a collection of tools which provide a Linux look and feel environment for Windows.
a DLL (cygwin1.dll) which acts as a Linux API layer providing substantial Linux API functionality.
Cygwin is not:
a way to run native Linux apps on Windows. You must rebuild your application from source if you want it to run on Windows.
a way to magically make native Windows apps aware of UNIX® functionality like signals, ptys, etc. Again, you need to build your apps from source if you want to take advantage of Cygwin functionality."
'via Blog this'
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