Questions about Cygwin's setup...

Masterson, Dave
Thu Jan 25 11:45:00 GMT 2001

Well, strictly speaking, I am not a Windows system administrator -- actually
I'm a UNIX developer who happens to be working in a Windows group at the
moment.  I was just considering introducing a UNIX environment to the group
(they already have a messy MKS environment) in as low maintenance an
approach as possible.  My previous message was just a couple of ideas that
would make that easier.

With respect to managing packages on a Windows system, what I've seen done
by others is to put the installable packages (usually copies of the
package's original CD) up on some central share somewhere and then leave it
to the individual local system admins (usually the user of that system) to
install and maintain the package on the system.  In this sense, network
shares in Windows-NT are often used in the opposite manner of NFS mounts in
UNIX (ie. the shares hold centralized data whereas the NFS mounts hold
centralized programs).  For the most part, this is often forced by the
licensing and installation structure of these packages (ie. single-user,
single-machine licenses).

Cygwin and all the GNU tools, though, are open-source (free source?)
products and, so, shouldn't suffer from the strictures of a copyright
license.  I have installed a great many of these GNU tools on a central UNIX
server and made them available to many UNIX systems (all they had to do was
mount the drive and adjust their PATH).  In fact, I have a Perl package
around here somewhere that allowed me to maintain multiple versions of the
installed packages so as to allow developers to test against old versions of
tools if they needed (it also addressed the "clean" uninstall issue).  From
what I can see of the Cygwin environment, it is very close to having this
capability as well.  My original questions concerning what Setup.exe does
with respect to the registry and such were to find out how close.

Another post suggested a slightly kludgy way of doing what I want (I'm still
thinking about how to apply it).  However, the post at least confirms that
other people want to do what I'm suggesting and have investigated ways to
workaround the current Setup.exe to do it.  Ultimately, though, I think
Setup.exe package should facilitate this type of a setup (or, at least, not
do anything to get in the way).  In that, I think the "nice to haves" would

* a command line tool that would create the necessary registry entries for
Cygwin (so that it can be put into a batch script for all the users to run).

* a "setup" package that could be kept local and updated like any other

-----Original Message-----
From: Christopher Faylor [ ]
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2001 10:36 AM
Subject: Re: Questions about Cygwin's setup...

You know, this really isn't specifically a Cygwin issue.  If you are a
administering a number of Windows systems on a network, how do you deal
with this normally?  Most Windows packages do something to the registry.
Most Windows packages are updated from time to time.  How would you deal
with this issue with other Windows packages?

Maybe you need to do a or search and see what kind
of solutions are available out there.


On Thu, Jan 25, 2001 at 10:35:43AM -0800, Masterson, Dave wrote:
>Hmmm.  Wget is not a complete answer.  What if my "user" doesn't want to
>mirror it on his system because he feels the network access to the server
>fast enough?  Also, there is still the issue of the registry entries
>(remember, I'm not "installing" it on the user's system).
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Earnie Boyd [ ]
>Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2001 7:21 PM
>To: Masterson, Dave
>Cc: 'Earnie Boyd'
>Subject: Re: Questions about Cygwin's setup...
>"Masterson, Dave" wrote:
>> Hmmm.  The cygwin mailer does some strange things with Reply-to.  Your
>> message has a Reply-to of "Earnie Boyd <>".  Is this
>> intentional?
>Yes, it is intentional.  It's a means of keeping it in the forum and
>avoiding private conversation.
>> With respect to my message, it should be obvious that I'm trying to setup
>> "minimum" install of Cygwin.  My thought was that, since only I in my
>> pay attention to what goes on with Cygwin, I could maintain a central
>> where Cygwin is.  
>> I suppose I could send out occassional messages that say
>> something like "rerun \\my\setup.exe to update your Cygwin", but it would
>> much better if it just happened automatically.  
>I thought you were setting up Cygwin itself centrally.  Once setup the
>local workstation would then not need changed.
>> Thus the idea of a pre-setup
>> central share that I (the Cygwin admin) maintain.  Also, if the speed of
>> central share, it probably wouldn't be hard to make a batch script to
>> it to a local drive (which I might write).
>Use wget to mirror.
>> With respect to your answers:
>> * Why not make setup a package (say "cygwinsetup") like all the rest so
>> it could potentially update itself?
>Just use wget.  Setup a cron job to run weekly or what ever frequency
>you desire.
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