Beginner questions, setting up window manager and paths

Larry Hall (Cygwin)
Sat May 2 05:17:00 GMT 2009

LM wrote:
> This is my first time using Cygwin. I was hoping to build and run some
> Open Source applications I tried out on Linux on my Windows machine through
> Cygwin. I downloaded and installed all the Cygwin files. Now I have some
> issues I'm having trouble resolving and would appreciate any help anyone can
> offer.
> The first thing I wanted to do was have either fluxbox or openbox or both
> available as window managers as I feel more comfortable working with them
> than other window managers. I thought an openbox executable came with the
> Cygwin installation. However, when I tried to use it, my screen looked funny
> and the menu was black on black so I couldn't see anything. I tried the same
> technique with windowmaker. I edited ~/.xinitrc using nano and added exec
> and the window manager name. Then I ran startx. Windowmaker works fine, so
> I'm guessing the problem with openbox is either some missing files or
> inappropriate settings, not how I'm starting the server or calling the
> window manager. How do I get openbox working properly?

X questions should go to the cygwin-xfree list.

> When openbox wouldn't work, I downloaded the source to fluxbox version
> 1.1.1. I ran ./configure, make, make install. It built fine, but when I try
> executing it (as I did with the other window managers), I get the following
> error message:
> 7 [main] sh 2188! _pinfo::dup_proc_pipe: DuplicateHandle failed, pid
> 2188, hProcess 0x6A1, wr_proc_pipe 0x7FC, Win32 error 6 This program
> cannot be run in DOS mode.

Don't have any insight here.

> I was able to build and run xfireworks from source on my machine within
> Cygwin, so it doesn't seem likely that it's an issue with the technique I'm
> using to build the executable or a problem finding the right compiler. Any
> ideas on how to get a working version of fluxbox?

Again, probably better asked at the cygwin-xfree list.

> Also, when I built fluxbox the first time, I defaulted my paths to the
> \usr directory, so the executable went to \usr\bin. I built a tarball with a
> build script, like I would on Slackware Linux. I used spkg running natively
> on Windows to install the tarball, with the executable going to the
> \cygwin\usr\bin directory and the other files to their appropriate
> locations. 

You'd be better off using Cygwin's tar, since it understands POSIX paths,
symbolic links, etc.  Also, since Cygwin uses POSIX paths, the path
separator is  '/'.

> When I looked for the files in the Cygwin shell program, I
> couldn't find them. I know msys does some strange things with mapping the
> virtual /usr/bin location to /bin. However, I was attempting to follow fhs
> (file hierarchy spec) like on Linux. Is there a work-around to let /usr/bin
> map to \cygwin\usr\bin instead of \cygwin\bin? I know msys has a work-around
> for this by remapping the drives in the \etc\fstab file. Was wondering if
> there was a way to do this in Cygwin (which does not use \etc\fstab). What
> directories do people usually install their compiled applications to? The
> second time I tried with fluxbox, I had the files go to the /usr/local
> directories. That seemed to solve the issue of finding the files, but I was
> still unable to get fluxbox working because of the error message above. Any
> ideas?

First, MSYS is an old fork of Cygwin.  Second, if you use Cygwin tools
and POSIX paths, you won't have the problems you found above.  Third,
you'll want to look at the User's Guide for "mount" in Cygwin 1.5 and
1.7.  1.7 has '/etc/fstab', if you prefer this (and if you don't, you'll
be stuck with it eventually anyway. ;-) )  See for links to
the User's Guide documentation for 1.5 and 1.7.

Larry Hall                    
RFK Partners, Inc.                      (508) 893-9779 - RFK Office
216 Dalton Rd.                          (508) 893-9889 - FAX
Holliston, MA 01746


A: Yes.
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