Why is setup.exe so difficult? Am I missing something?
Wed Oct 12 16:03:00 GMT 2005
> I find cygwin's setup.exe extremely difficult to understand, and over
the years I've used it, I have found it
> somewhat buggy (unless the "bugs" I find are really just "features"
that I don't understand).
My personal experience of late has been that the setup app isn't the
problem as much as a) mirrors that don't seem to have everything on
them, and b) general frustrations of the "install everything" approach.
We used to feel like we needed to install everything *and* do it in one
stroke, and almost without exception ended up with some mirror that was
missing something, and/or a post-install process that couldn't
complete. End result: a mess on the box.
We've found that the "two-pass" install advocated by the cygwin folks
results in a much nicer installation experience, i.e. where you first
let the base packages get on the box, then make a second pass to install
other packages of interest. We examined the total package set and
determined we only needed 10-20% of it for general development work
(e.g. a couple of shells, gcc tool family, make, perl, and maybe a few
others), so the second pass is no big deal. Of course your situation
may be different.
As suggested by the cygwin folks, to do the first pass for scratch
installs we just click through the whole process one time, i.e. when we
get to the page in the setup app where you pick the packages you want we
don't change anything, and just let it go. On the second pass when we
get to that page we click on the View button in the upper right corner
to get the full view, then click on the "Skip" for the add-on packages
of interest to mark their current version for installation, and install
those. I think somewhere in between we make sure the .../bin directory
where the cygwin dll lives is on the PATH.
Some kind of kickstart facility would be interesting to provide presets
for the second pass. I don't know if setup can do this or not. And
maybe some brave soul can develop a yum-like utility for cygwin,
presuming such doesn't already exist somewhere.
Perhaps a similar process combined with the previously suggested local
mirror will help?
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