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I'm a fan of cygwin, I've found it easiest to get working. I've tried Windows Services for Unix and MinGW, and found to be alot more work to get set up.

Can I get some opinions about the pros and cons of the various systems? I'd like to know if thewre are any compelling advantages to the non-cygwin alternatives that would make it worth my while to fight through the rough spots.

I'd also like to know if there are any other alternatives out there that I didn't include in my list.

EDIT: My aim is to get a nice shell environment, that plays nicely with the underlying Windows environment. Cygwin seems to work best staying in its own little box, and I'm after something that feels like it's a full partner in the operating system, if that makes any sense.

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migrated from Jul 1 '11 at 18:25

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closed as not a real question by grawity, random Jul 2 '11 at 16:25

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You may find this interesting:… – Simon Sheehan Jul 1 '11 at 18:30

Probably not an answer, but if you are looking for the best Unix-like environment for Windows, you probably can't do any better than installing a Unix-like OS on a virtual machine.

I regularly use a Linux installation in a VirtualBox VM at my workplace, where I cannot install Linux on the actual hardware, with no issues at all.

I have used Cygwin and MinGW and, no matter what, something would happen that would annoy an experienced Unix-like-OS user such as myself. Usually it had something to do with the filesystem semantics, that are significantly different on Windows and cannot be easily (or at all) bridged to adhere to the Unix FS model.


By your own edit, you are probably looking for something else that a VM. Have you taken a look at

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