Eliminating -mno-cygwin from gcc?

Brian Dessent brian@dessent.net
Wed Jan 31 16:32:00 GMT 2007

Matt Wozniski wrote:

> phase out this 'feature'?  While I agree that it wasn't a good feature
> to add in the first place, I think that removing it without at least a
> deprecation warning for a version or two will flood the mailing list
> with traffic by people who didn't realize that something they used was
> being phased out until they upgraded and things just "broke".

The reason for removing it is because it causes a lot of confusion.  We
get endless messages to the cygwin list by people that misunderstand
what -mno-cygwin does.  They think it is some kind of magic pixie dust
that can make .exes that do no depend on cygwin1.dll while still using
POSIX features like sockets.  They may have no idea what MinGW even is,
and so when we tell them they are in fact using it and should ask on the
MinGW list, they get confused.  And the MinGW list is very reticent to
help when you mention that you're using Cygwin with gcc -mno-cygwin.  It
kind of puts you in a no-mans land.

I totally support the notion to remove this flag, provided that we also
include a genuine MinGW cross compiler in the distro.  And we can even
provide a wrapper script if necessary to map -mno-cygwin onto the

I tend to think though that perhaps this should be part of the 4.x
porting process, and that we should not even consider bothering to make
this change to the existing versions.  Since 4.x has a lot of changes
anyway, it would be the most appropriate time to introduce such a

I suspect that when we do roll out 4.x it will have to be named in a way
that accomodates installing it in parallel to 3.4 (like we had with 2.95
and 3.3 for a while), since there are still lots of packages that choke
when compiled with 4.x.  This means there will be an additional safety
valve for the complainers in that they can just continue using 3.4 with
its existing support for -mno-cygwin.


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