Background processes with Cygwin

Matt Wozniski
Sun Apr 5 03:02:00 GMT 2009

On Sat, Apr 4, 2009 at 9:50 PM, Peter Farley <> wrote:
> --- On Fri, 4/3/09, Jeff Irwin wrote:

Don't quote headers like this.  It's not useful to anyone, and it
feeds the spammers.

>> From: Jeff Irwin <>
>> Subject: Background processes with Cygwin
>> To:
>> Date: Friday, April 3, 2009, 2:48 PM
> <Snipped> - Reformatted

> PMFJI here, but if you log out of Cygwin, then the Cygwin process terminates.
> Why would you think that a process started under Cygwin could survive the
> termination of Cygwin?  That just doesn't make sense, even to this raw
> newbie.

You're missing something big.  Cygwin isn't a process.  It's a DLL that
provides a UNIX-like environment.  You don't terminate cygwin, you terminate
a shell that's using the Unix emulation provided by cygwin1.dll.

> Among other things, the whole *ix environment that Cygwin provides would be
> gone, so how could your process possibly continue?  This isn't "real" *ix,
> it's *ix facilities provided under the control of another quite different
> (and generally more hostile) OS environment.

The *ix facilities are provided by a DLL, not by a process, and the
applications can continue running after the shell exits, just like in any other
*ix - the DLL didn't go away, after all.

> Maybe I'm missing something crucial in my understanding of how Cygwin and
> Windows operate.  If so, I'd appreciate a cure for my ignorance.

Hopefully this clears things up.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure why things aren't
working for the OP.  In any event, switching to the main cygwin list instead of
the cygwin-xfree list (which is only for X11 related issues) would probably
help get him the help he needs.


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