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Gow - The lightweight alternative to Cygwin

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Author: Brent R. Matzelle


Gow (Gnu On Windows) is the lightweight alternative to Cygwin. It uses a convenient Windows installer that installs about 130 extremely useful open source UNIX applications compiled as native win32 binaries. It is designed to be as small as possible, about 10 MB, as opposed to Cygwin which can run well over 100 MB depending upon options.

Here are a couple quotes from happy Gow users:

"Gow is one of the few things that makes Windows bearable/usable"

"I use Gow constantly. It's awesome."

"I just wanted to let you know that the GOW Suite is simply great - it is far lighter than the Cygwin tool, and is extremely useful. "


  • Ultra light: Small, light subset (about 10 MB) of very useful UNIX binaries that do not have decent installers.
  • Shell window from any directory: Adds a Windows Explorer shell window so that you can right-click on any directory and open a command (cmd.exe) window from that directory.
  • Simple install/remove: Easy to install and remove, all files contained in a single directory in a standard C:\Program Files path.
  • Included in PATH: All binaries are conveniently installed into the Windows PATH so they are accessible from a command-line window.
  • Stable binaries: All commands are kept up to date but also as stable as possible.



Please submit feedback via the Gow issue tracker

Thank you for trying Gow!

Copyright (c) 2006 - 2014 Brent R. Matzelle