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Re: Installing 1.7 alongside 1.5 - can it be done safely?

David Antliff wrote:
> I have found some serious issues with Cygwin 1.5 that I want to test
> against in the 1.7 beta, before I commit to abandoning 1.5.
> Is it possible to install Cygwin 1.7 on the same PC/filesystem as
> Cygwin 1.5, yet maintain absolute independence between the two
> versions?
> I don't want the 1.7 install to change anything in my existing 1.5
> install, as I need my 1.5 functional for other purposes.

  Yes, the current setup-1.7.exe supports side-by-side install mode, and once
set up that way the two installations are entirely independent of each other.

> Is it a simple matter of installing to a different path (e.g.
> c:\cygwin1.7), or will the 1.7 install overwrite anything (e.g.
> environment variables, registry entries) that 1.5 might require?

  It is moderately tricky.

  The standard behaviour of setup.exe is to upgrade your 1.5 installation
in-place; the side-by-side mode was only intended for beta-testing(*).

  You get precisely one chance and once chance only to make setup-1.7 perform
a parallel installation for you.  The very first time you ever run it you must
select a new installation dir, and a new local package cache dir, and
successfully make it to the end of the installation run *without ever pressing
back or canceling out and restarting*.

  (If you don't get it right first time, it probably is actually possible to
get it to give you another chance, but I don't know exactly how the mechanism
works so I'm not sure whether it's a registry key that you'd have to find and
delete or if it writes something into /etc/last-whatever.)

(*) - The current plan I think is to withdraw the side-by-side install
facility when 1.7 leaves beta and 1.5 is officially retired (although I could
be misremembering.  Actually, I think we should probably leave it in, or maybe
even make it a user-visible check-box.  However I haven't thought this idea
through yet, maybe there's a problem with it.

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