Is there a way to clone-install Cygwin?

Fri Jan 31 14:06:00 GMT 2020

>>> Cygwin is totally portable! You can simply copy the installation folder
>>> another PC, copy the shortcut (edit target if needed) and it will work.

>> How do you copy it?
>> Which archive container do you use?

I have been using this approach for years.

To a new naked Windows box, if you can "mount" it over the network, e.g., map
a drive letter to it, then you can use cygwin tools from an existing box with
cygwin, to copy cygwin to the new.  I usually use cygwin tar, but I think 'cp
-a' will work.  I think in the past, I have used robocopy.  The key is the
links and symlinks: normal Windows tools won't get them right.

For upgrades, once cygwin is on both boxes, I always use tar.  I've got this
down to pretty much routine.  I do it once or twice a year.  I upgrade cygwin
on one box, vet it for a few days, then upgrade several others.  I untar into
an empty dir, then use native cmd.exe 'move' to swap the dirs.

Be sure to use 64-bit cygwin.  The 32-bit used to work, but now and then I
would have to fuss with "rebase".  I have never had that problem with the

Karl Botts,

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