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Gow Is Alternative To Cygwin, Brings 130 UNIX Commands To Windows

If you’re an avid Linux user and just started with Windows, you must be familiar with Cygwin, a tool that provides Linux-like environment on Windows, bringing the utility of porting tools running on POSIX, i.e Linux, BSD and Unix system to Windows OS. GOW (Gnu on Windows) is a small, easy to use, yet powerful alternative to Cygwin that brings more then 100 extremely useful UNIX applications and commands to Windows. It provides a total of 130 CLI-based UNIX commands, which can be run from Windows Command Line Interpreter. The application has been specifically designed to bring those UNIX binaries, which don’t have easy to use installers available for Windows.


Moreover, it completely integrates into Windows right-click context menu, letting you open Windows locations and folders from right-click context menu. Since it sets the path of UNIX binaries in Windows PATH, you won’t have to manually set the path of the command before compiling it.

command here

With Gow, you will be able to use Shell Scrpting (zsh, bash), Editing (vim). FTP (NcFTp), Text Search and view (grep, agrep), File System (mv, cp. du, rmdir, whereis etc) and numerous other tools, right from Windows CMD window. The help sections include commands and tools usage. You can, for instance, view command syntax and command arguments and parameters usage for sftp by entering the following command.


We have successfully tested over a dozen tools and commands that Gow has to offer. If you encounter issues while compiling tools or executing commands, check the help section associated with the command to understand the usage.


You can check out the complete list of commands and tools from Gow product page. It works Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. Both 32-bit and 64-bit OS editions are supported.

Download Gow


  1. This is just a re-packaging of the indispensable good old UnxUtils, admittedly with some updates like a more recent wget. This is disappointing. It claims to support 64-bit OS which is true up to a point. It certainly *runs* on 64-bit but it doesn’t work *properly*. For example if I have an enormous file (a few dozen GB), ls -l reports an incorrect size. Windows dir gets it right. When are we going to get fully 64-bit-compatible Unix tools? Yes, I know Microsoft provides SUA but that’s 250 MB! Let’s have something nice and small and easily separable from the OS, just as this is.

  2. If you set your Windows environment variables to include the path to the cygwin dll, you can already use cygwin commands from the cmd.exe window…so what’s the advantage?
    I’m always for new and easier ways to do things, but from this article, I don’t see the advantage.

    • i think the advantages are that it’s liteweight (~10MB) and easy to install. still, for me, i need whois and dig tools to do my job so i’m sticking with cygwin.

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