Install GnuWin32 tools on Windows

Being a geek that uses many OS’s you always run into instances that you think, that would be great if I could do that on Windows, Linux or OSX.

The command line tools available with Linux are very handy and Windows is starting to get there with each release of Powershell, but personally I want them now and that is possible with several tools available. One such tool is GnuWin32.

The GnuWin project provides Win32-versions of GNU tools, or tools with a similar open source license. The ports are native ports, that is they rely only on libraries provided with any standard 32-bits MS-Windows operating system. Unlike CygWin or Msys, native ports do not rely on some kind of Unix emulation, so that there is no need to install additional emulation libraries. At present, all developments have been done under MS-Windows-XP, using the Mingw port of the GNU C and C++ (GCC) compilers. Utilities and libraries provided by GnuWin, are used and distributed with packages such as GNU Emacs and KDE-Windows.

SO let’s get started and download GetGnuWin32-0.6.3.exe and double-click to extract it to a folder on your system. Once you have it extracted open a command prompt and navigate to the extracted location and run download.bat. The process will connect and download all the GnuWin32 packages available and download them to the directory. You will be prompted several times and should accept the defaults.

Now lets install what has just been downloaded. While still at the command prompt type:

c:\Downloads\GetGnuWin32\> install c:\gnuwin32

This will install all the downloaded packages to c:\gnuwin32. I recommend using this directory for the main reason if you install under C:\Program Files you can be faced with NTFS permissions that will possibly inhibit proper operation. Be patient as this will take awhile to complete.

Now you are ready to use the tools, but there is one issue. If you type the command and not be in the c:\gnuwin32\bin directory or specify it in the command line you will get a command not found error. You can remedy this by adding c:\gnuwin32 to the path.

  • From the desktop, right-click My Computer and click Properties.
  • In the System Properties window, click on the Advanced tab.
  • In the Advanced section, click the Environment Variables button.
  • Finally, in the Environment Variables window (as shown below), highlight the Path variable in the Systems Variable section and click the Edit button. Add or modify the path lines with the paths you wish the computer to access. Each different directory is separated with a semicolon as shown below.

C:\Program Files;C:\gnuwin32\bin

Now test it by typing any one of the many commands at your disposal!!!


6 Responses to “Install GnuWin32 tools on Windows”

  1. Rico says:

    Thanks for sharing the tip! -I’m looking forward to use GZIP in along with batch scripts to manage the server farm’s ever expanding logs.

  2. Aggie says:

    Thanks for the installation help. I needed to update my path. –Aggie

  3. Jean Pablo says:

    Man, I really have to thank you!

  4. Thank you for the clear instructions!

  5. aya says:

    Thank you.
    This is the only one detailed tutorial I found.

  6. Twobob says:

    Excellent help.

    Much obliged. 🙂

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