Cygwin Gnome 1.4 Binary Packages

Running Gnome


Quick start for those impatient

  1. Install package startgnome.
  2. Click the Cygwin GNOME icon on your Windows desktop or Start Menu.
    Issue command startgnome within the bash shell.

Environment Setttings

Cygwin GNOME need some environment variables to work. First of all, we need to add /opt/gnome/bin to PATH.

You can add the following lines to your ~/.bash_profile or /etc/profile.  A script named /etc/profile.d/ is a good place to setup environment variables.


Note that cygwin texinfo expects INFOPATH to be seperated by semicolon ( ;, at least 4.1-1 which I'm using), while other applications expect colon( :).
KDEDIR is required only if you installed KDE and want to see a KDE menu in GNOME Panel menus.

Start the GNOME desktop manually

  1. Make sure /opt/gnome/bin (and /usr/X11R6/bin) is already included in your $PATH.
  2. Edit your ~/.xinitrc (if there isn’t, create one), add ‘exec /opt/gnome/bin/gnome-session’ as the last line. Make sure you didn’t call any window manager in it.
  3. Issue command ‘startx’ at the command line and pray (don't forget this :-)
When the X server starts, you'll see the welcome splash of GNOME, and it shows the progress at bottom. The GNOME session manager would start the File Manager, WindowManager, set up some settings (such as sound, desktop) and then launch the GNOME panel.

Start a GTK+/GNOME application

  1. Start your X server.
  2. Set DISPLAY variable if you intend to start the application outside from the X server.
  3. Make sure /opt/gnome/bin (and /usr/X11R6/bin) is already included in your $PATH.
  4. Start the application, for example
    $ sylpheed
Most Win32 X server (such as WinaXe, Exceed, etc) allows you choose Windows itself as the window manager, and create each top-level X window as a Windows window. Thus you can switch tasks with the Windows taskbar or Alt+Tab. This perhaps would make you feel the X application is more integrated with Windows.

Newer Cygwin/XFree86 X server (4.2.0-25 or above) also has this feature, but still in experimantal state (when writing this doc). Try invokeing X server with the "-multiwindow" option.

The WM+Panel mode

Note that Cygwin GNOME couldn't run very fast , as other Cygwin applications do, especially the GUI displays a bit slowly. Or you may don't like the Sawfish window manager or the GUI version of Midnight Commander file manager. In these cases,  maybe the WM+Panel model is sufficient. In this way, edit your ~/.xinitrc to make it look like this (WindowMaker is used here as window manager):
/usr/X11R6/bin/xwinclip &
/usr/local/bin/windowmaker &

See also: Using WindowMaker with Cygwin GNOME

Package startgnome

Steven O'Brien also wrote a script called startgnome to make it easier to start a gnome session on cygwin, in his Cygwin GNOME patches site. It includes a shell script and a DOS bat ch file. The shell script startgnome is designed to be run from a cygwin command line: it uses xinit to start the X server and gnome-session , and the batch file startgnome.bat is designed to be invoked from a desktop shortcut. Refer his homepage   for detailed information about startgnome.

And we add some useful functions to this package:

Download it [FIXME] here.

Note: you should install it via Cygwin setup, otherwise you need to execute the postinstall script by hand in order to have a desktop icon.

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