Glad to get app working as expected on older platform (Cygwin OpenSSH)

Torsten Kühn
Wed Feb 12 19:38:00 GMT 2020

Thank you for this tremendous work, Corinna!

With all Cygwin-related articles, Howtos, Postings and Readme files,
one might suppose that the entire project is derived by you alone!

In one source, you have pointed out that Cygwin can only provide
functions as far as the underlying Windows version supports them.
This explains why Cygwin has to cease support for certain Windows
releases, if it wants to cope with all functions required by recent
applications. (I guess most users request these.)

In 2011, I was however glad to get Thomas Plank's Cygwin port of a
Cdrecord version which supports DVDs working in Windows NT 4.0.
(And Joerg Schilling, the maintainer of Cdrecord's sources was
happy to see that it worked for me as well.)

Since September 2016, the same issue with Windows XP.
In early 2017, Stefan Weil, the maintainer of MinGW-based ports of the
QEMU emulator failed to create working versions of two DLLs (bcrypt.dll
and dwmapi.dll?), intended to fill a gap in Windows XP and to provide
his application's compatibility with this version.

So, likewise, only older QEMU ports will still run in Windows XP.
The same with many other free software (both Sylpheed and Claws Mail,
SumatraPDF, the Opera Browser etc.). Breaking compatibility with old
OS releases seems to be mandatory if applications want to implement
new features, or just fix security holes.

On older hardware, it is however wise not to install the latest Windows
version, while, from an ecological view, such computers are still too
new to be thrown away. With a careful selection of relatively modern
applications, I try to resolve this conflict, and to use such old
pieces of hardware as long as the still compatible apps meet my needs.

In brief: I gladly got Cygwin 2.5.2-1's OpenSSH 7.3p1/ OpenSSL 1.0.2h
working as expected. The path configuration is tricky, thanks to an
appropriate entry in <Cygwin1.dll-directory>\..\etc\nsswitch.conf's
"db_home:" line, I aligned it to the desired directory (in my case
"%SystemDrive%\Profiles\ADMIN\Application Data"), where other programs
(less, Links, Lynx, Midnight Commander, NcFTP, Sylpheed etc.) already
store their configuration data.

While explanations in helped to
understand Cygwin's build-in paths, only Ryan Harrison's hint in
allowed to get rid of the odd "Failed to add the host to the list of
known hosts" message. Changing %HOME%, %HOMEPATH% or setting %ETC%
environment variables had had no influence (besides Lynx- and NcFTP-
variables, Cygwin-specific "nodosfileswarning=1" and "TERM=linux" are
set, "CYGWIN=tty" might have been inserted by an unsuccessfully
tested older OpenSSH release, variable now suppressed). OpenSSH has
some built-in pitfalls, I saw this on other platforms - here overcome.

OpenSSH now connects smoothly to my Internet Router and runs in a
CMD.EXE window, by contrast to Simon Tatham's popular PuTTY client.
Only with Links, my favourite Internet Browser, I am stuck with
version 2.13, whereas Mikulas Patocka's version 2.20 OS/2 port
(which uses Eberhard Matthes's EMX libs from 1999) even runs in
25-years-old Warp 3. This emulation layer has it's limits, it lacks
the mmap() library function, thus, e.g. vsFTPd won't compile.

Good continuation with this huge project!
Greetings from Basle
Torsten Kühn

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