If you have a Windows XP machine and you do not want to
repartition your harddrive and configure it for dual-booting
and install Linux (or one of the BSD systems) in the 2nd
partition, there is another choice: cygwin.
Here we give a simple procedure to install cygwin on Windows XP.
You need at least 1GB of free disk space. 2GB would be nice.
A more detailed instruction is also available.
On cygwin's web page, click on
the Install or Update Cygwin (setup.exe) link. Save
cygwin's setup.exe on your desktop.
Click on the cygwin setup.exe program on your desktop.
Choose Download Without Installing. Select to download
onto your desktop. Then select Direction Connection.
Then choose a reliable download site to download the complete
distribution. In US, I have some luck with
ftp://ftp.sunsite.utk.edu and ftp://ftp.cise.ufl.edu.
Although I have not tried too many other sites.
After you have selected a download site, you will see
a Select Packages page. The first item in the
windows should be All, followed by a circular icon
with arrows on it, followed by Default. If you
click on the circular icon once and wait about 30
seconds (be patient), all the Default on
this page will change to Install. You can click
on the Next button to download the entire cygwin
package. This can take a while. The progress bar will
show you how much work is left. After downloading
everything, close the cygwin setup.exe application.
Click on the cygwin setup.exe program on your desktop again.
Choose Install from Local Directory. Do not change the
Default Text File Type. Click on the Browse button
when it asks for the Local Package Directory. Select the
directory where you have downloaded the whole cygwin package.
It takes a while to verify that everything you have downloaded
have the correct checksum. Then it will bring you to the
Select Packages page.
Again, click on the circular icon right next to All once
and all the Default will change to Install. Before
you click on the Next button, close all other applications
and utilities in your system tray (especially any virus checker and
even Windows XP's Security Center). If you don't turn these off,
cygwin installation may fail. Click on the Next button and
it will install everything. This may take over an hour.
After all the packages have been installed, the setup program
runs a post-install program which can take quite a while (15 minutes).
Be patient and wait for it to finish. If it's been over half an
hour since you've seen the post-installation program starts, it
may be the case that post-installation has failed.
If cygwin installation fails, you can try to close more applications
and repeat the procedure here. If this still cannot work, then
you may have to select only the packages that did not install
properly in the Select Packages page. I'm not sure if this
works and this is beyond the scope of this web page.
Start a command window by clicking on a cygwin icon on your
desktop. The icon looks exactly like the cygwin setup icon.
It's kind of look like X term, but you are not running X yet.
In order to run X, you need the following setup files.
In order to run X Window System, you need an .xinitrc
file to startup X. I use fvwm2 as my window manager
and it needs a .fvwm2rc configuration file. I also
use a .Xdefaults file to setup stuff like colors and
locations of windows. Here is what I use:
After all the above is setup, you can start the X server by
entering the following in the cygwin command window:
mouse clicks on desktop background:
- <Meta><Shift>Btn1 - Utilities menu
- <Meta><Shift>Btn2 - WindowOps menu
- <Meta><Shift>Btn3 - WindowList menu
mouse clicks anywhere:
- <Meta><Cntrl>Btn1 - Quit-Verify menu
- <Meta><Shift>Btn1 - WindowOps menu
- <Meta><Shift>Btn2 - Shells menu
- <Meta><Shift>Btn3 - Utilities menu
mouse clicks inside a window:
- <Meta>Btn1 - RaiseLower window
- <Meta>Btn2 - Iconify window
- <Meta><Cntrl>Btn2 - Move window
- <Meta><Cntrl>Btn3 - Resize window
xinit -- -fullscreen -emulate3buttons
You can add an alias for the above command in your ~/.bash_profile
file. For example, adding the following will alias xs
to be the command above to start the X server:
alias xs="xinit -- -fullscreen -emulate3buttons"
To quit the X server, you can press <Alt><F4> or
<Cntrl><Alt><Backspace>. You can also
use <Alt><Tab> to switch between X and other Windows
You may also want to set an alias for ssh:
alias ssh="ssh -X"