I am working on windows machine and I use bash shell which comes with Git. But there are many utilities which are missing in this version of bash shell.

How can I install more commands on this shell?

  • 3
    What did you try? – 030 Jul 22 '18 at 13:47
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    many utilities are missing in this version of bash shell. Please add what commands are missing that you would like to use. – 030 Jul 22 '18 at 13:48
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    See serverfault.com/a/872557/212162 for a much more recent and easier way of using utilities that aren't included by default. – nextgentech Jul 22 '18 at 20:51

There are two versions of Git that you are likely to be using - the msysgit distribution or Cygwin.

Installing Additional Utilities For Cygwin

Although you might have only installed Git as a part of your Cygwin install (if you used Cygwin), Cygwin has a program called setup.exe which you can use to add packages. Essentially, all you have to do is run setup.exe and pick out what programs you want installed when you get to the Select Packages window. The introduction here provides a good overview with images that detail the process.

Cygwin's installer is smart enough to figure out that you have a preexisting installation, and it will add packages to your installation (instead of nuking it and starting over).


The other version of Git you are probably using (if not Cygwin) is msysgit. Because msysgit installs a minimal Unix environment which is not really compatible with MinGW, you'll end up having to install the MinGW suite beside msysgit. The MinGW Getting Started page gives a detailed overview on how to go about getting MinGW installed - since I have no experience with MinGW personally, all I can really do is refer you to their instructions.

You'll then have to migrate your msysgit installation into MinGW. This can be accomplished by doing the following (taken from here). After the following sequence is done, MinGW should find your Git installation.

cd GITDIR # Where GITDIR is wherever inside Program Files you put Git
cp bin/git* /MINGW/bin # Where MINGW is wherever you put MinGW
cp -r libexec/git* /MINGW/libexec
cp -r share/git* /MINGW/share
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    For anyone wondering, do not try to use the cygwin installer on the msysgit package. It partially works... but while resolving dependencies, it will replace sh.exe (which changes your environment significantly). – Chris Betti Jan 16 '15 at 15:10
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    How do I know if my git-bash use cygwin or msys ? – lmo Jul 22 '16 at 8:49
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    I installed from git-scm.com/download/win is that msysgit or cygwin? EDIT Figured it out. Rather than delete this comment, I'll say that it's msysgit. – Limited Atonement Aug 19 '16 at 13:26
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    @LimitedAtonement - Please also say how you figured it out, for other readers (like myself) who have asked themselves the same question. – Ioanna Sep 12 '16 at 11:11
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    @Ioanna I think I asked in #git on freenode, and they gave a compelling argument. I'm now using Cygwin, and I'm as happy as I could be given the broken, virus-like OS :-) – Limited Atonement Sep 12 '16 at 19:19

If you are using msysgit a simple option is to just install MinGW and then add the MINGW path to the .bashrc file you are using for your Git installation:


...where MINGW is where you installed MinGW

That way you can use the MinGW tools directly from your Git bash installation, and if you need another bash tool you can just install it to MinGW.


With recent Git for Windows installations, installing additional shell scripts and programs is pretty easy.

I recommend installing git using chocolatey choco install git, because you can update git (and all other tools installed with chocolatey) by executing choco upgrade all.

Simply put the executables into C:\Program Files\Git\usr\bin (%ProgramFiles%\Git\usr\bin).

Example for git-fresh

Copy the file git-fresh to C:\Program Files\Git\usr\bin.

Example for adr-tools

  1. Download a zip package from the releases page
  2. Unzip the package
  3. Copy everything from src/ into C:\Program Files\Git\usr\bin

If using Git bash for Windows (MinGW64), I had a very hard time getting rsync to be added to it. kept getting error: dup() in/out/err failed

Instead, using Cygwin worked eventually.

Steps I took to use rysnc in Gitbash for Windows

  1. Install gitbash for windows
  2. Install cygwin64
  3. Add the cygwin path to the Windows path variable

    Windows-> System->advanced Setings->Environment Variables

    Add a path for C:\cygwin64\bin\

  4. Close and re-open gitbash Now gitbash will find the rsync.exe in the cygwin\bin
  5. I was getting an incompatible version error for cygwin1.dll

    *** fatal error - cygheap base mismatch detected

  6. Although some said a reboot will fix this, it did not.
  7. To resolve the version error, I copied the cygwin\bin directory from an older version of cygwin - version 1.7.30 worked

One could extend the number of features in git-bash by creating scripts and call them by defining them in the ~/.bash_profile file.


If one would like to use the watch command, then this script could be added to the ~/.bash_profile:


while(true); do
  echo -e "${OUTPUT[@]}"

and wrap it inside a function:

watch() {
  while(true); do
    echo -e "${OUTPUT[@]}"

As soon as one saves the file and runs source ~/.bash_profile then one should be able to watch the output of commands.


