Cygwin filesystem

Francis Rossi
Mon Sep 18 18:37:00 GMT 2006


I answer to everyone in the same post, sorry I there's no names with each quote..

>$ time find -name iostream -print        
>real    0m3.644s
>user    0m0.812s
>sys     0m2.859s
>Hardly a lot of time.  What do you get ?

You misunderstood what I wrote. I meant using Windows search utilities without entering Cygwin shell. The search does slow down when it goes through \cygwin folder. It's getting far worse when you're looking for a string in files on the drive (again, via Windows tools). I would just give it up.

>Sounds like you've done a I Want Everything With Fries installation.  
>Not everyone does

My last installation was far from being complete, but did include X and lots of other things I needed or installed/compiled myself later on.

>that an updatedb cron job would require.  A fair estimate to delete them 
>all would be a few minutes, and not hours.  Unless, of course, you're 
>doing it using Windows explorer and relying on the progress bar's 
>incomprehensibly bizarre and wildly-fluctuating estimates as a measure 
>of how things are progressing.

I was doing it via Total Commander. Yes, it did have a progress bar, so what? It took me 3 or 4 hours to have everything deleted (on Win98), believe it or not. I'm sure any other Windows tool would have given closer result. Dealing with Cygwin on Win2x/XP didn't show a big difference, although I've never deleted it completely when re-installing the system, just formatted the drive.

>As would mounting and/or deleting a separate Windows partition, no?  

No, because the virtual Cygwin partition would be one Windows file. One file is much easier to delete than the whole C: drive, isn't it?

>Personally, I can't think of any reason for deleting a Cygwin 
>installation.  The typical Wipe and Reinstall approach of using Windows 
>doesn't really apply to *nix based systems or, by extension, to Cygwin. 

Sorry, I don't quite capture your point. I needed to delete Cygwin on my computer, period.

>So why not install Cygwin into its own Windows partition?  Seems 
>prudent for a large installation of any sort.

It would be a good thing indeed but who would create a new partition just for the sake of Cywgin only?

>So let me get this right.  Because Windows Search is slow you want
>have cygwin put its files a different partition? Cygwin's setup put
>the files exactly where you told it.  It suggested C:\cygwin to you
>but you did not have to put them there.  You made the choice and it is
>very easy to move them if you want to.

Be careful with what you write! I meant "to put files into a virtual filesystem", not partition in the Windows terms. You suggest C:\cygwin and instead of the big folder C:\cygwin\usr there will be one big file. When you run Cygwin, this file will be mounted as /usr folder. Have you ever mounted iso-images on Linux? It's absolutely the same principle. You mount it into a folder in f.ex. /mnt/iso directory and access its files as on normal filesystem (be it ro or rw).

>I have never had a cygwin install take hours. Minutes at best.

Same here, I nowhere wrote about Cygwin installation taking hours.

>No one on this list has vocalized such a plan AFAIK.  

I'm glad to hear that, Larry, that's why I decided to post it here. This thought came to my mind more than one time while dealing with Cygwin (for 3-4 years).

>If disk access times
>for large directories are your targeted goal, your solution would require
>the use of some non-native file-system type to support this.  You would
>need a Windows file-system driver to be able to manipulate the new
>existing file-system that resolves the problem you state without introducing
>other difficulties, it would be a great addition to the open-source community,
>regardless of whether it's an integrated part of Cygwin or not.

Thanks, this is the only substantial reply to my post so far. I've never dealt with doing filesystems, so I'd rather leave it to someone else. But it seems to me that you're going a bit too far. The ordinary user wouldn't know it's a separate "partition" after it's mounted. There is mnt utility in cygwin already if I remember correctly. If you put all /usr into an iso image and mount it via mnt, it would be practically what I mean. The main minus here would be the speed of accessing files, but we can't talk about it until there's something to experiment with.

All the best,


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