I have installed MSYS2. First, I had my HOME in /home/Laurent, / being c:/msys64 in Windows. Then I made different thinks, install Mingw, CMake, and especially msysgit, which has its own MSYS setup. Then when I run a MSYS2 shell, my HOME is now the Windows one: c:/Users/Laurent. Probably I did some weird things.

In /etc/profile, I can read:

  # Here is how HOME is set, in order of priority, when starting from Windows
  #  1) From existing HOME in the Windows environment, translated to a Posix path
  #  2) from /etc/passwd, if there is an entry with a non empty directory field
  #  4) / (root)

So it seems that my MSYS2 has "switched" to the default HOME (1). Here is /etc/passwd concerning my account:


Shall I replace it with:


to restore my initial setup ? I am not sure of the syntax of this line which is not familiar to what I know from standard Linux distributions, and I would not like to mess my setup and possibly loose my shell history.

  • I tried my own suggestion after doing a backup, it does not work.
    – lalebarde
    Mar 18, 2014 at 11:03
  • I have discovered that the Windows environment variable HOME is used by /etc/profile. So I have modified it to c:/msys64/home/Laurent and it works. Surprisingly, pwd returns /usr/home/Laurent instead of /home/Laurent I expected. /usr exists in the shell, but is not in Windows Explorer. Besides, / and /usr are identical like if /usr was a soft link to / - touching a file is repercuted in the other and in c:\msys64\.
    – lalebarde
    Mar 18, 2014 at 11:41
  • The msysgit home was not affected. Its /etc/profile does not manage HOME the same way. I think it works because it has not permissions on the MSYS2 tree, but I am not sure.
    – lalebarde
    Mar 18, 2014 at 12:04

1 Answer 1


Changing the Windows environment variable HOME solves the problem.

Under Windows 7, go to START Button / Computer / Context menu -> Properties / Advanced system parameters / Advanced system parameters tab / Environment variables, then select HOME and Modify.

Warning: my translation in english may not be the exact one you may have on your system.

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