Cygwin question

Lloyd Rasmussen lras at
Fri Jan 30 19:27:34 UTC 2009

I know that Cygwin is not really Linux; it involves the dreaded Windows.

In case anyone wonders what happens if you select Default in All categories 
when doing the GUI install of Cygwin 1.5:

I'm using Window-Eyes 7.01 in Windows 2000 and downloaded the whole 
enchillada yesterday.  (I selected only current versions, not developmental 
or obsolete versions).There are probably some additional files in my user 
directory.  But, from the Virtual View script of Window-Eyes, here are the 
properties of the \cygwin directory after everything has been counted (wait 
a minute or so for the reading to stabilize):

cygwin Properties (Property Sheet)
General (Tab Control)
QuickFinder (Tab Control) Sharing (Tab Control) Security (Tab Control)
cygwin (Edit Box)
Type: (Static Text) File Folder (Edit Box)
Location: (Static Text) C:\ (Edit Box)
Size: (Static Text) 3.07 GB (3,304,495,749 bytes) (Edit Box)
Size on disk: (Static Text) 3.49 GB (3,752,910,848 bytes) (Edit Box)
Contains: (Static Text) 175,917 Files, 10,245 Folders (Static Text)
Created: (Static Text) Today, January 29, 2009, 4:19:39 PM (Edit Box)
Advanced... (Button)
Attributes: (Static Text)
Read-only (Check Box)
Hidden (Check Box)
OK (Button) Cancel (Button) Apply (Button)

Since I only have an 80 GB hard drive, I plan to remove some of the 
packages.  Window-Eyes detects the Default button.  I used to be able to 
find the scroll bar in order to bring more than the first few categories 
onto the screen for selection or deselection.  So if you install everything 
under 1.5, you eat nearly 4 GB of disk space.

At 09:16 AM 1/29/2009, you wrote:
>The short answer is "not really."  It's possible to just click on the 
>"All" button to install every Cygwin package.  If you want a nice 
>installer, that's as good as it gets.  If you want not such a nice 
>install, you can manually install packages once the base system is 
>installed.  This isn't recommended or really supported.  You'll need to 
>make sure that bash, coreutils, tar and bzip2 are working.  All are part 
>of the base system which is installed if you just go with the defaults and 
>don't change anything.  It would also help to install an ftp client such 
>as ncftp, but the Windows ftp client would work.  Go to a Cygwin mirror 
>such as and download the packages you want to 
>install.  Make a temp directory and extract the archives within bash.
>Manually move the files into the correct places, such as moving 
>mypkg/usr/share/doc to your c:\cygwin\usr\share\doc and mypkg/etc to 
>c:\cygwin\etc.  Don't move files from the usr/bin directory to 
>cygwin\usr\bin because it won't work.  Instead, just dump them into 
>\cygwin\bin.  You should have a postinstall and possibly other scripts to 
>run.  Make sure they're executable (they should be) and run them after 
>everything is manually in place.  If you're lucky, it will actually 
>work.  If not, just click on All from the installer and install 
>everything, allowing for about 2 GB of disk space.
>Note that all of the above is for Cygwin 1.5.  I haven't used 1.7.  You 
>should try it and see if it's better.  Note that 1.7 is still in testing 
>and won't run on anything less than XP or 2000.  I would like to know if 
>1.7 is any better.  Get or setup-1.7.exe 
>instead of the usual setup.exe.
>Tom Masterson wrote:
>>Does anyone know of an accessible way to install packages under cygwin?

Lloyd Rasmussen, Senior Project Engineer, Engineering Section
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Library of Congress    (202) 707-0535   <>
HOME:  <>
The opinions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent 
those of NLS.

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