Using Cygwin at Fermilab

Cygwin is a surprisingly full-featured UNIX environment that runs on Windows. It's a great way to connect to UNIX computers from a windows PC. I think it's more elegant and useful than the WRQ/Reflection stuff and the price is certainly right. It looks like the latest versions of Cygwin are compatible with Kerberized FNAL machines.


  1. Download the cygwin or cygwin64 installer program and install cygwin on your PC. At a minimum install the base and network components. You can always re-run this installer to add more stuff like python, gcc, editors, etc. later.
  2. Start a cygwin terminal. The first time you start cygwin it should make a home directory for you. Follow the instructions to update /etc/passwd and /etc/group.
  3. Get the latest Fermilab krb5.conf and put it in /etc
  4. Create a directory called .ssh in your home area and put the ssh config file there.
  5. Change the protections on the ssh config file
    $ chmod 600 ~/.ssh/config
  6. Try it out!
    $ kinit username@FNAL.GOV
    $ klist
    $ ssh username@fnalu

If you're setting this up on a home machine and behind a NAT router/firewall you may need to do

$ kinit -n username@FNAL.GOV
to get an address-less ticket.

last update 30 October 2014