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How can I install Bash for Windows so that I can use its utilities, such as grep, vim, and gcc with minimal amount of work in editing the environment variables to include them all. I'd like to do this in a way so that I don't have to do a lot of additional work with path editor programs and so that I don't need to worry about conflicts resulting from multiple installed versions of the same program. I'd prefer to be able to do this with a single installation application if possible, preferably for my version, Windows 7.

This is a different question from the question it is marked as similar to, because it is focused on reducing the difficulties in working with the environment variables.

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marked as duplicate by slhck Apr 16 '13 at 20:42

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Bear in mind that grep, vim and gcc have nothing to do with bash. grep and gcc are part of the GNU utilities and vim is its own thang. In any case, none of them come with or in any way depend on bash. –  terdon Apr 16 '13 at 19:00
    
@Kazark: Thanks. I have edited my question to use better terminology. As it stands though, I think it is written well enough to for someone to understand what I am asking. –  Steven Bluen Apr 16 '13 at 22:05
    
gnuwin32: gnuwin32.sourceforge.net/packages.html –  MaQleod Apr 16 '13 at 22:06
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3 Answers

One word: CygWin. Install. Rejoice. :)

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As others have said Cygwin is fantastic.

If you just want lots of the utilities from GNU, there are Win32 ports of many of the major ones that can be executed from CMD or Powershell after installing from: GNUWin32's Sourceforge page.

That includes Sed, Awk (and variants), Compressions, Cryptos, Image manipulations, etc.

There is also Vim on Windows, though you may need to add it to your PATH to have it executable from Powershell/CMD.

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An alternative is Microsoft’s Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications (SUA).  It’s not great; it doesn’t even include bash.  It does include

  • ksh, the Korn shell, which is similar to bash, but a couple of generations back up the evolutionary tree,
  • tcsh, a somewhat extended version of the C shell (csh),
  • most of the *nix tools that a non-privileged user might be accustomed to.

It does not include anything resembling system-administrative functionality.  For example, it doesn’t include

  • setuid and setgid,
  • at and cron,
  • mount.
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No longer available on Windows 8 IIRC, and requires Enterprise versions on Windows 7. –  Daniel Beck Apr 16 '13 at 19:45
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