Are there any command-line interface for Microsoft Windows other than cygwin. Currently, I am using cygwin but there are some commands that do not work as they are supposed to work on linux


3 Answers 3


I use Swan which is Cygwin, but is much more organised and behaves just like a Linux OS.

  • By "behaves just like a Linux OS" do you mean "has a GUI just like a Linux OS"? From the outside I can't see that Swan offers anything much more than that, and personally I don't really have a problem with Cygwin's command-line behaviour. Not complaining, just curious. Apr 12, 2017 at 16:18
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    @roaima Swan installs it self like a Linux System in C:\ProgramData\Swan which is mounted as root and the the users HOME folder is mounted at $USERNAME/AppData/Swan which cannot be accessed by other users (unless it's an admin) which is a really neat feature, almost like a Linux OS, I really recommend that you try Swan for yourself, it's not that big of a install Apr 12, 2017 at 18:41
  • +1 for swan. As a long time cygwin user (but my main OS is Unix/Linux), I appreciate that swan has a decent command-line interface to the cygwin package manager (and decent terminal, albeit as always w/ cygwin-on-windows, some gotchas & differences to work-around.) Kind of like babun used to do, before it was seemingly abandoned.
    – michael
    Aug 14, 2018 at 2:50
  • Swan appears to be dead. The website cannot be reached and there haven't been any commits to the project for the last eight years. Jan 19 at 10:56

You could use the Windows Subsystem for Linux instead; that solves a number of Cygwin’s issues.

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    The subsystem has its own set of problems but is great for command line only applications, I feel that Swan although the same Cygwin under the hood, is much better. Apr 12, 2017 at 14:24

If you are not content with Cygwin, you can try one of the following. These are more or less based on cygwin, but the behaviour and features are a bit different:

  • MSYS2. "At its core is an independent rewrite of MSYS, based on modern Cygwin (POSIX compatibility layer) and MinGW-w64 with the aim of better interoperability with native Windows software. It provides a bash shell, Autotools, revision control systems and the like for building native Windows applications using MinGW-w64 toolchains." - Unlike cygwin, this has built-in package manager pacman (like Arch Linux)

  • Git bash for windows - It supports rather basic commands, but it might be enough for you.

  • MobaXterm - basically an interface for Cygwin, but has it's own package manager and it's quite well integrated with Windows shell. It comes with X server, tabbed SSH and other tools. Full version is paid, but you can do quite many things with the basic version.

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