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Full user review
"Fundamentally flawed concept"
None that I know of
- Fundamentally flawed concept
- It never goes away
As a computer consultant, certain clients have forced me to use Cygwin on & off for decades. It's main idea is to put a layer of Unix-like software on MS-Windows, sort of like pouring chocolate syrup on a cow pie. It may smell all Unixy-chocolatty, but underneath it's still just Windows.
Cygwin is kept alive by Unix (and more recently Linux) bigots who are forced to work on Windows and don't want to learn it. Within limits, Cygwin allows their favorite Linux tools to work in Windows. The problem is the oddball corner cases where you just can't hide the difference make more trouble than the system is worth. One recent example I had was a large build script on which failed on Cygwin. It was fixed by the console command "rename makefile makefile". This should do nothing, but since Linux file names are case sensitive and Windows is not, this will rename "Makefile" to "makefile" (lower case m) and make the script work. Minor nits like this can eat days of your time. There are better ways to handle this. Cygwin is not worth the pain.
Other problems with Cygwin are the size (~2 Gigs - three times bigger than an Ubuntu CD!!!), and the many hours to download and install, even over a T1 line.
When you need to run Linux software on windows, It's much better to use a Virtual machine, like VMware and Sun Virtual Box to run Fedora. Share a drive, use "putty 127.1" to make a windows console on the Linux box, and you can do ANYTHING Cygwin can and much more, with all the reliability and features of Real Linux. The only reason to use Cygwin is if some Luddite client, partner or boss forces you to. When this happens, make sure you charge them extra.