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Re: Cygwin on FAT16 is very huge !

Previous replies have noted the reason for the disparity in disk
space usage.  It was also correctly pointed out that FAT32 is a
better choice on W98.

To add, FYI, FAT16 partitions are limited to 65,525 clusters, so the
cluster size is roughly the partition size divided by 64k.  On a partition
from 1 to just slightly less that 2GB, that gives 32k / cluster.  Go to a
full 2GB or greater and you're going to have 64k clusters (like anyone
would want to do that ;).  This MS article explains FAT16 cluster size:


A windows tool, Treesize, can tell you the actual amount of wasted
space.  There's a free version of treesize available at


It's a useful compliment to du and df.

Doug Wyatt

On 2 Sep 2002 at 6:54, Randall R Schulz wrote:

> Pierre,
> Do you need a complete Cygwin installation? If not, trim down the set of 
> installed packages.
> The allocation granularity on FAT volumes depends on the volume size. The 
> only way you can influence the loss due to internal fragmentation is to 
> lower the volume size. Offhand, I don't know the break-over points at which 
> the allocation unit size changes or the formula by which it is determined. 
> No doubt that information can be found on line.
> Randall Schulz
> Mountain View, CA USA
> At 06:18 2002-09-02, you wrote:
> >Hello,
> >
> >Can anyone explain the following strange thing :
> >
> >When installing Cygwin (downloaded from on 08/23/2002) on a 
> >NTFS partition (W2000 box), the full release (all packages installed) 
> >occupies about 700+ MO. When installing it  on a FAT16 partition (W98 
> >box), the same full release uses 1.8+ GO !
> >
> >I need to install the full release in less than 1 GO. How can I do that ?
> >
> >Thanks in advance for any help or suggestion,
> >
> >Pierre
> Randy 
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