Linux fans would love to use Linux all of the time, but sometimes
it just isn’t possible. Maybe a certain application requires that you use
Windows, or perhaps you’re forced to use Windows at work. Regardless of the
reason, if you’ve become attached to your Linux and open source applications,
rest assured that you can use Cygwin to run most of those applications on

Cygwin is an environment for Windows, similar to Linux, that
provides a Linux API emulation layer and a collection of tools that are normally
only available on systems that use open source tools, such as Linux, the
*BSD’s, and Mac OS X.

To begin using this environment, visit
the Cygwin Web site
and download the installer–the setup.exe file. Once this
component is downloaded, double-click it and choose the Install From Internet
option, which will download only the packages you want to install. You’ll need
to specify the root environment of the installation, where packages will be
downloaded to, and a mirror site from which to download packages.

After you’ve picked a mirror, the installer will download
some base files and allow you to select packages from various categories. Here
you can choose what shells, text-processing tools, databases, desktop
applications, and other programs that you’d like to install. Since Cygwin comes
with an X server, you can even install GNOME and KDE programs. Better yet, you
can compile your own programs to run under Cygwin by installing gcc and

Cygwin will dutifully download and install all of the
packages that you select. When the download process is complete, you can fire
up Cygwin and an initial bash shell by clicking the Cygwin icon on your

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