How to check cygwin version?

Norton Allen
Thu Jul 2 15:34:11 GMT 2020

On 7/2/2020 1:20 AM, Brian Inglis wrote:
> On 2020-07-01 07:36, Jeffrey Walton via Cygwin wrote:
>> I think the documentation leaves a lot to be desired... I'm trying to
>> tell someone what version of Cygwin I am using.
>> There's a FAQ item at
>> It gives this
>> useless advice:
>>     To find the version of the Cygwin DLL installed, you can use uname
>>     as on Linux or cygcheck. Refer to each command's --help output and
>>     the Cygwin User's Guide for more information.
>> OK, let's try it:
>> $ cygcheck -v
>> Usage: cygcheck [-v] [-h] PROGRAM
>>         cygcheck -c [-d] [PACKAGE]
>>         cygcheck -s [-r] [-v] [-h]
>>         cygcheck -k
>>         ...
>> OK, -v is what we need:
>> $ cygcheck -v cygwin
>> cygcheck: could not find 'cygwin'
>> OK, another failure.
>> RTFM does not work. Why the hell don't you just state how to check the
>> god damn version?
> Do you think it would help if this FAQ entry were changed to read:
> 1.5. What version of Cygwin is this, anyway?
>       To find the version of the Cygwin DLL installed, you can use any of the
> Cygwin commands uname -a, uname -srvm, head /proc/version as on Linux, or
> cygcheck -V. Refer to each command's --help output or the Cygwin User's Guide
> for more information.
> and please make any further comments, feedback, or suggestions you think would
> help with this entry.
> Running the suggested commands with their --help options would have shown you:
> $ uname --help
> Usage: uname [OPTION]...
> Print certain system information.  With no OPTION, same as -s.
>    -a, --all                print all information, in the following order,
>                               except omit -p and -i if unknown:
>    -s, --kernel-name        print the kernel name
>    -n, --nodename           print the network node hostname
>    -r, --kernel-release     print the kernel release
>    -v, --kernel-version     print the kernel version
>    -m, --machine            print the machine hardware name
>    -p, --processor          print the processor type (non-portable)
>    -i, --hardware-platform  print the hardware platform (non-portable)
>    -o, --operating-system   print the operating system
>        --help     display this help and exit
>        --version  output version information and exit
> GNU coreutils online help: <>
> Full documentation at: <>
> or available locally via: info '(coreutils) uname invocation'
> $ cygcheck --help
> Usage: cygcheck [-v] [-h] PROGRAM
>         cygcheck -c [-d] [PACKAGE]
>         cygcheck -s [-r] [-v] [-h]
>         cygcheck -k
>         cygcheck -f FILE [FILE]...
>         cygcheck -l [PACKAGE]...
>         cygcheck -p REGEXP
>         cygcheck --delete-orphaned-installation-keys
>         cygcheck -h
> List system information, check installed packages, or query package database.
> At least one command option or a PROGRAM is required, as shown above.
>    PROGRAM              list library (DLL) dependencies of PROGRAM
>    -c, --check-setup    show installed version of PACKAGE and verify integrity
>                         (or for all installed packages if none specified)
>    -d, --dump-only      just list packages, do not verify (with -c)
>    -s, --sysinfo        produce diagnostic system information (implies -c)
>    -r, --registry       also scan registry for Cygwin settings (with -s)
>    -k, --keycheck       perform a keyboard check session (must be run from a
>                         plain console only, not from a pty/rxvt/xterm)
>    -f, --find-package   find the package to which FILE belongs
>    -l, --list-package   list contents of PACKAGE (or all packages if none given)
>    -p, --package-query  search for REGEXP in the entire package
>                         repository (requires internet connectivity)
>    --delete-orphaned-installation-keys
>                         Delete installation keys of old, now unused
>                         installations from the registry.  Requires the right
>                         to change the registry.
>    -v, --verbose        produce more verbose output
>    -h, --help           annotate output with explanatory comments when given
>                         with another command, otherwise print this help
>    -V, --version        print the version of cygcheck and exit
> Note: -c, -f, and -l only report on packages that are currently installed. To
>    search all official Cygwin packages use -p instead.  The -p REGEXP matches
>    package names, descriptions, and names of files/paths within all packages.
I think what is missing in all these suggestions is a clear statement 
that for Cygwin's purposes, the cygwin DLL is considered to be the 
'kernel', so looking for the 'kernel release' gives you the DLL version. 
I think that leap is totally non-obvious.

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