and Unix code to Windows. Standard bash scripts can be used on your Windows systems, thereby extending the functionality of those machines, particularly those that act as servers. Suddenly, you can have access to all those commands that you desperately miss everytime you find yourself working on a Windows machine. Finally--and this was the feature that captured my curiosity--the ability to run X provides you with the flexibility to run any Linux/Unix application from your Windows desktop, thereby completing the administration puzzle. Intrigued? Then, read on..."

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