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Re: Preferred path setup for cygwin

Hi Gary,

On Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 7:49 PM, Gary Furash  wrote:
> For cygwin to work best, should your $PATH be something like:
> ? ? ? ?[STANDARD WINDOWS PATH]:[CYGWIN PATHS (e.g., usr/bin])
> Along with some aliases that ensure that cygwin uses the CYGWIN rather than
> the WINDOWS versions of same named programs (e.g., "find")
> OR

If you want to use Cygwin, it's probably best to keep the Cygwin paths
at the front. The Cygwin installer sets up Bash to do this
automagically: the Windows PATH is imported and transformed into POSIX
path by cygwin.dll (this happens for every Cygwin program), then
/etc/profile prepends the necessary directories ( /usr/local/bin,
/usr/bin, /bin ) to $PATH. Other shells might do similar things.

IMO, the problem with aliases is that they create an illusion, which
can lead to surprises if a Windows program with the same name as a
Cygwin program ever appears in the Windows search path.
At my workplace, we have such occasional surprises caused by ClearCase
and its hostinfo program, which every now and then gets executed by a
configure script (Cygwin does not have hostinfo, so the effect is the
same as if the ClearCase program directory was ahead of Cygwin's).

It is possible to add the Cygwin directories to the Windows path, for
easy access to grep & other tools from a Windows prompt. Adding them
to the beginning would hide the Windows version of find; I don't
consider this a loss :)

Hope this helps,
GCS a+ e++ d- C++ ULS$ L+$ !E- W++ P+++$ w++$ tv+ b++ DI D++ 5++
The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
Life is complex, with real and imaginary parts.
"Ok, it boots. Which means it must be bug-free and perfect. " -- Linus Torvalds
"People disagree with me. I just ignore them." -- Linus Torvalds

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