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Re: Beginner questions, setting up window manager and paths

LM wrote:
This is my first time using Cygwin. I was hoping to build and run some
Open Source applications I tried out on Linux on my Windows machine through
Cygwin. I downloaded and installed all the Cygwin files. Now I have some
issues I'm having trouble resolving and would appreciate any help anyone can

The first thing I wanted to do was have either fluxbox or openbox or both
available as window managers as I feel more comfortable working with them
than other window managers. I thought an openbox executable came with the
Cygwin installation. However, when I tried to use it, my screen looked funny
and the menu was black on black so I couldn't see anything. I tried the same
technique with windowmaker. I edited ~/.xinitrc using nano and added exec
and the window manager name. Then I ran startx. Windowmaker works fine, so
I'm guessing the problem with openbox is either some missing files or
inappropriate settings, not how I'm starting the server or calling the
window manager. How do I get openbox working properly?

X questions should go to the cygwin-xfree list.

When openbox wouldn't work, I downloaded the source to fluxbox version
1.1.1. I ran ./configure, make, make install. It built fine, but when I try
executing it (as I did with the other window managers), I get the following
error message:
7 [main] sh 2188! _pinfo::dup_proc_pipe: DuplicateHandle failed, pid
2188, hProcess 0x6A1, wr_proc_pipe 0x7FC, Win32 error 6 This program
cannot be run in DOS mode.

Don't have any insight here.

I was able to build and run xfireworks from source on my machine within
Cygwin, so it doesn't seem likely that it's an issue with the technique I'm
using to build the executable or a problem finding the right compiler. Any
ideas on how to get a working version of fluxbox?

Again, probably better asked at the cygwin-xfree list.

Also, when I built fluxbox the first time, I defaulted my paths to the
\usr directory, so the executable went to \usr\bin. I built a tarball with a
build script, like I would on Slackware Linux. I used spkg running natively
on Windows to install the tarball, with the executable going to the
\cygwin\usr\bin directory and the other files to their appropriate

You'd be better off using Cygwin's tar, since it understands POSIX paths, symbolic links, etc. Also, since Cygwin uses POSIX paths, the path separator is '/'.

When I looked for the files in the Cygwin shell program, I
couldn't find them. I know msys does some strange things with mapping the
virtual /usr/bin location to /bin. However, I was attempting to follow fhs
(file hierarchy spec) like on Linux. Is there a work-around to let /usr/bin
map to \cygwin\usr\bin instead of \cygwin\bin? I know msys has a work-around
for this by remapping the drives in the \etc\fstab file. Was wondering if
there was a way to do this in Cygwin (which does not use \etc\fstab). What
directories do people usually install their compiled applications to? The
second time I tried with fluxbox, I had the files go to the /usr/local
directories. That seemed to solve the issue of finding the files, but I was
still unable to get fluxbox working because of the error message above. Any

First, MSYS is an old fork of Cygwin. Second, if you use Cygwin tools and POSIX paths, you won't have the problems you found above. Third, you'll want to look at the User's Guide for "mount" in Cygwin 1.5 and 1.7. 1.7 has '/etc/fstab', if you prefer this (and if you don't, you'll be stuck with it eventually anyway. ;-) ) See for links to the User's Guide documentation for 1.5 and 1.7.

Larry Hall                    
RFK Partners, Inc.                      (508) 893-9779 - RFK Office
216 Dalton Rd.                          (508) 893-9889 - FAX
Holliston, MA 01746


A: Yes.
> Q: Are you sure?
>> A: Because it reverses the logical flow of conversation.
>>> Q: Why is top posting annoying in email?

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