From SwinBrain

Cygwin is an open source unix/linux-like environment for Windows, it is an ideal platform for users interested in experimenting with Linux. For software developers it offers access to high quality compilers and build tools.

The design of Cygwin allows many linux tools to be ported to windows - many standard tools are shipped by default with Cygwin or are available as extension packages. Users typically interact with Cygwin software through a Bash shell, a command-line driven environment.

A major advantage of using cygwin is that any number of software packages can be downloaded, patched and installed with a single command. Without using Cygwin, each piece of software would need to be downloaded and installed individually, with patches only being applied when users explicitly check for them.

Recommend Packages

This section offers some suggestions on tools that may be useful to new users

Software Development Tools

  • GCC - the GNU Compiler Collection ('gcc' a C compiler and 'gcc-g++' a C++ compiler).
  • GDB - a command line debugger.
  • make - a software build tool.
  • SCons - an alternative to make.
  • Doxygen - Source code documentation
  • perl, python, ruby, guile, ocaml and common lisp - interpreted programming languages.

Other Recommended Packages

  • CVS, SVN, bazaar - Version Control Systems
  • OpenSSH - a remote login server
  • The Apache webserver