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Installing Cygwin for Drupal patch testing and development

Update: See Randy Fay's Cygwin quickstart tutorial,

Many Drupal things are best done in a UNIX-like environment. One solution is to run a Linux distribution like Ubuntu in a virtual machine, as is provided by Another solution (on Microsoft Windows) is Cygwin, to bring the power of the UNIX command line to Windows.

This how-to is borrowed from rfay helping another Drupalista out in #drupal-contribute on

First get the setup file from

After downloading the setup files, run them, and it takes us to the select a package screen.

We choose to get these packages at least: git, cvs, rsync, vim, inetutils, openssh, patchutils, unzip, wget, rxvt.

When it all installes, we'll have rxvt native in our start menu and we run that and it'll do a little first-time setup that happens for a minute.

Rebooting and retrying can sometimes resolve a package not found error for rxvt.

Then we'll make symlinks our of the Cygwin custom namespace into the Windows filesystem, for instance:

cd /
ln -s /cygdrive/c
ln -s /cygdrive/d

And etc for any drivenames we want to be easily available from cygwin.

To test that we have diff, we simply type, diff --help. To test that we have git, we simply type git.

Now we can move on to testing and creating goodness and wonderfulness.

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Posted on

I did go ahead and write a quickstart on this:

Thanks for your help with that!

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