Ask the Expert

Running GNU tools on Windows

There are two ways that I know to run GNU tools on Windows: Either install Cygwin (, or install DJGPP (

What are the differences between these? Which one is more like GNU on Unix?

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Cygwin provides a rather close proximation to running real UNIX. GNU tools are also the base for Microsoft's Windows Services for UNIX product. For your MS Windows environment I find the Cygwin toolset very attractive because nearly everything you may need is ready for download and use.
JP Vossen, Infrastructure and Network Security expert on, offers two additional solutions:

The two other solutions are not complete environments, but they are very useful when you need just one or two GNU tools and the entire environment is overkill.

They are: and

Hope this is useful,

This was first published in March 2004

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