As a Windows user, you’re probably used to software that comes in a user-friendly package. If you want to install a new program, it’s usually a matter of running setup.exe, or occasionally a .msi installer. Because of this, a lot of Windows users panic when faced with the prospect of installing a file from source code. Well fear not, because it’s not that difficult. We’ll walk you through a source code install, step by step.
We believe that everyone who considers themselves a computer enthusiast should have at least some experience with a Linux environment, but it can be daunting to just jump into the deep end of a completely unfamiliar operating system. One way to get your feet wet is with Cygwin, a free program that provides you with a Unix-like command line, without having to leave Windows. Cygwin is not a Unix emulator (it cannot run native Unix programs, although it does contain the tools needed to compile and run a program from source code), but it does have a wide array of optional packages that let you use most of the tools and utilities that you would commonly use in Unix, in Windows. In this guide, we’ll show you how to get Cygwin set up, the basics of how to navigate a Unix file system, and how to find more information as you need it.