How portable (relocatable) is a Cygwin installation?

Thu May 10 11:49:00 GMT 2018

On Wed, May 9, 2018 at 7:08 PM, Andy Li <> wrote:
> Hi,
> We are looking for an easy way to distribute an OCaml development
> enviroment based on Cygwin. Someone has an idea of installing all the
> necessary packages and zip the whole Cygwin installation directory and
> distribute the resulting archive.
> Is it a good idea? Is the installation path written in a Cygwin
> installation somewhere that may need to be updated when relocating? Is
> there any registry entry or env var required for a Cygwin installation to
> work?

This should work. Historically, MSYS(2) has been used for this
purpose. Please reconsider bundling everything with your development
distribution. It would be cleanest to have your users install Cygwin
or MSYS2 separately, perhaps by launching the their installer from
your installer. If multiple development bundles distribute a set of
Unix-like utilities and add them to PATH things will break in hard to
diagnose ways (usually related to very old bundled utilities, but this
is not usually immediately obvious).

The main danger with the reuse of Cygwin installations is that your
user ID on one machine will not match the user ID on another.


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