Should we consider Cygwin on-topic here? It's similar to a Linux command-line and has many of the same tools, so lots of answers will probably just be the same as if the user was on Linux. However, it also has quirks and oddities that are cygwin-specific; there was an SO post recently that wouldn't have happened on a normal Linux install

4 Answers 4


Certainly just because you're using the Cygwin version of vi or bash doesn't make a question about regexp replacement or brace expansion off-topic.

When it comes to questions that are more directly tied to a particular implementation, it seems to me that since we allow questions about interactions between Unix implementations and hardware, we should also allow questions about interactions between Unix implementations such as Cygwin, GNUWin32, Windows Subsystem for Linux (Ubuntu on Windows, Bash on Windows), coLinux, etc. and the underlying platform.

However, if a question is essentially on the Windows side and the fact that Cygwin is a Unix implementation is completely incidental (e.g. cygwin1.dll woes), I think it should be asked on a Windows site, because I don't expect that there is much expertise about Windows on this site.

As for this question, the asker doesn't even know what Linux is. I think it would fare better on Super User. I'm not sure that the asker even should have been using Cygwin in the first place.

  • I have no problems asking about bugs in the implementation... though answering "bug" is also find with me. How'm I supposed to know if it's a bug in my code, or my unix implementation? what if it behaves differently on bsd, linux, aix, and cygwin ... and the cygwin behavior is a bug... well who'd have guessed? should wine users ask here or on superuser? Commented Feb 2, 2011 at 10:23
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    Huh, Super User is Windows site?! It's more that it's a site including but not limited to Windows-specific problems.
    – phk
    Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 20:34

Cygwin is a POSIX compatibility layer (and a little more, and a little less) on Windows. So it is *nix sort-of friendly. Therefore I would consider it on topic, with the provisions that Gilles makes.


I would say in the general case no, but the Pee-Wee Herman rule applies.


If the asker appears smart and groks UNIX conventions and asks "the right way" it can be OK in some circumstances, as they would be an asset to the community.


I assume Cygwin is not Linux, but I assume it's Unix (or at least Not Unix (tm)).

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