Jun 21 2005

cygwin bad, mingw and msys good

Several times in my Windows life I've wanted to compile open-source stuff. Of course, every idiot knows that the de facto tool for doing this is Cygwin, a truly awful port of a Unix-like environment. Considering that all one wants is a basic C compiler and linker, and some basic shell stuff, one wouldn't think that a minimum 125 megabyte installation would be required. But apparently they think it is.

Many projects today need MinGW installed under cygwin to compile. But the fact is that you don't need the middle man. MinGW can be installed from here. After this is installed somewhere sensible (like c:\mingw) one can then also install MSYS (here) and use a unix-like shell to compile stuff.

And it even works.

I tried compiling the latest CVS source of gaim under cygwin. I followed all the instructions on the gaim website. It didn't work: kept spouting unhelpful errors. With MinGW under MSYS the compilation went flawlessly.

So, next time you come up with something you want to compile, give it a whirl.

1 comment

  1. Jessica

    Or get a Mac running OS X; it's all built in, without all the unpleasantness of Linux

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