It's an unfortunate artifact of history that Microsoft Windows users have no real command line interface with their operating system. COMMAND.COM and Cmd.exe are pitiful excuses for shells that give users just enough power to be dangerous, but not enough power or flexibility to be useful. If you've ever tried to make batch files do anything useful then you've probably asked yourself how Microsoft can get away with something that is this humiliating. Of course, they want people using the fancy-schmancy GUIs and point-and-click interfaces.
You don't have to sit back and take it! Yes, Virginia, there is a set of useful command line tools for Microsoft Windows. The cygwin project is devoted to porting standard and useful GNU and Linux programs to Microsoft Windows. All of the standard UNIX style commands are available: [[LinuxShellCommandsGREP|grep]], awk, sed, vi, less, X11, ls, gcc, python, perl, tcl/tk. Everything can be run from the cygwin command line which is a port of the powerful bash shell program. Finally, Microsoft Windows users can write command lines that use real ?stream redirection! Finally you can use real environment variable substitution! You can write useful shell scripts with real control structures and real comments.
It's a beautiful thing!
The Cygwin Homepage
last edited (December 18, 2003) by DavidWhitten
Back to the page