How to install and configure Cygwin for Windows


If you are using Linux or Unix platform on your PC, then I am sure you are going to miss the terminal, all the wonderful things you can do with the command lines in the Windows OS. You don’t use the command prompt in Windows most of the time and its user-interface is not friendly too. If a situation arises to use the terminal, then Cygwin is the best tool available for you and here I explained how to install and configure Cygwin for Windows.

Coming to the Cygwin, it is the open source tool with lots of optional packages which allow you to run and execute the age-old Unix like commands on your Windows running PC. It has the ability to run any Linux/Unix software.

How to install and configure Cygwin for Windows

  • First go to Cygwin official site and download the executable file. Only the executable file is small and it downloads the required packages while installing the software.
  • After downloading launch it as the administrator and on welcome screen, click on Next button to continue and here select radio button Install from internet and click on Next. This downloads all the required packages for installation and store them on local directory.
  • In this screen, select root directory for Cygwin installation and if you want to customize any settings you can, otherwise click on Next button.
  • In the next screen, unless you are using HTTP proxy to access the internet, just leave the default option and click on Next.
  • Here, you need to select the download site from which you want to download the required packages, select a random site and click on Next.
  • Now, Cygwin will show all the packages available and here keep them on default settings and click on Next button. You can add the packages which you want for the Cygwin installation. Now it will download all the default packages and install them.
  • After downloading you can launch it from the desktop shortcut or start menu.
  • To configure Cygwin to work with Windows command prompt, open the start menu and type System and select system option in the control panel section.
  • Now click on Advanced System settings on the left pane and open System properties and click on environmental variables button. Scroll down and select variable path under system variables and click on edit.
  • Now add the location C:Cygwinbin at the end of the line and don’t forget to separate it using ‘;‘. If you have chosen different installation directory while installing then you need to change the below location variable accordingly. After adding it click on OK and save the changes.

From now, you can use the Linux commands in the regular Windows command prompt.