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  1. What is it?
  2. Features
  3. Installation
    1. Customizing the installer
  4. Update
  5. License

What is it?

cygwin-portable-installer is a self-containing Windows batch file to perform an unattended installation of a portable Cygwin environment.

The installer has been implemented as a Batch script and not PowerShell script because in some corporate environments execution of PowerShell scripts is disabled for non-administrative users via group policies.

Tabbed Terminal


  • portable: you can e.g. install it on an USB sticks and use the same configuration on different computers
  • 256-color multi-tabbed shell: ConEmu is pre-configured as terminal by default. Alternatively you can choose to use the single tabbed Mintty terminal.
  • command-line package installer: apt-cyg package manager will be automatically installed (opt-out via config parameter is possible)
  • adaptive Bash prompt: bash-funk will be automatically installed (opt-out via config parameter is possible)
  • winpty will be automatically installed (opt-out via config parameter is possible)
  • additional optional tools (opt-in via config parameter):
    • Ansible: deployment automation tool
    • AWS CLI: AWS cloud command-line tool
    • Node.js: JavaScript runtime
    • command line tool to check SSL/TLS configurations of servers


  1. Get a copy of the installer using one of these ways:
    • Using old-school Copy & Paste:
      1. Create a local empty directory where Cygwin shall be installed, e.g. C:\apps\cygwin-portable
      2. Download the cygwin-portable-installer.cmd file into that directory.
    • Using Git:
      1. Clone the project into a local directory, e.g.
        git clone --single-branch --branch master --depth 1 C:\apps\cygwin-portable
  2. (Optional) Open the file cygwin-portable-installer.cmd in a text editor and adjust the configuration variables to e.g. set an HTTP Proxy, change the set of pre-installed Cygwin packages, select the terminal (ConEmu or Mintty), etc.
  3. (Optional) Temporarily disable your Antivirus scanner in case it is known to interfere with Cygwin, otherwise you may end-up with a broken/incomplete installation. See What applications have been found to interfere with Cygwin?
    • For BitDefender Antivirus the Advanced Thread Defense protection feature needs to be disabled and not the Antivirus > Settings > BitDefender Shield.
  4. Execute the cygwin-portable-installer.cmd. This will automatically:
    1. download the 32-bit or 64-bit Cygwin setup.exe depending on your OS
    2. install Cygwin with the pre-selected set of packages
    3. install the ConEmu tabbed terminal
    4. create an init scripts that will keep the installation portable
    5. install the apt-cyg command-line package manager
    6. install the bash-funk Bash toolbox with it's adaptive Bash prompt
    7. install winpty
    8. install optional tools:
      1. Ansible
      2. AWS CLI
      3. Node.js
  5. Now you can launch your portable Cygwin environment using the newly created cygwin-portable.cmd batch file. Launch Script

Customizing the installer

You can customize the installer by either directly modifying the default settings in the cygwin-portable-installer.cmd file, or by placing a separate file called cygwin-portable-installer-config.cmd next to it where some or all of these settings are overwritten.

These settings are currently available:

:: set proxy if required (unfortunately Cygwin setup.exe does not have commandline options to specify proxy user credentials)
set PROXY_PORT=8080

:: change the URL to the closest mirror

:: one of: auto,64,32 - specifies if 32 or 64 bit version should be installed or automatically detected based on current OS architecture
set CYGWIN_ARCH=auto

:: choose a user name under Cygwin

:: select the packages to be installed automatically via apt-cyg
set CYGWIN_PACKAGES=bash-completion,bc,bzip,coreutils,curl,dos2unix,expect,git,git-svn,gnupg,inetutils,jq,lz4,mc,nc,openssh,openssl,perl,psmisc,python37,pv,rsync,ssh-pageant,screen,subversion,unzip,vim,wget,zip,zstd

:: if set to 'yes' the local package cache created by cygwin setup will be deleted after installation/update

:: if set to 'yes' the apt-cyg command line package manager ( will be installed automatically

:: if set to 'yes' the bash-funk adaptive Bash prompt ( will be installed automatically

:: if set to 'yes' Node.js ( will be installed automatically
:: Use of the folder names found here as version name.
set NODEJS_VERSION=latest-v14.x
:: one of: auto,64,32 - specifies if 32 or 64 bit version should be installed or automatically detected based on current OS architecture
set NODEJS_ARCH=auto

:: if set to 'yes' Ansible ( will be installed automatically
set ANSIBLE_GIT_BRANCH=stable-2.10

:: if set to 'yes' AWS CLI ( will be installed automatically

:: if set to 'yes' ( will be installed automatically
:: name of the GIT branch to install from, see

:: use ConEmu based tabbed terminal instead of Mintty based single window terminal, see
set CON_EMU_OPTIONS=-Title cygwin-portable ^

:: if set to 'yes' the winpty ( will be installed automatically

:: add more path if required, but at the cost of runtime performance (e.g. slower forks)
set CYGWIN_PATH=%%SystemRoot%%\system32;%%SystemRoot%%

:: set Mintty options, see
set MINTTY_OPTIONS=--Title cygwin-portable ^
  -o Columns=160 ^
  -o Rows=50 ^
  -o BellType=0 ^
  -o ClicksPlaceCursor=yes ^
  -o CursorBlinks=yes ^
  -o CursorColour=96,96,255 ^
  -o CursorType=Block ^
  -o CopyOnSelect=yes ^
  -o RightClickAction=Paste ^
  -o Font="Courier New" ^
  -o FontHeight=10 ^
  -o FontSmoothing=None ^
  -o ScrollbackLines=10000 ^
  -o Transparency=off ^
  -o Term=xterm-256color ^
  -o Charset=UTF-8 ^
  -o Locale=C

Executing commands after installation

When you place a separate cygwin-portable-installer-post-tasks.cmd file next to the cygwin-portable-installer.cmd it will be executed automatically after the installation suceeded. You can use this file to perform additional configurations.

Updating your installation

To update installed Cygwin packages execute the generated cygwin-portable-updater.cmd file.


All files are released under the Apache License 2.0.

Individual files contain the following tag instead of the full license text:

SPDX-License-Identifier: Apache-2.0

This enables machine processing of license information based on the SPDX License Identifiers that are available here:

Cygwin Portable Installer

Windows batch file to perform unattended installations of a portable Cygwin environment.

Cygwin Portable Installer Info

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🕒 Last Update 4 months ago
🕒 Created 5 years ago
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😎 Author vegardit