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Re: Request for a version/ revision/ release number for the whole Cygwin release/ distribution

David Christensen wrote:

Per the Cygwin FAQ (

"If you are looking for the version number for the whole Cygwin
release, there is none. Each package in the Cygwin release has its own
version. The packages in Cygwin are continually improving, thanks to the
efforts of net volunteers who maintain the Cygwin binary ports. Each
package has its own version numbers and its own release process. "

I would like to request that this policy be reversed -- that there be a version number for the entire Cygwin release. Every O/S and application I've used had a release number for the whole thing; Cygwin should as well.

I would especially like to request that there be a "stable" distribution.

Why? Because:

1.  I use Cygwin for all sorts of stuff, including mission-critical
backup chores.  I was recently bitten by the cron-2.6.2 EOF issue, as
were others.  This represents real damages that people are suffering by
using Cygwin.  This is bad for the open-source movement.

2.  This is not the first time I've experienced this meta-problem.  It
indicates a lack of integration testing of Cygwin as a whole.  This is
also bad.

3.  I would like to be able to burn Cygwin X.Y.Z onto a CD or DVD for
myself and for others.  This is good.

4.  I develop software and would like to be able to tell people "it runs
on Cygwin X.Y.Z".  This is also good.

I hereby request that everybody who reads this message reply and express their opinion so that the Cygwin release maintainers will know what the community wants.

You imply a rigid division where none exists. The Cygwin package maintainers are part of the community.

p.s.  I hereby volunteer my time to work on implementing my request.
However, be warned that I have very high standards and, especially as a
volunteer, I will not tolerate my time being wasted.


The concept of a 'stable distribution' implies a considerable about of testing and infrastructure. I don't think there are enough potential volunteer man-hours to make such a thing feasible. Make no mistake, it is a *lot* of work.

We have never claimed that Cygwin will never have bugs. If you are using it for mission-critical stuff, you should be performing appropriate tests in a testing environment before deploying new version to your production environment. That advice it common to any mission-critical system, not just Cygwin.

Yes, there is a lack of integration testing of the distribution as a whole. How can you test something as diverse as entire distribution? Pretty much only by putting it out there and letting people play with it, and seeing where it breaks.

You can certainly burn Cygwin onto a CD right now.


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