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I'd like to download the basic stuff like 'rm -rf'.

I used to just download cygwin, but are binutils or some other alternative better (if all I need are the truely basic stuff ... I'm trying to think of anything I'm missing beyond 'rm -rf' and rather failling at it a.t.m)

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Short note: rd /s /q is the Windows variant of rm -rf. –  Joey Aug 18 '09 at 21:28
That's valuable in its on right, thanks. –  ripper234 Aug 19 '09 at 11:23

4 Answers 4

up vote 16 down vote accepted

I'm a big fan of GnuWin32.

You can download just the packages you need; each stands alone so you don't need to install any core Unix emulation layer like with Cygwin.

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I think that GnuWin32 is the best answer for the question asked. I would also suggest looking at Powershell if you anticipate working at the command line a lot in windows. –  EBGreen Aug 17 '09 at 14:09
Well, I'll go with the majority vote here, even though when I left work it was still downloading so I don't really know. –  ripper234 Aug 17 '09 at 18:15
I use both. There are some good *nix commands or apps that aren't GNU. Many neither cygwin nor of course gnuwin32 has(I notice neither has "rename".. But, others like Apache.. is not GNU, so hence I suppose maybe why gnuwin32 doesn't have it. But cygwin has it. –  barlop Sep 5 '10 at 22:56
These are great for doing a lot of things on a windows system without having to figure out windows equivalents - just put it all in a directory and add that directory to your path. If you are going to be administrating a Windows system, it would pay to get familiar with powershell. –  MaQleod May 16 '14 at 17:53

I much prefer GnuWin32, especially if you only want a small subset of the linux toolset. The installation process is much easier than cygwin, especially if you don't care about a BASH shell.

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Stupid Idea I just had: Build a busybox binary. It should have just the bare essentials.

You could, perhaps, easily build a standalone, portable, minimalistic cygwin distro (with just the registry entries and the .dll files).

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UnxUtils is another alternative to consider, though I prefer GnuWin32 myself.

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unxutils the programs are old versions.. and probably all within gnuwin32 anyway..the website unxutils.sourceforge.net says last updated in 2003.And I think all the unxutils are gnu anyway.. the website says so.so it looks like maybe it's effectively superceded by gnuwin32. I don't know if it has any advantages at all.though it does have things like wget and grep automatically.. gnuwin32 has them but you download them individually.not them all. gnu coreutils has many in one,but wget and grep and others are individuals.just reality.not a good reason 2use unxutils with its old versions. –  barlop Sep 5 '10 at 22:48
Just noticed.. gnuwin32 also has non-gnu software. there's a package linux-utils-ng That has the rename command. –  barlop Sep 5 '10 at 23:00

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