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Re: Multiple Cygwins/ Distributing Cygwin apps

Brian Dessent wrote:

John Moore wrote:

For me, the inability to install two cygwins that are independent has
already cost me a bunch of time. When I grumbled to a friend, his answer
was "buy another machine for that application."

I have not tried this per se, but I don't see what's stopping you from
having as many Cygwins installed as you want.  Now, I'm not saying that
you could USE more than one at a time, due to the fact that only a
single Cygwin1.dll can be active at any given time -- and I wouldn't
expect this to change before the heat death of the universe.  But the
only thing that Cygwin touches outside of its install path is the mount
table in the registry, and this is easily removed/replaced with mount
and umount.
How about the Windows PATH environment variable? I think it messes with that (if not, then the vendor software did it).

So, if I were doing this, I would install Cygwin #1 to \cygwin, then "mount -m > mounts.txt ; umount -A", then install Cygwin #2 to \cygwin-b or whatever, and so on. To switch between them just unmount everything and remount the other one.
I installed Cygwin #1 on C: and Cygwin #2 on H:. I'll have to try the mount trick as the easy way to switch them. However, I don't think it will work when you first install Cygwin #2, as it will detect the keys and complain that a Cygwin is already present!

It may also be necessary to change the Windows path (again, I don't know if the Cygwin installer did this or the vendor did it).

In my case, to get my old environment to work, I did the following:

Cleaned out ALL cygwins from registry and disk.

Rebooted Win2K.

Ran the tool manufacturer's install, telling it to put cygwin stuff on H. Somehow it decided that my cygwin home directory should be c:/documents and settings/username.

Renamed the Cygwin paths in the registry to something else (put an X on the end).


Installed cygwin using the installer. It failed with a windows abort message about find.exe!

tried a few utilities from cygwin. Got a complaint about having 2 cygwin1.dll's.

Cleaned out the Windows PATH setting of those cygwin-on-H drive paths.


Tried the install again. Same failure.

Copied my archived copy of my C Cygwin back to C.

Everything worked except cvs, which failed in ssh client mode (against a server at the office) with a garbled message. This cvs.exe had worked before. This cygwin was from a cygwin grabbed by the nifty little unresizeable (grrr) utility within the last few days.

Downloaded the latest cvs from and put it in /bin in place of the current one.

Now, finally, I have something that seems to work.

I will check and see if the vendor included the source to the tool (I doubt it, btw). But good grief, I shouldn't have to recompile the damn thing just to use it.

I haven't yet tried to reactivate the tool cygwin (cygwin #1), which should be interesting.

What I would love to see is a complete procedure for doing this sort of thing posted in a cygwin FAQ.

I could have just gone with the vendor's cygwin, but the damned thing was out of date, and its cvs didn't work (something odd there that would involve more diagnosis than I have time for until a current crisis is over). Furthermore, the idea of being hostage to some random tool vendor's "OS" as my primary work environment is offensive to me. In this case, the tool is an ARM cross assembler bundled with a JTAG interface (software and hardware).

I love cygwin. I have used it ever since MKS Toolkit got expensive and I discovered this alternative. I typically run 6 MKS bash shell windows at once on three monitors while working. I was a pure Unix user (started Unix on a PC-XT!) until the early '90s when the availability of a lot of applications forced me to Windows. Cygwin lets me have my cake and eat it too... almost.

Additionally, these vendors must have shipped you source to everything
compiled against Cygwin1.dll, or else they are in violation of the GPL. So, you should be able to recompile everything against the latest DLL,
and just use a single installation. The exception is if they purchased
the Cygwin buy-out license from Redhat.


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