How portable (relocatable) is a Cygwin installation?

Achim Gratz
Thu May 10 17:43:00 GMT 2018

Andy Li writes:
> We are looking for an easy way to distribute an OCaml development
> enviroment based on Cygwin.

You're asking to package up a complete software ecosystem on top of a
POSIX emulation layer on top of a non-POSIX OS.  Any which way you slice
it, this will not fit the "easy" qualification you put there.

> Someone has an idea of installing all the necessary packages and zip
> the whole Cygwin installation directory and distribute the resulting
> archive.

Yes, there's always someone with an idea and no, I don't blame them.
I've once thought it might be a neat idea to install Cygwin into a
virtual HD image and distribute it among multiple machines this way.
Even though I think I've enjoyed much tighter control about those
machines than you seem to be able to, it turned out to be impractical.

> 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?

Provide your own local Cygwin mirror and an install script to
consistenly chose the same set of packages.  Make sure your users update
when you update the mirror.

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