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Practical method for automatic Cygwin install?

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Note: I am rephrasing the question I asked last time (for which the
conversation drifted into GPL and licensing issues).

My program depends on cygwin DLLs, my installer must make sure these
dependencies are satisfied.  I've heard that installing private copies of
cygwin DLLs can lead to version mismatches. Instead of installing private
copies of the cygwin DLLs, my installer will install a complete (but minimal)
cygwin installation to c:\cygwin.

There are a few issues that I am not sure how to deal with:

1) How to determine whether or not cygwin is already installed? If so, what
is the prefix path (e.g. c:\cygwin)?

2) If cygwin is already installed, what optional packages are present? What

3) If cygwin is NOT installed, how do we install it, without setup.exe
prompts?  (I have a gut feeling that it's a bit more complicated than just
untarring packages.)

4) If cygwin is installed, but some optional packages need version upgrades,
how do we accomplish that?

Probably any developer who has tried to release software for the cygwin
environment has thought about this.  Users demand absolute automation of the
installer; I can't tell them to do stuff like:

"This package requires cygwin. Please go install Cygwin from,
and click Retry when you're finished."

Nope, that would not be acceptable; it MUST be automatic! But apparently Cygwin's setup utility cannot be automated, only GUI-based.  Surely there
are ways for installers like mine to install cygwin without having to worry
about the messy details.  Or maybe not.  Does anyone know?

Thank You

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