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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
                      HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Cygnus*              and
                   3. Delete  any  Cygwin  links  from your desktop, icon
                      bar, or [Start]->Programs menu by right-clicking on
         2. Use IE to go to, 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., 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, then
                 click "Next-->"
              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
                    # devel
                         @ gcc
                         @ cvs
                         @ make
                    # doc
                         @ cygwin-doc
                    # editors
                         @ vim
                    # graphics
                         @ opengl
                    # interpreters
                         @ perl
                    # Net
                         @ inetutils
                         @ openssh
                    # Shells
                         @ tcsh
                    # System
                         @ setup
                    # Utils
                         @ bzip2
                         @ patch
                    # XFree86
                         @ XFree86-base
                 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
                 don't bother).
         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
                 "" needs to
                 be  renamed  according  to Joliette naming standards, or
                 something.  I  renamed  that directory, using the dialog
                 provided,  to  a  simpler  ""  and had no
                 further problems.
         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
       the CD-ROM):
         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
         4. Done!
    4. Done!

     * 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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