Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I installed Cygwin on my Windows XP to use some of its commands. Now I what to check a file every 2 minutes and want to use watch for this purpose but I see that Cygwin has no such command. Is this really true? what can I do instead?

share|improve this question
You can find out which Cygwin packages provide which files and programs at cygwin.com/packages – Mikel May 18 '12 at 15:26

There is watch in cygwin. But it isn't installed by default. You need to install procps package to appear watch. (you can run cygwin installer again and it allows to install only the missed packages without reinstalling the whole cygwin)

Instead of watch you can use simple cycle like:

while true ; do check file ; sleep 2 ; done

where check is your command of choice.

share|improve this answer
Is 'check' a command, or are you including it as a placeholder? I literally pasted this and I just got a sequence of -bash: check: command not found. The cygwin installer doesn't seem to know anything about it ... – robert Aug 20 '14 at 8:04
@robert, it is a placeholder. – rush Aug 20 '14 at 19:20

watch is in procps, so install 'procps' package.

share|improve this answer
That's exactly the package you need. Thx. – zero0 Jul 13 '14 at 15:05

Installed the ncurses package and then I get a clear screen on every run. Thank you rush.

I ran mine as

while true ; do clear; <command> <file> ; sleep 2 ; done

such as

while true ; do clear; grep ERROR server.log | tail -n 5 ; done
share|improve this answer

I wrote a command that emulates watch. I released it with source and compiled .exe file. You can find it here: http://www.garrettgalloway.com/index.php?p=projects&e=7

share|improve this answer

Apparently procps is outdated, watch can now be found in the procps-ng package.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.