can't open cygwin from shortcut

Brian Inglis
Sun Apr 24 08:30:00 GMT 2016

Doug McIlroy writes:
> On a Microsoft Surface running CYGWIN_NT-10.0 version 2.4.1(0.293/5/3)
> I cannot start Cygwin from the desktop shortcut. It fails to find
> mintty. On failure, it proffers a browsing window focused on /bin.
> Clicking on mintty in that window does not work. I can start
> Cygwin via a Windows "run" request, however.
> On a Dell desktop machine running CYGWIN_NT-6.3 version 1.7.34(0.285/5/3)
> where the shortcut works, I see that the pathname in the shortcut
> ends in mintty.exe. The .exe extension is missing in the 2.4.1
> shortcut. Could this be the cause? If so, is there a convenient
> way to edit a shortcut?

Not familiar with the Win 10 tablet interface, but if you select the icon on
the desktop or Start Menu, mouse right-click (or keyboard right hamburger
key) and the context menu shows a Properties item at the bottom: select that
to edit properties, (if necessary select Shortcut tab) and the Target
textbox should show something like "C:\Cygwin64\bin\mintty.exe -i
/Cygwin-Terminal.ico -", where C:\Cygwin64\ should be wherever you told
setup to make your Cygwin install root. Fix as appropriate. 

You can also Run that command directly. 

If that doesn't work, try a Search for "%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Internet
Explorer\Quick Launch" and select Quick Launch when displayed;
Run: explorer "%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch";
or if you can open a Command Prompt (cmd.exe) window, type:
start explorer "%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch"; 
either of which should open a Windows Explorer window, and you can browse
down for Cygwin mintty shortcut, and edit using the context menu Properties
selection described above. 
You can also launch mintty directly by browsing to C:\Cygwin64\bin\mintty,
or C:\Cygwin64\bin\bash, which will then appear in a Command Prompt console
window. You can then type "cygstart mintty" to launch it properly. 

Sorry am unable to be more specific, but few of us shell aficionados are
likely to have (or want!) access to a Windows tablet, and a lot about the
environment comes under the heading "sh*t we shouldn't have to know!" ;^> 

N.B. Cygwin comes with a couple of utilities installed: readshortcut(1) and
mkshortcut(1) which allow you to work with shortcuts from the command line,
using either Cygwin or Windows paths. 
A useful Cygwin package to install is chere, which adds a mintty/bash
context menu item to Windows explorer, allowing you to launch a mintty
console bash shell with the selected folder as your current working directory. 

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