Cygwin Alternatives

    Cygwin is described as 'Unix-like environment and command-line interface for Microsoft Windows. Cygwin provides native integration of Windows-based applications, data, and other system resources with applications, software tools, and data of the Unix-like environment' and is a well-known app in the OS & Utilities category. There are more than 25 alternatives to Cygwin for a variety of platforms, including Windows, Linux, Mac, BSD and Android. The best alternative is MinGW, which is both free and Open Source. Other great apps like Cygwin are Termux (Free, Open Source), MSYS2 (Free, Open Source), BusyBox (Free, Open Source) and Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) (Free).

    This page was last updated Sep 9, 2021

    1. MinGW ("Minimalistic GNU for Windows") is a port of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) and GNU Binutils.
      No screenshots yet
      MinGW vs Cygwin opinions
      pros, cons and recent comments
      more integrated with Windows
      Positive comment over 2 years ago

      • FreeOpen Source
      • Android
      • Android Tablet
      • F-Droid
      • zsh
      • Bash
      Ready to go. Termux works directly with no rooting or setup required. At first start a minimal base system is installed automatically - you decide what to do next.
      Termux vs Cygwin opinions
      Some users think Termux is a great alternative to Cygwin, some don't.
      Because it's completely different
      Negative comment 18 days ago

      A terminal emulator and Unix environment bringing powerful terminal access to your Android-powered devices. **Android is already an os based on linux kernel. Moreover Termux is for Android/Linux whereas, CygWin is for Windows. ** Inabilities due to supporting the same platform, **Termux is not even an alternative to Cygwin.**
      Negative comment almost 2 years ago

      Great mobility and UNIX like environment.
      Positive comment about 2 years ago


    2. MSYS2 is an independent rewrite of MSYS, based on modern Cygwin (POSIX compatibility layer) and MinGW-w64 with the aim of better interoperability with native Windows software.
      MSYS2 vs Cygwin opinions
      Almost everyone thinks MSYS2 is a great alternative to Cygwin.
      Because it's based on MSYS (which is based on modern CygWin and MinGW-w64), also it has a nice package manager.
      Positive comment almost 2 years ago

      It's fundamentally the same thing
      Positive comment about 2 years ago

      Forked from Cygwin with a nice package manager
      Positive comment over 4 years ago

    3. BusyBox is a single binary that provides several stripped-down Unix tools in a single executable. It runs in a variety of POSIX environments such as Linux, Android, FreeBSD and others. It was specifically created for embedded operating systems with very limited resources.
    4. The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is a new Windows 10 feature that enables you to run native Linux command-line tools directly on Windows, alongside your traditional Windows desktop and modern store apps.
      No screenshots yet

      • FreeOpen Source
      • Windows
      • Linux
      • BSD
      The project's goal is to deliver runtime, headers, and libs for developing 64 bit (x64), as well as 32 bit (x86), windows applications using gcc-4.4 or newer versions. It can be considered as a folk of MinGW(32)
      No screenshots yet
      • FreeOpen Source
      • Windows
      • Git
      • Cygwin
      • zsh
      Would you like to use a linux-like console on a Windows host without a lot of fuzz? Try out babun!


      The project seems to be no longer developed. Last version, 1.2.0, released in July 2015, can be still downloaded from GitHub

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      Babun vs Cygwin opinions
      Almost everyone thinks Babun is a great alternative to Cygwin.
      yphastos Much easier setup than Cygwin, with most of what you'll need.
      Positive comment about 4 years ago

    5. Command Prompt, also known as cmd.exe or cmd (after its executable file name), is the command-line interpreter on Windows NT, Windows CE, OS/2 and eComStation operating systems. It is the counterpart of COMMAND.
      Windows Command Prompt vs Cygwin opinions
      This alternative is disputed. Windows Command Prompt is still a legitimate alternative to Cygwin, but it might have issues that some users think are important.
      Cygwin was brought out because of the shortcomings of the WCP as a shell ! In WCP (unlike PowerShell), the user is stuck with unitary command execution, and has none of the combinatorial power of the infamous shell (sh or bash)
      Negative comment over 4 years ago

      Does not support any GNU/Unix commands.
      Negative comment almost 4 years ago

      • FreeOpen Source
      • Windows
      Gow (Gnu On Windows) is the lightweight alternative to Cygwin. It uses a convenient Windows installer that installs about 130 extremely useful open source UNIX applications compiled as native win32 binaries.


      No activity for over a year.

    6. TCC/LE is a complete CMD replacement, and is compatible with your existing Windows command prompt and CMD batch files, while adding thousands of new features.
    Showing 10 of 28 alternatives