Gow an Awesome Alternative to Cygwin

If you are a power user and use both Linux and Windows, you might have Cygwin installed. Cygwin is a set of tools that allow you to run Linux only programs on Windows. Cygwin however has it’s own fair share of annoyances, it’s actually a POSIX (Portable Operating System Interface) thereby you do not have shell integration and all the Linux tools will run only within Cygwin. But with Gow, the executables are compiled for the Windows environment, thereby you can use them seamlessly.

Gow, expanded as GNU on Windows is a continuation of the Native port project. It has pretty much all the needed tools from Linux, it’s also really small, just 18 Mb compared to Cygwin which is quite big. The installer also registers all the tools with the PATH of the Windows Command line interface so all the tools are readily available in the command line without having to do anything, this means that you will be able to use them *nix tools even in Windows batch scripts.

Even though the utilities are 32-bit ones, they run on 64-bit operating systems without any hassle.

Sample usage

Let me show you some cases where these might save your neck.

Resume Interrupted downloads

Network disconnected while you where downloading something ? You can easily resume the interrupted downloads easily using wget, all you have to run is

wget -c “http://url.to/file.exe” file.exe

The -c flag specifies the program to continue the download, don’t forget it or the downloaded data will simply be over written.

Find files like a pro

Windows Search is incredibly slow, even after indexing it is incredibly slow, you can use dir and grep to find stuff you need easily by running the command below on the folder in which the file is, the command recurses through the directories too.

dir /a-d /b /s | grep “part of the name of the file”

Not only is this faster but you can also impress your friends with your command line fu!


It even comes with VIM, you can edit text files with in right from the command line using vim.


VIM is a really powerful text editor that is the default text editor of pretty much every Linux distro under the sun.

You can download Gow here it is free, give it a go and feel free to share your thoughts about Gow!  Also if you have any questions share them here in the comments.


Share Feedback We Want to Hear From You