JU Home Page

CygWin X11 Setup Tool

My favorite software package for MSW (Microsoft Windows) systems is CygWin. A full install of CygWin provides a Unix-like interface to your MSW machine that includes all the common GNU tools and a very complete X11 Windows implementation. The GNU compilers are included, and many Open Source Linux and Unix codes compile easily in this environment. You can download CygWin for personal use for free.

Those unfamilar with CygWin should see the Cygwin Home Page at http://www.cygwin.com .

When I use CygWin X11 Windows I prefer to use a mode where I can use the ctwm X11 Window Manager (CygWin X11 supports many modes, including letting X11 Windows look just like MSWindows windows, if you prefer). Since CygWin X11 does not support one interface setup over another, it can take a new user quite a bit of effort to sort thru all the available Window Managers and configure one to the unique mixture of GNU/Unix and MSW products available when using CygWin. So you may be interested in a setup file for the ctwm(1) X11 window manager program. It not only sets up ctwm(1) nicely, it includes dozens of scripts (local) (remote) that help you take advantage of CygWin. Just download the file TWM.tgz

. Place it in your home directory and run the following commands:

  ##############################################################################
  # do this once:
  tar xvfz TWM.tgz # creates files in $HOME/.twm
  ##############################################################################
  # do this to start ctwm(1):
  ksh $HOME/.twm/starttwm   # starts the window manager
  # At the prompt for which mode to use, entering "W" is a good first choice.
  ##############################################################################

You can start multiple displays by using

  env DISPLAY_TYPE=W $HOME/.twm/starttwm   

multiple times (until you run out of memory, that is).

Example X11 ctwm(1) image popup

All the files reside in the directory $HOME/.twm. Even if you don't use the window manager setup, you will find dozens of useful scripts that show how to take advantage of the special integrated environment.

If you find this setup file useful or have improvements to pass along let the author know ...

Other images

ctwm with menus from windows mixed with Vista
( env DISPLAY_TYPE=R $HOME/.twm/starttwm)

Example X11 ctwm(1) image popup

There are basic commands that are easy to miss that are terrific tools for integrating MSW and CygWin. Read the man(1) or info(1) pages for

Old copies

There are often changes required to easily call Vista/XP/Windows 7/.... commands, depending on your PC. Here is an older version that is set up for common Windows XP and Vista interfaces. The current version is mostly set up for MS Windows 7; although it will work with Vista and Windows XP except for some MSWindows commands.

[Visit CTWMs Website]
VALIDATE HTML5 VALIDATE W3

-- urbanjost