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1. Why was babun created? Cygwin was already there…​

Cygwin is a great tool, but there are a lot of quirks and tricks that make you lose a lot of time to make it actually 'usable'. Did you see a bare Cygwin console after installation…​? grep - oops not found, curl - oops again, 16-color prompt? Wow! and so on…​

You probably know that it is not that easy to install certain unix packages on Cygwin - let’s take rvm for example. Did you manage to do it? How would you like to share it to the others? Maybe a blog entry that will be outdated in a couple of months? In babun you can just code up an rvm plugin and enable thousands of users to enjoy seamless rvm installation. Does a newer version or rvm get released, just update your plugin and again thousands of users will enjoy an automatic update. Isn’t that great?

We have been using Cygwin for many years and thought that it would be great to share our configuration - that’s how babun was born. It offers a preconfigured Cygwin distribution where everything should work out of the box. It is not that easy with BLODA, Windows and Cygwin quirks, firewalls, etc - but we are doing our best to provide the best possible user experience.

The response of the community has been outstanding - around 1K github stars and 10K downloads in the first week only!

Footnote: If it does not convince you. if you love tweaking Cygwin, if want to install everything manually and if you want to spend a lot of time updating every single thing you once installed let’s say it: babun is not for you - just use bare Cygwin in this case!

2. Is there an interference with an existing Cygwin installation that I have already had?

No, there is not.

3. Will I face problems if I have a "whitespace" character in my username?

No, you will not, but it’s not recommended. See Cygwin’s FAQ

4. How can I install babun to a custom folder?

Use the install.bat script and specify the /target option.

5. I cloned Babun from github but when i try to start it I get some weird error messages.

You have to download the distribution package from On github we only host raw source files. The dist package is enriched by cygwin and some other stuff you need to be able to run Babun.

6. How can I uninstall Babun?

Why would you? :-) Seriously, just execute the uninstall.bat script from the installation directory.

7. How do I find out where Babun was installed?

Execute echo $BABUN_HOME

8. What is BLODA software?

BLODA is a list of applications that may interfere with cygwin. This could be for example an anti virus program or a graphics card driver. See the cygwin page for more details.

9. When I run Babun I can see: 'Your prompt is very slow. Check the installed BLODA software'. How to fix that?

Sometimes the prompt is slow when you start Babun as the initialization and loading of dll’s take time. But when you execute babun check it is usually ok again. In such case you can ignore this message.

10. How to disable BLODA warnings?

Put export CYGWIN="nodosfilewarning mintty" in the ~/.babunrc file.

11. I often get following error message: "bash 2216 child_info_fork::abort: data segment start".

This is a known cygwin issue. It may be caused by BLODA software. Sometimes rebaseall resolves this issue. Follow this link.

Also, have a look at this thread.

12. How do I integrate Babun with ConEmu / cmder ?

  • Update to the latest ConEmu

  • In ConEmu

    • Go to Settings>Startup>Tasks

    • Create a new task

      • Task parameters - /icon "%userprofile%\.babun\cygwin\bin\mintty.exe" /dir "%userprofile%"

      • Commands %userprofile%\.babun\cygwin\bin\mintty.exe /bin/env CHERE_INVOKING=1 /bin/zsh.exe

Babun is available in the "Create new console" menu.

13. How do I pin Babun to the taskbar in Windows 7/8?

It should work out-of-the box now, if not have a look here.

14. Old version of Git doesn’t like my .gitconfig.

git clone
Cloning into 'docker-postgresql'...
error: Malformed value for push.default: simple
error: Must be one of nothing, matching, tracking or current.
fatal: bad config file line 11 in /cygdrive/c/Users/ryan.seto/.gitconfig

The fix for the error above was described here.

15. I get 'error while loading shared libraries' when I execute git commands.

Install gettext, libsasl2 and ca-certificates using pact.

16. When I run git status in git shell and in Babun I get different results.

It is probably an end-of-line issue. Execute git config --list both in cmd and in Babun and compare the core.autocrlf values. If your cmd prints core.autocrlf = true execute git config --global core.autocrlf true in Babun.

