I installed the latest version of Cygwin with a number of packages. I soon realised that I need more packages (such as wget, etc) and I couldn't find a way to install the new packages without running the set up again and reinstall everything from scratch.

What I'm looking for is the equivalent of apt-get on Cygwin (if such a thing exists).


9 Answers 9


There is no package management in Cygwin outside of the setup program. The setup only applies updates to your current installation, it does not overwrite packages that what you already have (unless you have explicitly said so).

So rerun the setup program to install new packages.

  • 1
    let's say I have a list of the following packages cygwin-devel gcc-core git libcom_err-devel libcom_err2 libcrypt-devel libcrypt0 libedit-devel libedit0 libgcc1 libgssapi_krb5_2 libiconv-devel libiconv2 libintl-devel libintl8 libk5crypto3 libkrb5-devel libkrb5_3 libkrb5support0 libncurses-devel libncursesw10 libopenssl100 libssp0-4.9.2-3 make openssl-devel w32api-headers w32api-includes zlib-devel zlib0-1.2.8-3 git wget How might i install them?
    – William
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 6:45
  • Someone already answered this here. Asking me directly was the wrong way to get a timely answer. :) Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 19:04
  • 2
    Does the setup.exe version have to be the same exact version as was initially installed? Commented May 10, 2016 at 19:00
  • 1
    No, that's the whole point. You will get the option to upgrade what you want if you run a more recent version of setup than what you already had installed. Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 14:16
  • 1
    see answer stackoverflow.com/questions/745275/…
    – barlop
    Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 22:04

There is a package called apt-cyg that may be what you are looking for. It appears to be based upon apt-get.

apt-cyg is a command-line installer for Cygwin which cooperates with Cygwin Setup and uses the same repository. The syntax is similar to apt-get.

An example command would be

$ apt-cyg install yourPackage

To install it you need wget, tar, gawk, and bzip2. You can download all these packages from the Cygwin packages list.

  • how do you install apt-cyg once you have downloaded wget, tar, gawk, and bzip2? thx
    – Adriano
    Commented Dec 11, 2013 at 10:22
  • 4
    answering my own question: superuser.com/a/41139/280964
    – Adriano
    Commented Dec 11, 2013 at 10:42
  • 2
    apt-cyg seems as a great options but I had many troubles (permissions, hard links, etc) and I got back to old approach - using the installer. apt-get != apt-cyg
    – JRr
    Commented Jan 31, 2021 at 11:26

I find Chocolatey very useful for windows installations management (new, upgrade and removal), and cygwin is no exception!

I installed cygwin using Chocolatey, and since Chocolatey is installing using quiet/silent mode, you are not asked to select any packages and cygwin is installed with bare minimum packages :-(.

However, every time you wish to install a new package it is really-really, easy just use:
--source=cygwin. For example, installing bash:

choco install bash --source=cygwin

  • 1
    I have had a very good experience with choco. I recommend it and wish it would be higher in google search results. Commented Dec 21, 2020 at 20:14
  • That's great! Where is this documented?
    – wolfrevo
    Commented May 7 at 11:44

Re-run the setup program again. This is how you update Cygwin as well.

  • 7
    thx, for those in doubt: it does not reinstall everything, it simply install the new packages that you select
    – Adriano
    Commented Dec 11, 2013 at 10:40
  • 1
    I am doing this right now to install a single package, unzip. All I did is opened the setup GUI, searched for unzip, checked it to install bin. However, it almost looks like it's reinstalling everything. I see it going through packages like grep, libgtk, etc. It's been running for about 10 minutes and is only about 50% done. Is that normal? FYI, this is probably the first time in 8+ months I've run setup, so maybe all my packages are out of date?
    – SSilk
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 19:51
  • @SSilk it updated the old packages. Thats normal.
    – PythoNic
    Commented Mar 14, 2021 at 2:53

You need to install 'lynx' at first in a common way. Then open cygwin and write this:

  1. lynx -source rawgit.com/transcode-open/apt-cyg/master/apt-cyg > apt-cyg

  2. install apt-cyg /bin

Now you can use package manager apt-cyg install

For more information see https://github.com/transcode-open/apt-cyg


I was stuck with the same issue while trying to use curl on Windows and just got it resolved. Posting it here, now cause it might help someone.

The best way is to just use cygwin's setup.exe and select additional packages that you need. Go here: http://www.cygwin.com/install.html

"When installing packages for the first time, setup*.exe does not install every package. Only the minimal base packages from the Cygwin distribution are installed by default. Clicking on categories and packages in the setup*.exe package installation screen will provide you with the ability to control what is installed or updated."


Hi I know that it's old topic but just to add some info: You can also install program called MSYS2 which has the package manager PACMAN from Arch Linux and You are able to install all packs avaible for Arch :) Just pacman -S packageName and hit enter and it will dl it for You:)

Cheers :D

  • Welcome to Super User! Please read the question again carefully. Your answer does not answer the original question. OP is using Cygwin. You cannot mix and match bits of Cygwin with bits of Msys2
    – DavidPostill
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 10:34
  • HI i know but check post above abouts Babuka which is looking like some project based on Cygwin like MSYS2 I've been talking about. Commented Dec 4, 2016 at 13:01
  • There is a difference between Babuka which includes Cygwin and MSYS2 which is based on Cygwin.
    – DavidPostill
    Commented Dec 4, 2016 at 13:05
  • ah ok then sorry for misleading my bad :) Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 14:38

You can use Babun which is built around Cygwin and includes the package manager pact.

Babun supports installing new packages out of the box:

pact install wget

For Windows users, Use the Installation Setup, You can get the setup here https://www.cygwin.com/ It will guide you through the relevant steps until you reac the package window. Make sure you select Full in the View drop down . Then select the packages you want to add and install Check this image

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .