Some notes on setting up Cygwin

Updated December 2006


If you find this page, you should know that I am far from being a unix expert!  The programmers I work with would find it highly amusing if I offered advice on anything having to do with setting up a computer.  This page is more for me to keep track of what I've done rather than to offer a brilliant template for others, but you're welcome to see what I've done.  I also strongly suggest looking at this page, which is written by someone who knows what he or she is doing instead of someone who is bumbling along.  But even bumblers can get Cygwin going pretty quickly -- the program's authors have made everything pretty painless.

Installation preliminaries

What I installed  

Path work

Starting the X-Windows manager

(the display must still be set properly and the script must be executable, of course).  In addition to changing the script to bring up Window Maker with the clipboard enabled between Cygwin and Windows, I added some of the preamble from the startx script which seems to solve some compatibility problems that xdvi has with ghostscript.  With this change xdvi shows embedded postscript figures and not just the bounding box outline.

Setups for ssh and scp

ssh and scp work fine but benefit by the manual creation of a directory \home\Administrator to put the .ssh information to keep track of known hosts.  They work fine without, but ask each time if you trust the host, so creating the directory simplifies things.

As mentioned above, the explicit -X option is necessary if you want a remote session to pop up X-windows in an ssh session:
ssh -X user@host.  -Y may work here if -X causes errors.
It's also necessary to type xhost + at the local prompt to let the remote system write to the local screen.  This + lets the whole world write to your screen if they want, so if you are worried that someone may send things to your screen you can be more specific; see the man pages. 

Initialization files

For an XP installation, here are my personalized versions of:

emacs for both XP and Cygwin

I like the gnu emacs port for windows a lot and keep that as my default text editor in Windows.  To get the aspell spelling program running on  XP and Cygwin:

Setting up LaTeX with other packages

A very useful set of references for installing packages under LaTeX are the pages connected with AASTeX, especially the installation part of their FAQ.  This also explains some of the other uses of texconfig

Notes on rsync

To rsync to another disk, for instance disk e: (easy to see which are available with the df command): 
  rsync -avu --delete sourcedir/ /cygwin/e/destdir/
This command removes files that have been removed from the source directory but will not overwrite newer files in the destination, 

To rsync to another system with ssh over the net: 
  rsync -avu --delete -e ssh sourcedir/ username@machine:~/destdir/

To avoid typing passwords for each network transfer:

Questions or comments?  Please contact Andrew Harris.