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Re: cygwin unix commands in windows

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According to Tom Lee on 10/5/2006 6:13 AM:
>> > I really like the feature of "ls /" to display evevrything under c:/
>>   If that's *really* what you want, i.e. you want all your
>> unix/linux-style
>> usr, lib, etc, bin, var (and so on) directories scattered amongst your
>> win32-style "Documents and Settings", "Program Files", "WINDOWS" (and
>> so on)
>> directories in your C drive root directory, you should just install
>> cygwin to
>> C:\ instead of installing it to C:\cygwin by changing the default install
>> location when you run setup.exe.
> I noticed that if I run those commands in a machine without cygwin
> installed.
> it still looks for c:\cygwin

Which commands look for c:\cygwin when it is not installed?  setup.exe,
and all cygwin programs, honor your mount points.  If cygwin has never
been installed, then no programs know to look for c:\cygwin because there
is no cygwin installed and thus no mount points.  And until cygwin is
installed, cygwin 'ls' will not work.  Furthermore, it is not ls that
handles DOS paths, but cygwin1.dll.  In other words, saving a copy ls.exe
will not guarantee you that DOS paths will still work if in the future you
upgrade cygwin1.dll and that upgrade happens to disable DOS path support
for all cygwin programs.  (Of course, the likelihood of cygwin disabling
DOS path support now seems slim, based on the potential backlash this list
will get as compared to the minimal overhead of currently supporting it.)

setup.exe defaults to installing in c:\cygwin, but you can choose to
install anywhere else, including c:\ (although the FAQ specifically states
that installing directly into a drive root is dangerous).  And read 'man
mount' for how to tell cygwin what '/' should translate to.  If you did
the default install, then '/' translates to 'c:\cygwin'.  If you install
to c:\ then '/' translates to 'c:/'.  If you change cygdrive to be '/'
instead of '/cygdrive/', then 'ls /c' lists the contents of c:\,
regardless of what '/' maps to.  It's that simple.  Now quit asking, and
start reading the documentation.  We are getting tired of this game.  The
only use of the registry is for mount point settings, but you should use
'mount' rather than directly editing the registry.  Or maybe since you
have such a hankering desire to use DOS paths, in spite of our warnings,
you should consider using djgpp or mingw instead of cygwin.

- --
Life is short - so eat dessert first!

Eric Blake   
Version: GnuPG v1.4.2.1 (Cygwin)
Comment: Public key at
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla -


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