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Installing Cygwin on classified [non-networked] computers
- From: "Zieg, Mark" <mark dot zieg at lmco dot com>
- To: "'cygwin at cygwin dot com'" <cygwin at cygwin dot com>
- Date: Wed, 04 Sep 2002 14:36:55 -0400
- Subject: Installing Cygwin on classified [non-networked] computers
I've seen this question show up once or twice in the archives, but never
found a completely successful process.
I would have expected it to be fairly trivial, having installed Cygwin
dozens of times via the network, and being moderately familiar with the way
that setup.exe locally caches package downloads.
However, when I and a co-worker actually got to the point of doing some
non-networked installs (via CD-ROM and sneakernet), we were amazed at how
many things managed to go wrong.
Therefore, when I finally arrived at a working, repeatable, apparently
robust procedure for conducting such installations, I wrote it down with
more than the normal level of detail. I know that this topic has come up on
the list before, so I wanted to share my process with anyone who finds it
Caveat: I have no doubt that the following process is excessive. I am
confident that experienced Cygwin admins can find numerous opportunities for
optimizing and consolidating this sequence of steps. Hopefully they will
lend some commentary and produce a more-streamlined version.
However, I really did have to struggle to come up with a sequence that
seemed to work time and time again, which is why I took pains to document
the exact steps I took, rather than the shorter series of steps which I
thought might work, or which "worked once but I couldn't manage to repeat,"
Q) How do I install Cygwin on a NON-networked [classified] computer?
Basically, this is the approach originally proposed by Josh, but
which initially didn't work for some reason or another. This has
been tested on two computers (Mark's unclass box, and the Tango
classified machine), and it worked flawlessly (but differently*) on
both. Happily, it did not require admin rights on either box.
1. Make an install CD on an unclass box
1. If you already have Cygwin installed on your [unclass] box:
1. Backup any customized or valuable files from your Cygwin
/home tree. You could just use the Windows Explorer to
copy (or WinZip) your c:\cygwin\home folder, or (as I
do) just manually copy a few files into ./My
Documents/cygwin-backup or something. All I ever keep is
my ~/bin directory, .bash_profile, and .vimrc. All my
PRISM code is on the CVS repository anyway :-)
2. Totally, utterly remove Cygwin from your computer:
1. From the Windows Explorer, delete C:\cygwin
2. From regedit, delete
3. Delete any Cygwin links from your desktop, icon
bar, or [Start]->Programs menu by right-clicking on
2. Use IE to go to cygwin.com, and pick "Install Cygwin Now!"
3. Save setup.exe to your local hard drive (I put mine in ./My
4. From Windows Explorer, run Setup.exe
1. On the welcome screen, note the version number in case
of problems (these docs were written for Cygwin Setup
ver. 18.104.22.168), then click "Next-->"
2. On the screen titled "Choose a Download Source" (which
should have been labeled, "Choose an action"), select
"Download from Internet" then click "Next-->"
3. On the screen titled "Select Local Package Directory",
the default should be the same directory holding
setup.exe. Accept the default, then click "Next-->"
4. On the screen titled "Select Your Internet Connection",
Lockheed Martin staff should use "Use IE5 Settings",
then click "Next-->"
5. On the screen titled "Choose A Download Site", pick any
mirror you like (I use ftp://mirrors.rcn.net), then
6. On the screen titled "Select Packages", I recommend the
following set, which is slightly larger than "minimum",
but remains "minimal" (italicized packages are optional,
but may be used by future PRISM releases, or are simply
recommended parts of a functional Unix-like
then click "Next-->"
7. At the dialog "Download complete", click [OK]
8. Setup should now exit
5. At this point, three things will be different about your
o You will now have a directory populated with Cygwin
installer stuff (in my case, ./My
Documents/Received/Apps/Cygwin), which should be around
o Your registry, should you care to check (don't bother),
will have some empty "Cygnus Solutions" nodes. These
could be deleted with no effect (but don't bother).
o You will have a C:\cygwin directory, which will contain
nothing but some /etc/setup log files. This is not a
working Cygwin installation (you haven't actually
installed Cygwin yet, only downloaded the pieces-parts),
and could be deleted at this point with no effect (but
6. Burn your Cygwin installer directory (./My
Documents/Recieved/Apps/Cygwin, or wherever your setup.exe
is) to a CD-ROM.
o It's worth burning this CD-ROM before you re-install
Cygwin on your own computer, because this is a fresh
copy with no local path assumptions cached into
setup.ini files, etc.
o Before burning the CD, you may wish to drag other files
on there as well, such as a PRISM tarball, and any
custom Cygwin files you'd rather not have to manually
recreate on the target machine(s), like your
.bash_profile and .vimrc.
o I use Adaptec Easy CD Creator 4 ("data CD"), and simply
drag my desired folder into the CD layout window, click
"Create and Close CD", and I'm done.
o Adaptec Easy CD Creator gives me a warning dialog saying
that I have a directory titled something like
"ftp%2F%3A%3Amirrors.rcn.net%3A/blah-blah-blah" needs to
be renamed according to Joliette naming standards, or
something. I renamed that directory, using the dialog
provided, to a simpler "mirrors.rcn.net" and had no
7. Once the CD-ROM is burned, closed, confirmed, and
virus-checked, set it aside. You should be able to use it on
your classified machine (later).
2. If you want to [re-]install Cygwin on your local [unclass]
computer, use the Cygwin install directory on your hard drive (not
1. run setup.exe
2. On the welcome screen, click "Next-->"
3. On the screen titled "Choose a Download Source", select
"Install from Local Directory", then click "Next-->"
4. On the screen titled "Select Root Install Directory", I
recommend accepting the default (C:\cygwin), then click
"Next-->". (Note that Josh, for instance, prefers to install
his into C:\zcygwin, so that it is alphabetically toward the
end of the root folder list, which can speed up "File Find"
operations in some cases. However, I feel that the Cygwin
installation process is so damnably fragile that I don't want
to push it any more than I have to...:-)
5. On the screen titled "Select Local Package Directory", the
default should be the same directory holding setup.exe.
Accept the default, then click "Next-->"
6. On the screen titled "Select Packages", observe the following
procedure. Next to the top-level category "All", there is a
little loopy-loop icon. Click it, and hold your breath. After
about 15-20 seconds, all categories should change to
"Install". Click "Next-->"
7. When the installation process is done, click "Finish".
8. A whole bunch of empty black rectangles will flash across the
screen. This is apparently normal. The longer they flash, and
the more of them you see, the better a chance that you have a
successful installation :-)
9. Test your local Cygwin install by running
C:\cygwin\cygwin.bat (or any of the various links and icons
to that file).
3. Use the CD to install on a classified box
1. Take the CD-ROM to the classified computer
2. copy the directory containing setup.exe, and it's contents,
to the local [classified] hard drive
o I used "C:\downloads\cygwin", for no particular reason
o It may be possible to run the installer from the CD. I
wasn't immediately successful with that approach, and
didn't bother finding a way to make it work.
3. Now run setup.exe, exactly as described above for installing
onto the unclassified PC
* How was it different on the two boxes? On the classified box, the
installer asked whether I wanted to install the app as an
administrator (with username & password fields) or as myself. My
unclass box never asked me that. I don't have admin rights to
either box, and both are running Windows 2000, so I don't know what
gives. Also, on my unclass box, when I run Cygwin I get the
username "Administrator", even though I have no actual admin
rights. It then gives me all sorts of hell about chmod and chown
privileges, which are constantly annoying. However, on the
classified machine, my bash shell comes right up as "mark", and all
is hunky-dory. I don't know why. However, both systems are useable.
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