# Cygwin

Cygwin is a free UNIX -like environment for Windows that enables you to natively compile just about any UNIX package you might need (except some things requiring raw device access and a few specific network calls).

It’s not an emulator, but a set of libraries that provides a POSIX-like layer over Win32.

I’ve been using it for many years now, and it provides me with rxvt, bash, SSH, mutt, vim (emacs is there too, if that’s your thing), perl and an increasingly useful X server. I can recompile just about anything on it (it’s pretty much the same as porting to a slightly different variant of Linux or BSD), and most of the dozens of packages I use daily are trivial recompiles.

In terms of real compatibility, it knocked the spots off Interix (rebranded Services For Unix until it faded away into obscurity) and any other commercial alternative. It is also very stable (provided you know what you are doing and keep track of core package revisions).

RedHat also used to provide a commercially supported version that seems to have faded into the mists of time.

### Resources:

Oct wsltty A version of mintty that work with the Windows Subsystem for Linux