Friday, February 16, 2007

Cygwin: Getting Linux on Windows

I started using Linux after reading about how Microsoft used to conduct its business with its customary "pain in everybody else's ass" attitude. The blue screen of death kind off helped too. I then began to experiment with various versions of Linux including Redhat, SUSE and Mandrake(currently Mandriva). They were neat but they always lacked something or the other. Like the inability to play great looking windows games. Or when you needed to use the internet and you had not figured out how to configure the connection configuration between Linux and the web yet. It is kind of annoying to reboot every time you wanted to switch between these two operating systems that I was seriously considering trying some other options to make my life and open-source philosophy click together. And thats when I came across Cygwin. Its a great piece of code which you can install on your Windows XP (or NT, 2000, 2003 Server) machine which allows it to act like a Unix terminal. It can even run those graphical applications as long as you have installed the required software. Installation is easy and intuitive. If you don't know Linux or any of its various *nix cousins but want to give it an experimental shot, then here's the chance to learn one without undergoing the torture of having to partition your PC disk or having to totally abstain from using Windows while you are at it. Since I am currently trying to teach myself development under Unix, I selected the whole programming package during setup. Try it out some time.

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