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Madagascar has been run on Microsoft Windows machines under various types of environments:



Madagascar can run under Cygwin, which provides a Unix environment under Windows.

To obtain Cygwin, go to its web page, download and run the installer. This should create a Cygwin program, which when run, creates a POSIX shell window similar-looking to the Windows command window but which behaves in a more Unix-like way.

NOTE: If you are unfamiliar with Unix-like systems, a good place to start is Greg Wilson's Software Carpentry course.

You will need to install several additional Cygwin components before Madagascar can run. To get these, rerun the installer program (called Setup and represented by an icon with a black "C" shape enclosing a green arrow).

  1. Start Setup program.
  2. Keep clicking (defaults should work, but please choose a mirror on your own continent) until you see a collapsed list (boxed "+" signs) in a selection box.
  3. Choose all of the following before downloading.
    1. Open the Devel section and select the following:
      • gcc
      If you want to use the development version of Madagascar, also choose
      • subversion
    2. If you have a favorite unix editor, also choose it under Editors (novices may wish to work with Notepad for a while). Both vim and emacs are available.
    3. Open Interpreters and select
      • python
    4. Open Libs and select
      • sunrpc
    5. Open X11 and select
      • xorg-x11-devel
  4. Next, click Next>
    Your download will proceed.
  5. When done, click Finish.

After performing this steps, proceed to a normal Madagascar Installation.

For running X applications such as xtpen, make sure to run startx first to open an X terminal window.


Interix is the name of the Unix environment for Windows provided by Microsoft through the following software packages:

SSH + X server

If you can count on a network connection to a full UNIX machine while you run Madagascar, you actually need to install under MS Windows just a SSH client and a X server, and just run the m8r installed on the UNIX machine. Cygwin provides both, but it is big and slow. A much more lightweight and fast alternative is using Xming as a X server and PuTTY as a SSH client (remember to check the "Tunnel X11 connections" box when saving the session configuration).