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In Windows Explorer, when I search for libstdc++-6.dll, it returns half a dozen results. I'm trying to do a similar filename search in Cygwin with find, but that shows no results.

find / -name libstdc++-6.dll

Is my syntax correct?

This should invoke Cygwin find, as which find returns /bin/find.


find /c/strawberry/ -name libstdc++-6.dll works, just not from root.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Your syntax is correct; the gotcha here is a bit of weirdness with Cygwin's view of the filesystem.

In Cygwin, the root directory / points to what, in the Windows filesystem, is the root of your Cygwin install, which is usually c:\cygwin. To access anything outside that, you canonically have to use /cygdrive/[drive letter]; for example, the c:\windows\system32 directory's path within Cygwin is not /c/windows/system32 but rather /cygdrive/c/windows/system32.

A common way of circumventing this annoyance is to create symlinks in / which point to various drive letters in /cygdrive, e.g. ln -s /cygdrive/c /c; if you're able to access files outside the Cygwin root with paths such as /c/windows/..., it's because such symlinks exist, whether created by hand or automatically.

This scheme works well for most purposes, but not all programs automatically follow symlinks, and find is such a program; find /c/strawberry/ ... works because you're starting find off on the 'far' side of the symlink, but find / ... doesn't because it starts out on the 'near' side and won't by default follow the /c symlink. To produce the desired behavior, pass the -L option to find; find -L / -name libstdc++-6.dll should turn up the same results as find /c/strawberry -name libstdc++-6.dll will.

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Thanks dude! Unfortunately, Git Bash's find does not seem to have a -L option. – mcandre May 7 '13 at 18:06
Cygwin's find does, I'm pretty sure; if that's what you're invoking, as described in your question, then it should be working properly. If your Cygwin install came with Git Bash, then I have no idea what weirdness it's inflicting on you, and my advice is to ditch the training wheels and just install real Cygwin, whose package manager offers the git client. – Aaron Miller May 7 '13 at 18:11
Oh, hey, Git Bash comes with MSYS, which compares with Cygwin roughly as Minix compares with Linux. I'd definitely ditch Git Bash and install Cygwin, along with the Cygwin git client. – Aaron Miller May 7 '13 at 18:25
Not having a Windows box handy at the moment, I can't, no. But I can say that Cygwin, by design, provides a much more complete *nix environment than MSYS does, also by design. If you just want to use the git command-line client, Git Bash will suffice; if it's a more general *nix interface you're after, such as being able to use find instead of Windows Search, then Cygwin's going to do a better job fulfilling that desire. – Aaron Miller May 7 '13 at 18:49
That's more of a major religious war, I'd say. :) There's a qualitative difference, though; while you can pretty much do in Vim whatever you'd do in Emacs, or vice versa, the same really isn't true of MSYS and Cygwin. – Aaron Miller May 7 '13 at 19:06

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