- What is Cygwin?
- According to the Cygwin website,
"The Cygwin tools are ports of the popular GNU development tools and
utilities for Windows. They function by using the Cygwin
library which provides a UNIX-like API on top of the Win32 API. More info..."
What is Cygwin-Lite?
Cygwin-Lite is a subset of the Cygwin tools. The self-executing setup
file is designed to fit on a 1.44MB
floppy disk, and thus to overcome a limitation of the Cygwin
environment---its size (my current installation is around 80MB).
Which tools exactly are included?
All the ones listed in the details. If you're
wondering about find, gzip, grep, less, or tar, they're
all there. Note that since vim now depends on ncurses, there
is no longer a text editor included. You'll have to get the full Cygwin.
I began to look into a smaller installation when working on
computer-lab Windows machines from only a small amount of network space
(about 5MB). Batch files simply weren't effective, and more
I discovered that most of my favorite Cygwin tools took up only a small
of disk space, but since the Cygwin setup.exe uses "packages" it
lacked the versatility to perform a minimal install.
I also see applications for dial-up bound Windows users who want a
How do Cygwin and Cgywin-Lite interact on the same computer?
Cygwin-Lite is really just a type of Cygwin installation. All the files
in Cygwin-Lite are present in a complete Cygwin install, except the
scripts in /src and the HTML man pages in /html.
Since cygwin1.dll makes use of the Windows registry
for its mount table, one cannot install two Cygwin installations (including
Cygwin-Lite) to different directories on the same system. Cygwin-Lite
will not overwrite a user's home directory if installed
over a previous installation. Also, Cygwin-Lite can be updated with the
setup.exe utility like any Cygwin installation.
How do I get a minimal installation of Cygwin?
There have been several messages about this on the Cygwin mailing list.
Earnie Boyd posted a helpful list a while back:
though you should note that since vim 6.0 came out it depends on the
gettext and ncurses packages. Also, the native Windows
version of rxvt is superior to working in the MS-DOS window.
Use it with a shortcut like:
C:\cygwin\bin\rxvt.exe -rv -e c:\cygwin\bin\bash --login -e
Why does your installer look like WinAmp?
Nullsoft, the makers of WinAmp, created an installer called
(Nullsoft SuperPIMP Installation System). Cygwin-Lite uses NSIS because
it is small, flexible, and Free (zlib/libpng licence).
The file /src/bash.nsi can be used with the
makensis.exe utility from
NSIS for building your own self-executable based on
Where's the source code?
The only "source code" for Cygwin-Lite is a few install scripts and the
bitmaps used by the self-executable. They can be found in the /src
directory after installing or downloaded here.
Since the main goal of this project is small size, I do not include the
sources from the individual projects (Cygwin, NSIS). You may download the
full source of the Cygwin packages here (currently
about 17MB), or use Cygwin's setup.exe to download them from a
Contact me if you
have trouble finding them.
Copyright (C) 2001 Joshua Daniel Franklin
Cygwin-Lite is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.