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Re: Cygwin setup - warning

From: Philip Nienhuis
Subject: Re: Cygwin setup - warning
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2002 08:02:41 -0500

Tune Kamae <address@hidden> wrote:
> I downloaded windows binary exe and installed into my Win2k.
> I found out that the setup I had for Cygwin has been changed:
> home directory, bashrc and profile?, etc.   I can not restore
> the old setup I had, ie. 
> 1) in Cygwin, /usr, /etc, /tmp and /home are not recognized
>     as such and have to give paths relative to cygwindrive.
> 2) the profile in /etc is not read in,
> 3) .bashrc in /home/myname is not read in.
> I uninstalled Octave but these changes are not restored
> to the original.
> Do you know how I can adjust these?  I have only a year
> of experience with Cygwin but know a little about linux.

Dear Tune Kamae:

AFAIK there is little you can do to restore your previous Cygwin
installation, unless you are ready for a little bit of Windows hacking.
Because the windows binary exe you have installed included a new Cygwin,
it wiped out the Windows registry keys pertaining to your old Cygwin
installation and replaced them by new ones. Now that you uninstalled
octave, and thus implicitly also installed the new Cygwin incl. registry
keys, all of Cygwin is rendered useless.
If you are lucky, you might restore the old Cygwin by manually keying in
the wiped out registry keys, but that is a risky business. If you want
to give it a try, mail me privately (e-mail address in the header).
You'd done better if you would have installed a binary Cygwin distro
from e.g. Andy Adler. See the Octave-Windows web page for details: 
BTW The Octave-Windows web page does contain a warning for your problem,
unfortunately not for the latest windows binary.

To Cygwin windows binary developers:

I think this demonstrates clearly that it would be a Good Idea to make
the newly released Octave-Windows binary (and for that matter, all such
binaries) check for an existing Cygwin installation (targeted at the
existence of certain Windows registry keys, as these are the vulnerable
Then, if an existing Cygwin is found, either:
- a warning message should pop up saying that the existing Cygwin is
about to be wiped out, offering an option to cancel the installation, or
- (IMO superior) the octave installation should be adapted such that
octave will be installed into the existing Cygwin, probably after some
checking whether existing Cygwin components are sufficiently up-to-date.

The IMO absolutely minimal option would be to just mention in the first
installer screens, w/o any further checking, that an existing Cygwin
installation is at risk to be wiped out.

Philip Nienhuis

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