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Re: possible to copy whole cygwin folder to different machine?

On Wed, 15 Oct 2003, Sebastian Hoffmann wrote:

> Hi!
> I apologize if this question is already covered somewhere else, but I
> didn't find anything with a simple search of the mailing list... I'm
> of course also happy for pointers to answers to be found somewhere
> else...

It's been covered, but I can't find the pointers right now, and it's
quicker to answer your question again.

> (Possibly naive) question: Is it possible to copy a whole cygwin
> installation from one computer and copy it to a different computer
> (replacing that machine's cygwin installation)?

Mostly.  There are some caveats you should be aware of - see below.

> If yes - does this work across different versions of Windows?

It should, as long as you are careful.

> If no - is there any way of getting at least close to something like
> an easy replication of a cygwin installation?
> I suppose that simply copying the folder will result in permission
> problems (due to different owners etc.). But maybe it is still
> somehow possible...?

The first thing you should do is replicate the mounts (see the "-m" flag
in "mount --help" or "man mount").  You should also be aware of the
ntsec-related things, like /etc/passwd and /etc/group (the SIDs change
across machines, even if the user name is the same).  If you have any
services installed, they'll have to be moved manually.

> The reason I'm asking is that I'm distributing some (free) software
> of mine which requires at least some UNIX administration skills to
> install (MySQL, Apache, DBI, Perl, etc.).
> However, many potential users 1) don't have these skills and 2) run
> Windows rather than UNIX. If it were possible to send them a DVD with
> a complete installation, things would become a lot easier for
> everybody involved... ;-)

Oh, I see.  This is a different question altogether.  You might be better
off creating a custom setup.ini and having people use Cygwin setup to
install things.  See <>.  You can put
everything you need in the "Base" category, so all your users will have to
do is click "Next" a few times.  Search the archives for something like
"cygwin on CD" for other caveats.  BTW, setup will create the mounts for
you, so you don't have to worry about that.

Don't forget to also include the sources for the Cygwin tools as required
by the GPL (also your tools, if you link them against Cygwin).

> Many thanks in advance for any kind of help!
> Sebastian
> PS: I live in a UNIX/Mac world - so I can't try this out myself. In
> fact, I'm happy I finally managed to get hold of an old 300Mhz
> Windows-box to fiddle with things...

Oh, and people will probably not look too kindly on something just wiping
out and replacing their Cygwin installation (if they have one).  Setup
should be able to recognize when an existing installation is in place, and
only upgrade the packages that need upgrading.  You may want to verify
that your tools work with the latest version of Cygwin available from the
mirrors, so that users can leave their existing installation intact.
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