Cygwin (pronounced /ˈsɪɡwɪn/, SIG-win) is a Unix-like environment and command-line interface for Microsoft Windows. Cygwin provides native integration of Windows-based applications, data, and other system resources with applications, software tools, and data of the Unix-like environment. Thus it is possible to launch Windows applications from the Cygwin environment, as well as to use Cygwin tools and applications within the Windows operating context.
Cygwin consists of two parts: a dynamic-link library (DLL) as an API compatibility layer providing a substantial part of the POSIX API functionality, and an extensive collection of software tools and applications that provide a Unix-like look and feel.
Cygwin was originally developed by Cygnus Solutions, which was later acquired by Red Hat. It is free and open source software, released under the GNU General Public License version 2. Today it is maintained by employees of Red Hat, NetApp and many other volunteers.
Cygwin consists of a library that implements the POSIX system call API in terms of Win32 system calls, a GNU development toolchain (such as GCC and GDB) to allow software development, and a large number of application programs equivalent to those on Unix systems. Many Unix programs have been ported to Cygwin, including the X Window System, KDE, GNOME, Apache, and TeX. Cygwin permits installing inetd, syslogd, sshd, Apache, and other daemons as standard Windows services, allowing Microsoft Windows systems to emulate Unix and Linux servers.
Cygwin programs are installed by running Cygwin's "setup" program, which downloads the necessary program and feature package files from repositories on the Internet. Setup can install, update, and remove programs and their source code packages. A full installation may take up to 4 GB of hard disk space.
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