redefining $HOME

Eric Backus
Tue Apr 10 18:04:00 GMT 2007

Gustavo Seabra <gustavo.seabra <at>> writes:

> Hi all,
> I was wondering if it is possible to use the windows folder "My 
> Documents" or even "C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME" (or some dir 
> inside those) as the hoe directory in Cygwin. I though about 
> substituting the user directory inside /home by a symlink to one of the 
> above. Is there any reason that wouldn't work? Is there a better way to 
> do it?
> The reason I am thinking about it is just practical: I want to have all 
> my files (Windows or Cygwin) under one root.
> Thanks a lot
> Gustavo.

Yes, you can do this.  I've done this for years by 
putting "/cygdrive/c/Documents and Settings/ericjb/My Documents" 
into /etc/passwd.  This works well, though every once in awhile you might find 
a shell script which doesn't correctly handle spaces in paths.  (Such a script 
is broken, and should be fixed.)  I can't even remember the last time I ran 
into that though, most scripts don't use $HOME.


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