How to start up cygwin so all users use the same home dir and environment?

Jesper Vad Kristensen
Mon Feb 7 18:50:00 GMT 2005

As is often the case my fractured mind finds itself speaking to ...

Anyway, I tried something and changed my cygwin.bat to this:

	@echo off
	chdir C:\cygwin\bin
->	set HOME=/cygdrive/c/cygwin/home/elhack
->	set USER=elhack
->	set USERNAME=elhack
	bash --login -i

I also made an entry for "elhack" user in /etc/passwd

This seems, so far, to have provided me with the necessary way to force
cygwin to start with a specific/shared user account even if I'm logged
into the computer as another person. I just thought I'd share the
discovery with you :)


Jesper Vad Kristensen

>-----Original Message-----
>From: [] 
>On Behalf Of Jesper Vad Kristensen
>Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2005 3:18 PM
>Subject: How to start up cygwin so all users use the same home 
>dir and environment?
>Hi there,
>I'm trying to do something odd (I'll explain the "why" later), but
>here's what I would like to do:
>All users here are in the same Windows Domain, and I would like an
>unknown number of users to be able to log into this one Windows server,
>and when they start cygwin there I would like them all to use, say,
>/cygdrive/c/cygwin/home/shareduser as home dir (~/). I.e. no matter who
>logs into the windows box they all share the one and same cygwin
>Just a bit of explanation on why I'd go and do something stupid like
>this. Well, it all boils down to a paranoid security department and
>being in a large organization where technical concerns 
>sometimes have to
>be subordinated to bureaucracy. The server is installed with 
>Windows and
>Cygwin and some other tools. One department (=they) is responsible for
>taking requests from developers/project leaders (=us) and putting
>software in production. These tech boys will ideally only have to know
>one thing: which server to login to, and what keys to poke once inside.
>I.e. security is at the level of domain login to the Windows server.
>Once inside they're welcome to do whatever they want on the server,
>specifically in our case: compile source code, get executables and put
>them into production. There will never be two persons logged in at the
>same time. The server will be used for nothing else.
>If this is doable it's easy: just add the tech boys to a group on the
>Domain and they (whoever they are, however many they are) have 
>access to
>the tool they need to use to put things into production. What they have
>to do is start cygwin, run a script with the right parameters, read the
>error log and that's it. (Of course, I should perhaps have 
>made the tool
>exclusively in Windows, but I needed perl, gnu file utils, etc. because
>it's so easy to work with.)
>Jesper Vad Kristensen
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