Mo Dejong's install problems

Earnie Boyd
Fri Mar 31 07:44:00 GMT 2000

--- Mo DeJong <> wrote:
> On Thu, 30 Mar 2000, Earnie Boyd wrote:
> > --- Mo DeJong <> wrote:
> > -8<-
> > > Well, I found that C:/Cygwin/.bashrc was working for me, but this
> Yes, I installed into C:/Cygwin so it would be mounted as root.
> If I understand the just of what you are saying, setting global
> env vars in /.bashrc is a bad idea because it will not always
> get sourced.

Yes, exactly.

> So the obvious question is, where is the "right" place to set env vars
> like PATH. Is it /etc/profile? I do not think a .bat file that invokes
> bash is the right place to do that. For one thing, it only works with
> bash. There is also the fact that it does not work on Win95 or Win98.

This is a good question actually.  I think the windows registry would be a good
place with a specialized program to set the values, let's call it cygset.  Then
the user could cygset PATH=/foo:/bar and in the cygwin initialization the
process could set the GLOBAL environment.

> > Based on this I can make an assumption that you have C:/Cygwin mounted as
> the
> > root /, correct?  I can also make the assumption that you don't have the
> > environment variable set, correct?  If HOME isn't set then bash assumes /
> to be
> > HOME.  Also, BASH is the only package using .bashrc and then only if it is
> not
> > doing the "login" process; which for Cygwin is the usual case.  BASH will
> use
> > the /etc/profile and/or others which I forget exactly OTTOMH when bash
> thinks
> > the login process is happening and will not execute the .bashrc file.  The
> > file suggests that the /etc/profile file sources the ~/.bashrc
> file.
> > 
> > > was only by trial and error (I need to apply for a patent on that).
> > > Could someone who knows more about cygwin internals comment on why
> > > cygwin can not use something like a .bashrc file for global settings
> > > instead of a .bat file? 
> So are there any reasons that cygwin should not
> "emulate the UNIX startup processes"?

In what way do you suggest.

> > I can't say that I know anything about the "cygwin internals"; but, I'm
> > intuitive and a forward thinker so I can answer your question.  Setting
> global
> > variables in the .bat file is the Windows way of doing it.  If you want to
> set
> > globals for a particular process that other processes don't need then the
> .bat
> > file is the place to do that.  Sure, cygwin could use /etc/profile or
> something
> > else that emulates the UNIX startup processes except for the CYGWIN
> variable
> > itself.
> > 
> > > Is there some reason the PATH would need to
> > > be set while still in windows? 
> The exact same thing would happen if you just ran one of these shells
> from a dos shell without first calling cygwin.bat. Shell in cygwin
> really need to work "stand alone", they should not depend on a .bat
> file.

Well, since you brought up using the DOS Command process as the "shell", here
is another brainstorm of mine.  Have a stub process that keeps the Cygwin dll
initialized.  This would have to be user configurable, SET CYGWIN=...
[no]keepalive ..., with a default of nokeepalive.  This would help speed the
processes when using the DOS Command shell.

> > No, I set PATH in the .bashrc file.  However, if I do `sh -c 'foo'' from
> the
> > dos command window then .bashrc isn't read (because sh isn't bash) and the
> > doesn't get set properly.  I haven't looked at ash code/documentation to
> know
> > what files it uses to set the environment.
> > 
> > >Does cygwin fail to correctly
> > > "export" the PATH env var or something?
> > > 
> > 
> > Absolutely not.
> > 
> > > These may sound like stupid questions, but I think this is in fact
> > > the most important issue cygwin will face in the next release.
> > 
> > I don't.  The most important issue in the next release will be the pathing
> > changes, the switch to i686-pc-cygwin, and the linker resolution of
> _ctype_.
> > 
> > > Previous version of cygwin were just too hard to install. Users
> > > need to be able to click a button and have the basics work
> > > "out of the box".
> > > 

Cygwin has been considered "beta" software until the release of Cygwin CD v1.0.
 Cygnus offered customer support for setup purposes of the CD.  As for a net
release, one has to assume that the person downloading the software knows a
little about setup processes, knows how to read the FAQ and the README files,
and knows how to search the archives for recent problems.  Hopefully you didn't
have this experience with Cygnus.

> I have heard this argument before. Once a person learns how something
> works, they will just assume that other people should be able to figure
> it out too. It is nice that you were able to install lots of earlier
> versions of cygwin, but there are lots of other people who gave up
> on cygwin because it did not work "out of the box" (I am mostly
> talking about beta 20 here). Here is how it typically goes.
> Engineer> The product works.
> Customer> I tried to run it but I could not get it working.
> Engineer> You must have done it wrong, go back and try again.
> Customer> I just tried it again, I can't figure it out.
> Engineer> Well, it works on my box.
> > Not at all.  I've installed b18, b19, b20, CD v1.0 and snapshots.  I've
> never
> > had the difficulties that most have; but, as I said earlier I'm an
> intuitive
> > forward thinker.
> > 
> > > Mo Dejong
> > > Red Hat Inc.
> > > 
> I am not sure what you mean by this. Are you saying that "minor" issues
> like "cygwin does not install" and "cygwin does not work" do not belong on
> the cygwin developers list?

Yes, exactly that is what I meant.  Chris has spoken of the upcoming Net
Release as not being off topic for this list and I agree with that.  It's just
that it seems you are discussing the _use_ of cygwin in general which belongs
on the list.

> > BTW, this is off topic for _this_ list; but, because you're an employee of
> the
> > company that owns it I was lenient.
> > 
> > Regards,

   Earnie Boyd: < >
            __Cygwin: POSIX on Windows__
Cygwin Newbies: < >
           __Minimalist GNU for Windows__
  Mingw32 List: < >
    Mingw Home: < >

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