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I was looking for Gnu Tools for Windows and came across two links:


Does anyone know what is the difference between them and which one has more comprehensive or better tools ?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Some solutions:

Finally, if you want comprehensive, you're after Cygwin, which is the "standard" method of getting GNU tools on Windows, but is ... rather bulky. And the moment you have some third-party software installed, where the Windows binary was built using Cygwin and which bundles the DLL, you enter DLL hell.

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Thanks for the input. I think cygwin is based of UNIX emulation which certainly I am not looking for. I would be interested in native ports which I think both of the gnuwin32 and unxutils are. – Madhur Ahuja Jan 5 '11 at 10:38
@Madhur - cygwin works quite well (as long as you only use the provided packages/apps) and in normal day-to-day usage it's no different than a normal unix/linux – Nifle Jan 5 '11 at 13:51
Are cygwin tools portable? Means can I just copy into USB key and run it ? – Madhur Ahuja Jan 5 '11 at 13:53
cygwin is not an emulator: The gnu tools are compiled for cygwin, when they would call into the kernel, they call into cygwin.dll. GNU runs on Linux, BSD kernel, Solaris kernel, cygwin, etc. The tools are compiled for each kernel even when on same cpu (unless kernel supports kernel translation). – richard Sep 19 '12 at 15:24
Jared Burrows and @ncdownpat -- your edits are wrong; UnxUtils was last updated in 2003 and many of the executables are still from a 1999 build; GNUWin32 coreutils was last updated in 2005. – Jason S May 29 '15 at 16:12

In a comment Madhur Ahuja asks if cygwin is portable - the answer is no and yes. The standard install of cygwin will NOT support portability it relies on a large set of files.

BUT, if you only need a few of the tools that cygwin provides, for example sed, gawk and grep, you can put those and the files they depend on, on a USB and it will work.

The below list of files, all located in the /bin dir of cygwin, will allow you to run - find, gawk, grep, ls and sed from a USB drive.

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Thanks a lot Bryan – Madhur Ahuja Jan 5 '11 at 16:08

Recently came to know gow[1]. Installed it and it works quite well. cygwin is too heavy.

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Thanks, Cygwin is just too heavy, and this comes with all the really good stuff: SSH, Bash, VIM. – dotancohen May 3 '12 at 6:57
+1 This has become my standard for any windows machine. – galaktor Aug 17 '15 at 11:59

MobaXterm is a rich ftp/ssh/VNC/RDP/Telnet/rsh client and X-server as well, but also has a lot of GNU tools built in to use interactively

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