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?

  • 4
    You can find out which Cygwin packages provide which files and programs at cygwin.com/packages
    – Mikel
    May 18, 2012 at 15:26

4 Answers 4


There is watch in cygwin. But it isn't installed by default. You need to install procps-ng 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.

  • 1
    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, 2014 at 8:04
  • 1
    @robert, it is a placeholder.
    – rush
    Aug 20, 2014 at 19:20

watch is included in procps-ng, so you should install the procps-ng package for Cygwin.


Apparently procps is outdated, watch can now be found in the procps-ng package.


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

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