Note that setup.ini is automatically generated for the Cygwin site. This section is intended as a reference for writing software that interoperates with the setup.ini package listing, or who are using a fork of setup elsewhere and want to know what they can achieve with it. It is not aimed at setup end users or Cygwin package maintainers - although you may find it of interest.

setup reads a (possibly compressed) file called setup.ini that resides on all Cygwin mirrors. The format is quite flexible - it's grown over time. The content of the file drives setup's behaviour. It lists the packages available from a given mirror site (the one it is downloaded from), and what source files each package has, available versions, dependencies and the like.

A setup.ini file consists of optional header lines, followed by a sequence of package sections.

Lines that begin with the # character are ignored by setup, and can be used to add commentary to the file.

For forward compatibility, unrecognized lines should be ignored.


Header lines can only appear at the beginning of setup.ini files, before the first package section.

setup-timestamp: number

The time (in Unix epoch seconds) that the setup.ini file was created. Its purpose is to warn the user when the timestamp is less than the last setup.ini used; i.e. it prevents accidental regression.

setup-version: version

The version of setup for which this setup.ini was generated. Setup will warn if the version of setup is less than the version in a setup.ini file. In the future this may get decoupled from the setup.ini version, and be coupled to the parser logic, to allow older versions of setup that can operate correctly on a setup.ini file to do so without warnings.

release: text

A label for the package set. The label cygwin is reserved for use by Cygwin.

arch: x86|x86_64

The processor architecture this package set is built for.


@ package

Package: package

Lines beginning with the "at" symbol or "Package:" indicate the start of a package section. Each package section consists of a name, descriptive texts, package categories, and one or more package version descriptions.

sdesc: "some text"

This is the "short description" of the package. This text, if available, accompanies the package name in package listings.

ldesc: "some text"

This is the "long description" of the package. This text, if available, is used as a supplemental description of the package.

category: name1[ name2...]

Section: name1[ name2...]

The category or Section line indicates the categories that this package belongs to. One package can belong to multiple categories. Multiple categories are separated by spaces. See the description of categories in .hint files for more information on categories.

message: id "some text"

Optional. This is text that will be displayed by setup when the package is installed.


These indicate the start of a version description within a package section. Note that [curr] is the default, and may be omitted if that version happens to be specified before the others. "curr" indicates the current stable (preferred) version, and "test" indicates a test version. "ver<digits>" carries no meaning except to be a unique label for a version. For historical reasons, "prev" is used for the version preceding the "curr" version.

requires: package[ package...]

Indicates a list of packages that this package needs at runtime in order to function correctly. Multiple packages should be separated by a space.

version: version

Indicates the version of the package.

install: filename size-in-bytes hash

Indicates the archive file to install for that version, and its size in bytes, and a checksum. The file name must include the path (relative to the base directory), and the file size must match the actual file size (setup uses this to verify it got the whole file). The hash is a SHA512 hash encoded as 128 hex characters, or 86 base64 characters, or an MD5 hash encoded as 32 hex characters. If it does not match the locally calculated hash, the package is considered corrupt and won't be installed by setup. Hex characters are 0-9a-f (case matters).

source: filename size-in-bytes hash

Like install:, for the corresponding archive file to install the source.

Source: package [(version-identifier)]

Indicates the source-package containing the source for the current package version. i.e. for package foo-dev, one might have "Source: foo-src" to indicate that the source package for foo-dev is foo-src. This entry should not be used in conjunction with the "source:" entry.

Note: The following directives are not fully implemented yet.

Depends: package [(= | <= | >= | < | > version-identifier)] [, package ...]

This is a more sophisticated version of the requires: keyword, allowing the specification of explicit version number relationships. Packages are separated by commas instead of spaces.

Build-Depends: package [(= | <= | >= | < | > version-identifier)] [, package ...]

Indicates the binary packages required to build the current source package.

