This is the README.cygwin file from the genesis-2.3-src distribution

(Updated May 26, 2009)

Cygwin provides a UNIX-like environment for Windows that will let you run GENESIS and other UNIX programs that have been compiled to run under Cygwin. Go to, and look for the "Install Cygwin now" link. This will download a small setup.exe, which will let you choose what to install and then download it. For more information about selecting packages to install, use the link for "Help on setup.exe". For more information on Cygwin, see the Cygwin users guide at

GENESIS can be run under Windows with the Cygwin software installed. If you want to run GENESIS with GUI capabilities, the X windows package must be installed under Cygwin. The instructions below assume you want GUI capabilities. You should be able to run non-graphical GENESIS (nxgenesis.exe) with a standard Cygwin installation.

More information on installing and using X windows with Cygwin can be found in the Cygwin/X User's Guide at

Graphical GENESIS requires the following packages (and all their dependencies):

    Package             Cygwin Category
    -------             ---------------
    coreutils           Base*
    sed                 Base
    X-startup-scripts   X11
    xorg-x11-base       X11
    xterm               X11

*Recent versions of Cygwin roll textutils and fileutils into coreutils. If you have an older Cygwin, you may need to install these packages; they are in the Base category.

You will probably want to install a text editor for editing GENESIS simulation scripts or modifying configuration files. These are found in the Editors package category. Text files that are created by UNIX have a different End-Of-Line terminator than Windows text files. For that reason, it is best to use a UNIX editor instead of Windows Notepad for editing GENESIS files. If you are more familiar with Windows than UNIX, choose "nedit". This is an easy-to-use editor with built-in help that will be familiar to users of Windows Notepad. If you are a UNIX user, you may prefer to install emacs or vi (Vim).

In order to compile GENESIS you will also need the following packages (and all their dependencies):

    Package             Cygwin Category
    -------             ---------------
    gawk                Base
    grep                Base
    binutils            Development (probably selected with gcc-core)
    bison               Development
    flex                Development
    gcc-core            Development (this is just the C compiler)
    libncurses-devel    Development
    make                Development
    xorg-x11-devel      X11

1.1) Starting Cygwin with X windows

GENESIS must be started from an xterm window, not the Cygwin window.

Once you are done installing Cygwin, you can start Cygwin with X windows by using Windows Explorer to go to C:\cygwin\usr\X11R6\bin and double click on startxwin (startxwin.bat). This will start an X server, plus a terminal window (xterm) with a UNIX-like bash shell.

If a terminal window doesn't appear, try bringing up Cygwin without X windows by double clicking on the desktop Cygwin icon. Then, start Xwindows by typing "" in the Cygwin window. This will print a lot of diagnostics, but should start an X server and a terminal window (xterm). If you still don't get an xterm, examine the diagnostics which were printed to the Cygwin terminal to determine the cause of the failure. Some versions of Cygwin may not set the DISPLAY variable. You can check by typing "echo $DISPLAY". If it is not set, type "export DISPLAY=". Then try running "" again.

1.2) Directory (folder) names and paths in Cygwin

The notation used to refer to directories and paths to files in Cygwin is a little different than under the usual Windows environment. The "root" directory in Windows on the primary drive is C:, the names of directories (folders) are separated with backslashes, and spaces are allowed in file or directory names. UNIX and Cygwin use forward slashes. If a name contains a space (not generally done in UNIX), the space must be preceded by a backslash.

When you start up Cygwin, you are placed in your home directory, in a terminal window with a bash shell that accepts most familiar UNIX commands. Your home directory will be given a name based on the user name that you gave when you set up Windows. For example, if the user name is "Louie Louie", with an inconvenient space in it, you would refer to it in a Cygwin terminal window as "/home/Louie\ Louie", or the shorthand notation "~". To Windows, Louie Louie's Cygwin home directory is "C:\cygwin\home\Louie Louie", assuming that you installed Cygwin in the default location of C:\cygwin.

To cygwin, the root Windows directory on drive C: is "/cygdrive/c". For many commands, you can refer it to it as C:\, but for some commands, such as the tar archiving command, you have to use the UNIX notation, as in the command to extract files from a compressed tar archive:

    tar xvzf /cygdrive/c/genesis-2.3-Cygwin-bin.tar.gz
2) If you want to use the precompiled cygwin GENESIS distribution, download genesis-2.3-Cygwin-bin.tar.gz

Once you have started Cygwin, pick the place where you want to install the "genesis" directory tree. /usr/local is a good choice. Change to this directory and extract the genesis directory from the archive file genesis2.3-Cygwin-bin.tar.g. For example,

        cd /usr/local
        tar xvzf /cygdrive/c/genesis2.3-Cygwin-bin.tar.gz

or from wherever you have it, (e.g.~/downloads/genesis2.3-Cygwin-bin.tar.gz).

Then change to the genesis directory (/usr/local/genesis) and follow the directions given in the README.bindist file.

3) If you want to compile it yourself, you can use the sources from the normal GENESIS 2.3 distribution file. First, unpack the file genesis-2.3-src.tar.gz, and follow the usual procedure for building genesis, described in src/README.

Finally, add the genesis directory to your search path, so that "genesis" can be found from any directory that you are in. If your login shell is bash, you can do this by editing the .bashrc file in your home directory to add the line

at the end of the file. Alternatively, you can set the PATH environment in the "System Properties" Control Panel applet.

(4)Running GENESIS under Cygwin

You can start the Cygwin X server by running


where "<cygwindir>" is the place where you installed Cygwin, e.g. "C:\cygwin". This will start an X server, plus a terminal window (xterm) with a UNIX-like bash shell. From there you can run genesis as usual.