How portable (relocatable) is a Cygwin installation?

Brian Inglis
Thu May 10 01:22:00 GMT 2018

On 2018-05-09 18:08, Andy Li wrote:
> We are looking for an easy way to distribute an OCaml development
> enviroment based on Cygwin. Someone has an idea of installing all the
> necessary packages and zip the whole Cygwin installation directory and
> distribute the resulting archive.
> Is it a good idea? Is the installation path written in a Cygwin
> installation somewhere that may need to be updated when relocating? Is
> there any registry entry or env var required for a Cygwin installation to
> work?

Others use that approach, which generates many posts asking about find_fast_cwd
warnings, due to lack of Cygwin updates and Windows update incompatibilities.
No. Yes. Yes.
How good is your organization's Windows app packaging, distribution, deployment,
and installation system e.g. SCCM infrastructure?

Rather than deal with possible existing Cygwin installs, internal details which
may change, initial install actions, package postinstall script effects, and dll
rebasing, it may be better to distribute a zip, or use a network share or web
server, to provide a local package archive with the
{noarch,x86{,_64}}/release/<package>/ directories and contents including setup
exe, ini, distributed .tar.xz packages, and install on each system using Cygwin
setup from that location, instead of an official network mirror.
The install could be a scripted unattended setup run: check what the web docs
say about using local archives, and unattended setup.
You could standardize on Cygwin root e.g. C:\cygwin{32,64}\ and local package
archive location of C:\cygwin{32,64}\var\cache\setup\, or a network share or web
server equivalent of the latter.
Updated copies of the setup exe, ini, packages, and all dependencies can be
added to that local archive to allow synchronized updates using Cygwin setup.
You will have to track and save all Cygwin updates, and decide when you need or
want to release updates for your custom distro.

Take care. Thanks, Brian Inglis, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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