17. How can I change the default fonts and size of Babun’s (mintty) window on startup.

Add / edit ~/.minttyrc

18. Babun cannot connect to the Internet.

Babun supports HTTP(s) proxying, but corporate firewalls can be tricky…​ Have a look at this thread: #95

19. Cannot copy/paste into VIM.

Follow this link.

20. Is pact based on apt-cyg?

Yes, it is. It diverged a bit, some functions have been changed, some things have been added to provide better integration with babun and make it a first class citizen.

21. How could I install and update babun on a computer not directly connected to the internet?

You can install Babun without any problems while being offline. Just download the ZIP file with the distribution. You need to be online in order to update Babun - you can configure a proxy if that’s your case.

22. How do I install gvm tool?

  • download gvmtool: curl -s | bash

  • edit .bash_profile, .bashrc and .zshrc and replace all occurrences of /c/Users/…​ with /cygdrive/c/Users/…​

  • restart babun

23. How do I install ruby?

Execute pact install ruby. If you need a newer version have a look at this link.

24. Why multtiple shells share the same history?

This is a feature of zsh. oh-my-zsh has INC_APPEND_HISTORY on as default. To disable this put this in your .zshrc: ` setopt APPEND_HISTORY`

25. I tried to run python scripts but get 'modules not found'.

See Issue 104

26. How to run an X-Server?

See Issue 105

27. I have a problem with Windows line endings.

Try running dos2unix on these files.

28. No display name and no $DISPLAY environment variable

See Issue 130

29. How to install virtualenvwrapper?

See Issue 147

31. I see: compdef: unknown command or service: git


$ compinit
$ cp .zcompdump .zcompdump-$HOSTNAME-$ZSH_VERSION

32. ps option -U and -o unknown

See #172

33. zsh: command not found: emacs

Try emacs-nox

34. "C:\" as target directory on installation fails

use C:\\

Note two back-slash marks

35. How to use sshfs command

Use Dokan sshfs. Free and open source.

36. Use SSH id_rsa key from Windows

See Issue 208

37. When I start babun.bat three shell windows open.

This is a known issue on Windows 10. To workaround it go to .babun/cygwin/bin and change mintty.exe to Windows 8 compatibility mode.

38. How do I update the underlying cygwin version?

just execute babun update. If there is a new supported cygwin version babun will upgrade it

39. I get chmod: permission denied errors during update.

You have probably installed babun as an admin an try to upgrade it now without admin rights or using a different user. Please restart the update as an admin, or as a user you used to install babun with.

40. How do I launch Windows applications from command line with correct path arguments?

You have to convert the path with the 'cygpath -w' command. See #299.

41. Open Babun here context menu doesn’t work

Execute babun shell-here init

42. Open Babun here context menu opens the wrong babun instance

It is possible to have multiple Babun instances installed but the context menu can be linked to only one. If you want to change the link to a particular instance open the babun instance and execute babun shell-here init.

43. I don’t want the 'Open Babun here' option in the context menu

Execute babun shell-here remove

44. How to use ping IPv6

Execute ping -6. Babun uses the native Windows ping.

45. How to use the cygwin’s ping

Babun is using Windows native ping.exe because Cygwin’s ping requires admin rights to be executed. If you still want to use the cygwin ping use 'cygping'.

46. I see "error: command 'gcc' failed with exit status 1"

Execute pact install libffi-devel and try again. See Issue 191

47. How to use Sublime Text 3 as editor for commit message

See Issue 421

48. How to use the Windows' user profile directory as my home directory in babun ?

You need to add the environment variable HOME into your windows account.

  • Edit your environment variables

    • execute rundll32 sysdm.cpl,EditEnvironmentVariables or search in the start menu for env and select "Select Edit environment variables for your account"

    • Select New

      • Name: HOME

      • Value: C:\Users\USERNAME

  • Launch babun

  • Type babun install

  • Restart babun

Your babun home directory should now be your windows user profile directory, usually c:\user\USERNAME

See Issue 289.