Installer issues [was RE: Mo Dejong's install problems]

John Dallaway
Fri Mar 31 01:33:00 GMT 2000

Most native Windows applications use the global PATH only to locate
system DLLs. Modifying the PATH in autoexec.bat on Win95/98 and/or the
global PATH environment variable on NT/Win2k is indeed best avoided. In
general, the biggest problem with making such modifications is in
performing robust uninstallation. This is an important issue for many
regular Windows users. In the case of Cygwin, there is also the issue of
Cygwin tools and native Windows tools with identical names (eg
find.exe). Users will not appreciate their native batch files being
broken by Cygwin tools placed ahead of native tools on the global PATH.

Note that, under Win95/98, it is a sensible precaution to increase the
environment space to (say) 8kB, by modifying config.sys. Such a change
is harmless, helps prevent 'out of environment space' problems and does
not require uninstallation.

I would advocate the approach taken by Cygwin B20.1 installer, ie
generation of a .bat file and Start menu item to launch each installed

John Dallaway

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On
> Behalf Of Chris
> Faylor
> Sent: 31 March 2000 02:49
> To:
> Subject: Re: Mo Dejong's install problems
> On Thu, Mar 30, 2000 at 05:45:00PM -0800, Mo DeJong wrote:
> >I realize that there are ways to work around the problem, like adding
> >the entries to the PATH in the autoexec.bat file, but Cygwin needs to
> >install and work "out of the box".  Changing the PATH in the
> >autoexec.bat file or the system settings on NT should be
> >avoided if at all possible.
> I don't know why Cygwin would be different from every other Windows
> program in this regard.
> There are established procedures for modifying the PATH.  I don't see
> why a Cygwin installer should avoid using them.

More information about the Cygwin-developers mailing list