You can download additional Unix unitities Wget, Hugo, Xpdf, make, Nano from here: https://gist.github.com/evanwill/0207876c3243bbb6863e65ec5dc3f058


  • Download the lastest wget binary for windows from eternallybored (they are available as a zip with documentation, or just an exe)
  • If you downloaded the zip, extract all (if windows built in zip utility gives an error, use 7-zip).
  • Rename the file wget64.exe to wget.exe if necessary.
  • Move wget.exe to your Git\mingw64\bin\.

Note: I have noticed some bugs when using Wget on Git Bash to create WARC files. For more complex use of Wget, consider Cygwin instead.


Hugo static site generator can be downloaded as a binary and does not have a installer. Dropping it into your bin easily adds it to your Git Bash path. Grab the Windows 64-bit version from the releases page. Unzip the download, then copy hugo.exe into your Git\mingw64\bin directory.


Xpdf is a handy utility for manipulating PDF files.

  • Download the windows version "Xpdf tools".
  • Extract zip.
  • Copy the contents of xpdf-tools-win-4.00\bin64\ into your Git\mingw64\bin\.
  • Check the docs to get started with tools such as pdftotext and pdftopng.


  • Go to ezwinports.
  • Download make-4.1-2-without-guile-w32-bin.zip (get the version without guile).
  • Extract zip.
  • Copy the contents to your Git\mingw64\ merging the folders, but do NOT overwrite/replace any existing files.


As of 2018, recent versions of Git Bash include Nano, so this is unnecessary!

  • Download the Nano binary from Nano win32-support page. You just need the .exe file, which is named nano-git-0d9a7347243.exe (as of this writing).
  • Rename the file to nano.exe, and copy to the mingw64\bin directory.
  • This version of Nano will not work with Git Bash alone, but can be invoked using winpty, for example, winpty nano test.txt.

install "Git for Windows SDK" (scroll to the bottom of https://gitforwindows.org/ which provides a link to download installer for it from https://github.com/git-for-windows/build-extra/releases/latest)



I found a pretty simple answer today that worked for rsync.

  1. Install git bash for Windows
  2. Download rsync from futureware.at*
  3. Extract to anywhere, I choose C:\rsync-3.1.2-2-x86_64.pkg
  4. Add the bin folder to the top of your system path

* I do not know who is behind futureware.at, I would prefer to link to a more primary source.

  • @mike your answer is similar, except that I didn't install cygwin64 – geneorama Dec 6 '18 at 19:10

I tried the following and installed emacs to git-bash.. 1. Install msys2 somewhere(does not have to be same computer). 2. Under msys2, run the following:

   cd /tmp
    mkdir -p var/lib
    cp -R /var/lib/pacman var/lib/
    pacman -Sr /tmp emacs
    tar zcf emacs.tar.gz usr
  1. Copy emacs.tar.gz to where you can access from git-bash, then under git-bash:

    tar zxf emacs.tar.gz -C / emacs

That's all, good luck.

After the first post, I tried an other computer but not working. It turns out that some dlls is missing in git-bash. Then I tested in a clean virtual machine with the following steps:

  1. Install msys2-x86_64-20180531 and Git-2.19.1-64-bit.

  2. Update msys2, open msys64 console and run:

    pacman -Syyu

    Close msys64 console when prompted, then run the above command again.

  3. Get emacs files as the previous steps(run the following in msys64):

    cd /tmp
    mkdir -p var/lib
    cp -R /var/lib/pacman var/lib/
    pacman -Sr /tmp emacs
    tar zcf emacs.tar.gz usr
    mv emacs.tar.gz /c/tmp

    ps: I once tried the above steps in /d/tmp instead of /tmp and was not able to install emacs to it.

  4. Open git-bash and extract emacs files:

    cd /c/tmp
    tar zxf emacs.tar.gz -C /

    It will complain missing shared library "?" on trying to run emacs now. The "?" will not revealed to any readable

  5. Go back to msys64 and get the msys2 dlls's:

    ls --color=never /bin/*.dll > /c/tmp/1.txt
  6. In git-bash compare dlls with msys:

    cd /c/tmp
    git init
    git add 1.txt && git commit
    ls --color=never /bin/*.dll | sed 's#\*$##g' > /c/tmp/1.txt
    git diff 1.txt | grep '^-' | sed '1d' | sed 's#^-/bin/##g' > diff_dlls.txt

    In my case, there are 26 dlls in diff_dlls.txt.

  7. Copy the dlls from msys64 to git-bash:

    In msys64:

    mkdir /c/tmp/dlls
    cat /c/tmp/diff_dlls.txt | xargs -I {} cp /bin/{} /c/tmp/dlls

    In git-bash:

    cp /c/tmp/dlls/* /bin
  8. All done, now emacs runs in git-bash. Some of the 26 dlls may not be necessary, but I'd prefer to save my time instead of disk space.

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