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I'm looking for a linux program that is simple and text-based, like cygwin, thats actually linux. I feel to much is missed out by cygwin like nano syntax highlighting and general linux programs. Is there any thing that runs with command prompt, like cygwin, that is a full text-based linux OS.

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Yes, it's called Linux. Somehow I don't think that's what you have in mind. Are you trying to run something more Linux-like than Cygwin inside Windows? If so, how integrated with Windows does it have to be? Or are you trying to have more open source programs than Cygwin ships with? Or are you looking for a better terminal emulator for Cygwin programs? – Gilles Oct 1 '10 at 23:09
nano syntax highlighting works for me in Cygwin in both mintty and the regular Cygwin terminal. – Dennis Williamson Oct 1 '10 at 23:37

As others have mentioned, there are things such as coLinux that run Linux inside Windows, and side by side, Windows.

But.. if you're happy with Cygwin other than colors, maybe you can change your terminal to something that shows colors better. Look at rxvt, and mintty, both available from setup.exe. Then use chere to set that as the term emulator to open in Windows

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not sure i understand your question, but here goes.

if you are using linux or mac os x as your operating system, you can just open up the command line and do all the cygwin things. see for a howto.

if you are using windows, cygwin is your only option for linux command line functionality.

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I found a gui version that runs within windows so it must be possible with text-base?… – Will Oct 1 '10 at 22:52

A little more Linux than cygwin? Have a look at coLinux and andLinux.
If you want a full blown linux under Windows then you have to use virtualization, for example with VMWare or Virtualbox.

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