Cygwin - Overview

Written: 12/22/11

Last Updated: 01/08/15

Cygwin (pronounced [‘sigwin]) is a Linux environment for Windows. It is by no means Linux a replacement. For more information, check out Cygwin’s user guide. I primarily use Cygwin to run a secure file server as well as an SSH server. This allows me to use my Windows box for all of my needs, instead of needing a separate *NIX machine. I am by no means knowledgeable enough to even begin to explain all of the features and uses of Cygwin, so I will focus on the two areas I know at least a little bit about. With that being said, I will go ahead and put out the disclaimer that you are proceeding at your own risk. I have tested all of these steps and they do work, but it is very important that you fully understand the security implications of creating a file server and an SSH server. This process was intended for home users, so if you are using this at your company please take the time to vet all of the security measures before continuing.

Setting up Cygwin for use as a file server is no menial task. I have made a few guides as well as some scripts to aid in this endeavor. With any of my guides I tend to assume that the reader does not know anything about the topic, thus allowing for anyone to follow one and have successful results. I cannot provide full details of everything, but I will provide enough information for you to at least follow the guide.

For the Cygwin guides it is assumed that you will be familiar with basic Unix commands. If you are not, take a look at this article from Stanford. During these guides I will not give an in-depth explanation as to what each command does, but rather an overview of what the step does. For a more detailed explanation of Cygwin features/commands/uses check out the documentation.To get started with Cygwin, follow my installation guide.

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