Cygwin32: A Free UNIX Porting Layer for Win32


Cygwin32 is a full-featured Win32 porting layer for UNIX applications, compatible with all Win32 hosts (currently Microsoft Windows NT, Windows 95, and Windows 98). It was invented in 1995 by Cygnus Solutions as part of the answer to the question of how to port the GNU development tools to the Win32 host.

The Win32-hosted GNUPro compiler tools that use the library are available for a variety of embedded processors as well as a native version for writing Win32 programs. By basing this technology on the GNU tools, Cygnus provides developers with a high-performance, feature-rich 32-bit code development environment, including a graphical source-level debugger.

Cygwin32 is a Dynamic-Linked Library (DLL) that provides a large subset of the system calls found in common UNIX implementations. The current release includes all POSIX.1/90 calls except for setuid and mkfifo, all ANSI C standard calls, and many common BSD and SVR4 services including Berkeley sockets.

This article will discuss our experiences porting the GNU development tools to the Win32 host and explore the development and architecture of the Cygwin32 library.