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Creating a UNIX-like Environment on Microsoft Windows: Step by Step
Overview   |   Shell   |   Console   |   CYGWIN   |   Applications   |   Utilities   |   Links

You might be puzzled at the title here: why would you want to turn your windows machine into a UNIX-like environment? If you want a UNIX-like environment, go use Linux, Solaris, HP-UX... why go backwards?

The reason is quite simple: no single Operating System is perfect, each one has its good points and downfalls. UNIX is stable, efficient, suitable for a developing platform and for work; while Windows is unstable, wasteful and lousy in that aspect. On the other hand, UNIX is boring, lacking in Multimedia support; while Windows is flashy, fun and easy to use. Sometimes we want to do serious work, and sometimes we just want to have fun, so we want to have our cake and eat it.

There are several steps involved in making your Windows machine looking/working like a UNIX environment, and I will walk you through all of them, step by step. I am assuming that you are familiar with all the basic concepts/operations with Windows. I am also assuming that you know how to use the regedit.exe utility to modify the Windows registry, how to edit the autoexec.bat file or modify the environment variables in WinNT. If you don't, you can either ask somebody (for example, me) or just learn how to do it by yourself, it's really not very difficult.

Finally, one more word before we start: if you REALLY like to work in a pure-UNIX environment, go for the real thing and install Linux! Either RedHat or Debian is a good choice.

Now, let's start with step 1: configuring your Windows shell.