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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 very popular app in the os & utilities category. There are more than 25 alternatives to Cygwin for a variety of platforms, including Windows, Linux, BSD, Mac and zsh. The best alternative is Windows Terminal, which is both free and Open Source. Other great apps like Cygwin are Termux, Alacritty, MinGW and MSYS2.

Cygwin alternatives are mainly Terminal Emulators but may also be Shells or Linux Distros. Filter by these if you want a narrower list of alternatives or looking for a specific functionality of Cygwin.
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Cygwin iconCygwin
  215
  • FreeOpen Source
  • Windows

Cygwin is a Unix-like environment and command-line interface for Microsoft Windows. Cygwin provides native integration of...

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  1. Windows Terminal is a new, modern, feature-rich, productive terminal application for command-line users.

    ⚫︎ Command line interfaceWindows Terminal either have CLI support or is a CLI-only app.
    ⚫︎ CustomizableWindows Terminal is easy to customize with themes or similar features.
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    White and dark theme showcase
  2. Termux icon

    Termux

    • 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.

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    htop running natively
    Termux vs Cygwin opinions
    Some users think Termux is a great alternative to Cygwin, some don't.

    Because it's completely different

    Negative comment ago
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    Great mobility and UNIX like environment.

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    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 ago
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  3. Alacritty icon

    Alacritty

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • BSD

    Alacritty is a blazing fast, GPU accelerated terminal emulator. It’s written in Rust and uses OpenGL for rendering to be the fastest terminal emulator available. Alacritty is available on GitHub in source form.

    ⚫︎ LightweightAlacritty consumes less device resources compared to similar apps.
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  4. MinGW icon

    MinGW

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • BSD

    MinGW ("Minimalistic GNU for Windows") is a port of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) and GNU Binutils.

    ⚫︎ PortableMinGW can be used from a USB stick or similar with no prior installation.
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    Installation Manager
    MinGW vs Cygwin opinions
    pros, cons and recent comments

    more integrated with Windows

    Positive comment ago
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    0
  5. MSYS2 icon

    MSYS2

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Windows

    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.

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    MSYS2 vs Cygwin opinions
    Almost everyone thinks MSYS2 is a great alternative to Cygwin.

    Forked from Cygwin with a nice package manager

    Positive comment ago
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    Because it's based on MSYS (which is based on modern CygWin and MinGW-w64), also it has a nice package manager.

    Positive comment ago
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    It's fundamentally the same thing

    Positive comment ago
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  6. BusyBox icon

    BusyBox

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Linux
    • Android
    • BSD

    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.

    ⚫︎ Command line interfaceBusyBox either have CLI support or is a CLI-only app.
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  7. Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

    • FreeProprietary
    • Windows

    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.

    ⚫︎ Command line interfaceWindows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) either have CLI support or is a CLI-only app.
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  8. MinGW-w64

    • 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.

    ⚫︎ PortableMinGW-w64 can be used from a USB stick or similar with no prior installation.
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  9. Babun icon

    Babun

    • 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!

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    Discontinued

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

    Includes Vim with color highlighting.
    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 ago
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  10. iSH icon

    iSH

    • FreeOpen Source
    • iPhone
    • iPad

    A project to get a Linux shell running on iOS, using usermode x86 emulation and syscall translation.

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Showing 10 of 30 alternatives