Cygwin provides the Linux feeling on Windows. With Cygwin, you can get a sizable Linux collection of GNU and Open Source tools including a terminal that supports POSIX interface on Windows.

Step 1)

Check whether your System type is 32 bit or 64 bit. If you have Windows 8 or 8.1, right click on This PC on your Desktop, then click on Properties. If you don’t have This PC on your Desktop, you can also use Windows’ search to look for “This PC“, then right click the icon, and click on Properties.

On the Properties of This PC, you can see the System Type underneath System category. For me, System type: 64-bit Operating System, x64-based processor. I have a 64 bit operating system.

Right Click on This PC, Click on Properties, and Look at your System type.


Step 2)

Go to

Select the blue linked executable setup based on your system type of Step 1. Download will start automatically after clicking on one of the blue executable setup links.

Click on the executable setup based on your System type. Download starts automatically.


Step 3)

Open the executable Cygwin setup file. Run the set-up as normal. Click on Next on the Cygwin Setup screen.

When choosing Installation Type, select Install from Internet (default). Click Next.

When choosing the Installation Directory, you can leave the root directory by default, which will be C:\cygwin64 (64 bit). Install for all users. Click Next.

The Local Package Directory contains the setup installation files for packages that you wish Cygwin to have. Underneath Select Local Package Directory, the default is the directory where you have the setup executable.

You can leave this by default.

For Setup your Internet Connection, use Direct Connection for your Internet Connection if you’re using wi-fi or ethernet. Click next.

Choose a Download Site. Select any of the download sites. Click Next.

Cygwin Setup


Step 4)

You’ll now be at Cygwin Setup – Select Packages. From here, you can search for packages that you wish Cygwin to have. The ones that I recommend are:

For each of these packages, they belong to categories. Search for a package. Click on the + next to a category to expand the contents of the search. Click on the circle twirl with the arrows to select the most up-to-date version of that package. Package names are on the right with a short description of that package.

Example of selecting the latest version of nano to install.


Step 5)

After selecting a version to install for all your packages, you can click the next button at the bottom right of the setup screen. At the Resolving Dependencies screen, make sure that the checkbox that says Select required packages (RECOMMENDED) is checked. Click Next. The download and installation of your desired packages will commence.

Resolving Dependencies.


Step 6)

After you finish the download and installation, you can check Create an icon on Desktop. Click Finish. You’ll find a program called Cygwin64 Terminal on your desktop. Open the program. Cygwin is installed.

Installation of packages has finished. Finish.

When you open Cygwin for the first time, Cygwin initializes.


Step 7)

You can also add the Cygwin packages and POSIX interface for the Windows command prompt. In other words, you can make the command prompt act like the terminal in Linux.

Right click on “This PC” and click Properties if it’s on the Desktop. Also, you can use Windows’ search for “This PC” and right click, then click on Properties.

Click on Advanced System Settings in this Properties window.

In the System Properties that pops up, click on Environment Variables, which will be within the Advanced tab. Inside Environment Variables, look underneath the System variables section. Scroll through and look for the Variable with the name Path. Click on that line. Click on the Edit button underneath. For 64 bit, add a “;C:\cygwin64\bin;” to the end of the Variable value line. This allows the command prompt to work with Cygwin’s directory path to the Cygwin’s bin folder and utilize Cygwin’s packages and POSIX interface. Click OK for each of the three windows to save this setting.

Cygwin’s path variable to work with the command prompt.


Step 8)

Open a command prompt. You can use Windows’ search and search for command prompt or cmd. Click on command prompt, and a command prompt black box will open. You will have all the functionality of Cygwin within the command prompt. You can choose to use either Cygwin or a command prompt to use the linux tools or POSIX interface.

Displaying SSH on a Windows command prompt.