The following page provides a brief overview on how to install and configure Cygwin. The demonstration will use a Windows machine and will install relevant software for Environmental Resources Engineering students. The following sections follow:

Installing Cygwin on a Windows OS

A Cygwin installation is very much like updating the software packages in a Linux distribution. The first time you install Cygwin you will be faced with a large download to install all elements of the emulator. Subsequent updates tend to be minor. The packages installed are typically the same as can be found in a Linux OS software manager.

On a Windows machine download the Cygwin installer. This file is an install manager for the POSIX emulator. It can be used at any time to download or update installed packages. Run the installer: setup-x86.exe for 32-bit machines and setup-x86_64.exe for 64-bit machines. Flip through the following screen and take note of red mark-ups:

Cygwin Screen 1 Cygwin Screen 2
I prefer to install Cygwin at the root directory (no spaces in the path).I also like to specify the download directory to be within the Cygwin directory to keep the application compact.
Cygwin Screen 3 Cygwin Screen 4
Assuming you have a robust internet connection, choose direct install from the internet. The next screen will ask you to specify a source for the download. I prefer domestic websites that are geographical close to my location with .edu or .gov extensions.
Cygwin Screen 5 Cygwin Screen 6
At this stage you should be viewing the package list available for install in Cygwin. There are many different software packages available to install. For Engr 225, Engr 325, and Engr 326, we are interested in the following software packages:

For each of the packages of interest, enter the term in the search box, and select the version number you'd like to install by clicking on the symbol to the left of the package of interest. By default, the package will read skip. Each click will cycle the package through the various options available. Typically these options include a couple version numbers and installation options. Install the latest version for each package.

Note that the search feature dynamically updates the list of packages as you type in the keyword. An <Enter> key-stroke will initiate installation of selected packages. Examples:
Cygwin Screen 7 Cygwin Screen 8

After all the packages of interest are selected, select "Next" and wait a while. The packages will be downloaded then installed. When the installation is complete you should be able to launch Cygwin. The only step remaining is to configure vim.

Updating and Repairing an Installation

Once you have Cygwin installed, you can add packages as you need them. To do this, use the setup executable you used to install Cygwin. You can redownload the setup from the Cygwin website.

While generating screen shots for this tutorial, I inadvertantly corrupted my Cygwin installation by stopping the installation process. When executing Cygwin I was receiving an error stating something along the lines of "Cygwin1.dll could not be found". This indicated that a key file was no longer available. The solution to the problem was to reexecutate the installer and "reinstall" the base Cygwin packages by searching for Cygwin and reinstalling all packages under the Base category.

If I find other packages to be non-operable, I would reinstall these packages as well. The good news about reinstallation is that the files you once had installed should still be available in your target download directory - no additional download needed.

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