An example

# an example setup.ini
release: cygwin
arch: x86
setup-timestamp: 1481478212
setup-version: 2.876

@ cygwin
sdesc: "The UNIX emulation engine"
ldesc: "The UNIX emulation engine"
category: Base
requires: base-cygwin
version: 2.6.0-1
install: x86/release/cygwin/cygwin-2.6.0-1.tar.xz 1945744 d0ee36febabde34ded4bcbe77f00a6367ab4293b3f24989044335685b294dd42f64e2d0d8956f0651c8d26c583897b1dc16b6c0a023d859ba5ce97eed19624fc
source: x86/release/cygwin/cygwin-2.6.0-1-src.tar.xz 12900708 1660ecefbc36e6825cff333b0bbd4dae2b891e041aafa8587ba7f61d7945a23c4189ac4776d975fc36dbe8fd6b922f7e1963661ad8d1ce49a237ca030f7b69d0
version: 2.5.2-1
install: x86/release/cygwin/cygwin-2.5.2-1.tar.xz 2829972 bfde5e7737bb32fb8642566ff82cb5c86899b10f2dbad3bcd0ff2ea11c4b8b0292e52597bbc3d6e1fea7899a1f1a1c32f23f6807aaffd776ed9519e1631ff9aa
source: x86/release/cygwin/cygwin-2.5.2-1-src.tar.xz 13003452 ae559cc50673f5da95e6d33818665414b9ce50211900e4d02e9a303f594afb5e746e82b457e48495dea0fa6c05c07f6d44cd900c98efb670d5c6c741511c8b0f
version: 2.6.1-0.1
install: x86/release/cygwin/cygwin-2.6.1-0.1.tar.xz 1946980 34d161ee790cb5b03b9d7057cb03473c56c135623416ed980fd94d049fa2df268ab5dfb72e11dabfd9f4c60aaf7daa26a88c566daf05558d5508a0bacd2f0b43
source: x86/release/cygwin/cygwin-2.6.1-0.1-src.tar.xz 12908060 c7fed48626f3411dca8bc2c65f3a35822eee1c661b514af803f7acb7b9283a5b0212eeb78e72601bd5525c41bafefde5f258d93331bd98c625a82e75434894f2

@ bash
sdesc: "The GNU Bourne Again SHell"
ldesc: "Bash is an sh-compatible shell that incorporates useful features
from the Korn shell (ksh) and C shell (csh).  It is intended to conform to the
IEEE POSIX P1003.2/ISO 9945.2 Shell and Tools standard.  It offers functional
improvements over sh for both programming and interactive use. In addition,
most sh scripts can be run by Bash without modification."
category: Base Shells
requires: coreutils cygwin libgcc1 libiconv2 libintl8 libncursesw10 libreadline7
version: 4.3.48-8
install: x86/release/bash/bash-4.3.48-8.tar.xz 1413684 937dd36982aba5a373534dd605803855bb86252e9e010ad62ba83ae653627584c55673e4aba9d3c7c8f1106b56ff0b7b5af599a1f72568a01885e33b6d9f62e5
source: x86/release/bash/bash-4.3.48-8-src.tar.xz 7995684 cd13b3a21abbd552a66f194a85c2a6094b90c92bed3558b7447be06a8e47ad9e673c424bfbbebfcc004d5b46b47fe47a54413e99894ff89989e176fb9e3ed419
version: 4.3.46-7
install: x86/release/bash/bash-4.3.46-7.tar.xz 1413640 2029f253ee794f8dfb2fa4cf6f9212307281c8e7a61b621755bc0b2d415ae92b8d60c801b22438dd70f5e4d98bf1b409622271308cc3a3f26dbb19f443dfdb77
source: x86/release/bash/bash-4.3.46-7-src.tar.xz 7994960 a216448a2700627656b0d53eca93a94f0d97859d5c24d53d7e4bad71883ff7bcf9346d027453f71eabc4df6099b5df1d3f068b06a8b36a796d1943931b759422