Cygwin Installation on Windows Cygwin on your Windows PC will enable you to use Unix/Linux commands and programs (e.g. bash, compilers, ssh, and many others) on a Windows PC. It will also enable you to use X11 forwarding to launch graphical applications from Hoffman2 cluster and display on your Windows PC. Cygwin is free.

The procedure described below is known to work on 64-bit Windows systems. We hope that it is useful for some Windows users. This is not part of cluster user support.

  1. Point your web browser at and download the installation program — it’s either called setup-x86.exe or setup-x86_64.exe depending on whether your Windows system is 32-bit or 64-bit, respectively. We will use setup-x86_64.exe in the following example. Save this file on your Windows’ Desktop. You may verify the validity of the downloaded binary following the instructions given in

  2. Run setup-x86_64.exe by double-clicking it. If you get the prompt “Do you want to allow the following program from an unknown publisher…”, answer “Yes” in order to continue.
    Click “Next”. Select “Install from Internet”:

  3. Enter the Root Directory. This is the directory Cygwin will be installed. We will use C:\cygwin64, but you can put in other directory (assuming your hard disk has big enough space) on your computer. You can select between “All Users” or “Just Me”. We will use “All users” in this example:

  4. Enter the Local Package Directory. This is the directory to keep the (temporary) downloaded files. Pick a directory location on your Windows. We will use “C:\Users\XXXXX\Desktop” in this example, where “XXXXX” is the Windows account name. This directory may be deleted after installation is complete, or kept if you want to re-install Cygwin later.
    Then click “Next”.

  5. Select internet connection. Select “Direct Connection”:
    Then click “Next”.

  6. Select a download site. You can pick any site. We will use “” in this example:
    Then click “Next”.

  7. In “Select Packages” window, the packages originally show “Default”.
    Click the arrow between “All” and “Default” so that “Default” becomes “Install” (This means we will install all Cygwin packages). If you see a warning/error message window popping out, just click “OK” to continue. Alternatively, you may also select which packages to install and not to install, but then you have to figure out the dependencies yourself to ensure the installation works properly. We choose to install all Cygwin packages here:
    Then click “Next”.

  8. The download will start now. The downloaded files will be placed in a directory named “http%…” on your Windows Desktop (or whichever download location you specified in the earlier step). This may take more than an hour, depending on your computer and Internet connection speed.
    If you see “Resolving Dependencies …” messages, just click “Next” to pass it. Installation will automatically start.

  9. Once the installation is done, you see this:
    Click “Finish”.

  10. Now on your Windows Desktop, click on this icon:
    You will see this window:

  11. Now enter the command “startxwin”. Answer “Allow access” if you see this firewall alert:

  12. In the new “X” window (not the one where you entered “startxwin”), enter “ssh -X” (where “login_id” is replaced with your Hoffman2 user name):
    Answer “yes” to continue connecting.
    Enter your Hoffman2 password.

  13. If everything goes, you should have logged on Hoffman2 cluster now. At the command prompt, enter “xterm&”. If you see a new “xterm” window popping up that looks like:
    your ssh connection with X11 forwarding is working. Congratulations!
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