How To: Get Linux Power on Your Windows PC with Cygwin

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borse

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PCLinuxguy

I agree. If you want to use linux then just do it. Dual boot it or use a Virtual Machine or Wubi and try it and if you like it you can still dual boot or just redo the HDD with it as the only OS on there.  Though I wonder if Windows users know that there is already a command prompt built into Windows already and might do the same thing assuming they knew what they were doing in a command prompt in general because if you don't then you might muck up the machine either way.

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apexwm

In all honesty, nowadays Linux is very easy to install and run with.  Distributions like Ubuntu and Fedora are completely graphical and you generally don't even need the command line on them.  In my opinion, if you need to make up for what is lacking in Windows, why even stay on Windows?  To the comments about installing drivers and supposed complexity of Linux, have you used Linux in the past 8 years?  I actually have found it to be the opposite as stated.... I've rarely needed to manually install drivers in Linux (including printer drivers which are automatically detected and downloaded).  The Linux kernel detects and automatically activates hardware very well.  The rare occasions where drivers need to be manually installed is when a proprietary (closed source) driver like nVidia, or Broadcom wireless NICs are needed. In Windows, drivers usually need to be manually installed right from the start.  Migrations from Linux to Windows are possible, you simply need a little time, patience, and a will to learn something new.

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snapple00

So you don't need to use the command line in Linux hardly ever, but you ask why use Windows when [the command line] is lacking when you could simply use Linux (where you don't need the command line because it has become so Windows-like)?

Your whole comment is how much like Windows Linux is now, and how it almost works as good when dealing with drivers etc. So... what is your point again?

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captrespect

You can also just add the cygwin/bin directory to the windows path.  Most of the programs in cygwin are just windows exes so they can be run without launch the special console.

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Bigfoot

If you really want to try Linux you need to checkout this version:

Puppy Linux

www.puppylinux.org

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mothwingdust

the article was well-written and i think Cygwin would be useful for learning command-line stuff. however, for a first-time Linux user, i think it's overly complicated...which is probably the main reason more people don't use Linux in the first place. Linux has gotten so much easier to use over the past few years, especially compared to, say, ten years ago.

i'd still recommend people check out Ubuntu's Windows Install. it installs (and uninstalls) from within Windows, with all the functionality of a regular Linux install (as opposed to a LiveCD which is limited because of not being able to save or install drivers.) Windows sees it as just another program, but it lets the user do everything any other Linux install would allow. this way they can get familiar with it and install programs and drivers and do regular work, and decide whether they even want to continue using Linux. then they can also decide if they want to do a "real" linux install on a partition or seperate drive/computer, or if they want to use a different distro. and if they don't get along with Linux, they can just uninstall it like any other Windows program.

when Lucid Lynx came out, i ran it within Windows for a couple months and then decided to run a dual-boot system. i just uninstalled it from within Windows, and went through the Ubuntu setup to repartition my drive. i have only logged into Windows about five times in the past several months, and haven't looked back. i've quit using Photoshop since i'm getting used to GIMP, i've used OpenOffice for years anyway, and Rhythmbox works just like iTunes (and recognizes my iTunes music folder in my Win partition. i pointed Rhythmbox to my Win iTunes folder as my main music folder, so now i just mount that partition in Ubuntu and Rhythmbox populates with all my music and album covers.)

honestly, if it weren't for Cubase, SoundForge and all my VST plugins and instruments, i'd use Linux all the time. but if i'd started with Cygwin, i don't know that i would've bothered switching over to Linux at all. don't get me wrong, i can rock the command line action, but most of the time i just want to get on my computer and work or play.

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Ashton2091

Very well said. i started dabbling in linux the exact same way you just described. it was and is a great experience. not super familiar with the command line, but i'm still learning. to get much time to spend with ubuntu since i mostly depend on windows for my music. 

 

also, love cubase. been using it since cubase 3sx. good stuff

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yaomiao

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jac_goudsmit

Nice write-up! But I the Unix-style command to delete a file is rm, not del.

By the way, I believe the GnuWin32 programs also deserve a mention: they let you use common tools like sed and awk on a Windows command line without the need for the cygwin shell.

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david.rangel93

Alex, keep up the goos work, the good quality of articles, you have truly brought back Maximum PC, i have been reading Maximum PC magazines and checking the website every day but today i was mind-blown with this great article of yours, keep them coming :D

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Danthrax66

If you need to run linux get a Linux box, end of story there are a lot of things that you will run into while trying to use linux that you wouldn't normally encounter in windows. Such as configuring a brand new mp3 player to sync with amarok or getting a driver to install (which often times involves reading through logs to determine what packages need to be installed). I mean sure this tool might be useful but you won;t learn linux unless you put yourself in front of a box and use it as your main pc for a while.

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