Saturday, September 3, 2016

Cygwin on Windows XP, howto

If you've damaged your Cygwin installation on Windows XP recently by doing a normal Cygwin update (as I did), here's how to recover.

Normally, Cygwin's program, setup(-x86).exe installs the latest version of their Cygwin DLL.

However, the last release of the Cygwin DLL which still works on Windows XP was version 2.5.2-1 (released June 23, 2016). The next release was 2.6.0-1 (on August 31, 2016), and it doesn't work on Windows XP.

First, back up (perhaps using 7-Zip) your Cygwin etc/ and home/ directories to a safe location (outside your Cygwin installation).

Then rename your Cygwin directory, to get it out of the way.

Download the latest setup(-x86).exe as usual from the Cygwin web site.

Add the option flag --no-verify to the shortcut you use for it, and run it. On its "Choose a Download Site" screen, enter (as a User URL):

ftp://www.fruitbat.org/pub/cygwin/circa/2016/08/30/104223

Click the "Add" button and "Next". It will say:
  1. "The current ini file is from a newer version of setup-x86.exe" and
  2. "This setup is version 2.873, but setup.ini claims version 2.874 is available."
Ignore those warnings.

After you're satisfied it's working for you, you can delete your old, renamed Cygwin directory.

For more information, see this page by Peter Castro, the creator of the Cygwin Time Machine.

Copyright (c) 2016 Mark D. Blackwell.