Failure with fork()

Alan W. Irwin
Fri Jun 28 19:05:00 GMT 2013

I will attempt to answer the further posts that have come in since
my last post.

My background is I help to develop, build, and test a number of free
cross-platform software projects (e.g., PLplot).  Those projects are
mostly developed on Linux, but I want to make sure they work well on
various Windows platforms such as "bare" Windows with Windows
proprietary compilers, MinGW with MSYS, and Cygwin.  I leave checking
of Windows proprietary compiler results and any Microsoft version of
Windows to others (I don't have the money or desire to get involved
with such tests), but I would like to help out with testing the
MinGW/MSYS case and also the Cygwin case using Wine.  As a result I am
a fairly heavy but non-sophisticated user of Wine, and I have had good
success with building and testing a variety of software projects for
the combination of MinGW, MSYS, and Wine.  I have recently tried to
extend that success to the Cygwin on Wine platform, but so far no

One poster here suggested I would probably encounter a whole series of
Cygwin on Wine showstopper bugs (like unpeeling an onion).  That
negative view should be answered. Historically there has been a lot of
interest in running Cygwin on Wine by Wine developers.  According to
their bugzilla they encountered a few fairly minor problems in the
past such as the inability to resize the setup.exe GUI.  (I actually
haven't bothered to test whether that bug still exists since I didn't
care about that, but it is likely some of those bugs have disappeared
because Wine-1.6 is generally a huge advance on previous versions of

So the only Cygwin on Wine showstopper on the list of Wine bugs I am
aware of was wine bug 24018
<> which is actually a
Cygwin regression introduced a couple of years ago, but now fixed by
the recent efforts here.  However, because that regression persisted
so long (because of a failure to communicate the problem to the Cygwin
developers who very quickly fixed it once they became aware of it),
the Cygwin on Wine combination has essentially been untested for the
last three years.  As a result there has been a chance for additional
regressions to creep in.  But I doubt very much that there is a huge
list of such regressions that are actual showstoppers, and it is more
likely there is only one showstopper (the hang I am encountering now)
or else no showstoppers (because I am doing something wrong due to my
lack of knowledge of Cygwin).

To figure out which is the case, it is definitely time for a wine
expert with some interest in Cygwin (or Cygwin expert with some
interest in Wine) to take over now.  I have already informed the
wine-devel list of this thread, and will follow up with an additional
post there summarizing the current situation to maximize the chances
that some volunteer with the necessary expertise will step forward.

Once someone else has demonstrated setup.exe works on Wine-1.6 at
least as well as it did in the past for older Cygwin and Wine
versions, and assuming I can mimic that setup.exe success, then I have
every expectation of success with the builds and tests of free
software on the Cygwin/Wine platform. The reason for such confidence
is such build efforts would use a tool chain that is similar to the
MinGW/MSYS one that has already proved to work so well on Wine-1.6,
and because such build efforts would only involve a small subset of
Cygwin beyond that toolchain which should reduce the likelihood of
running into Cygwin or Wine bugs during such software builds.

One of the goals of that effort would be to help the PLplot project's 
Arjen Markus (the OP) who is currently our only tester of PLplot on
Cygwin (on a Microsoft Windows platform in his case) to make sure
PLplot builds and tests on Cygwin without issues regardless of
whether the underlying Windows platform is Microsoft or Wine.

Alan W. Irwin

Astronomical research affiliation with Department of Physics and Astronomy,
University of Victoria (

Programming affiliations with the FreeEOS equation-of-state
implementation for stellar interiors (; the Time
Ephemerides project (; PLplot scientific plotting
software package (; the libLASi project
(; the Loads of Linux Links project (;
and the Linux Brochure Project (

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