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Portable MSYS ?

stn021
Hi,

how can I make MSYS portable ?
I have copied all the executables and all DLLs of the MSYS-folder and subfolders into one new folder.
Now I can use the programs.

For example fgrep correctly shows the help-message.

But if I copy everything to a USB-stick or another computer then nothing works anymore :(
For example fgrep terminates without any output and without any error-message.

Maybe I missed some dependencies.

Any hints?

THX
stn

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Re: Portable MSYS ?

Earnie Boyd
stn021 wrote:
> Hi,
>
> how can I make MSYS portable ?

Well you did that already.

> I have copied all the executables and all DLLs of the MSYS-folder and
> subfolders into one new folder.
> Now I can use the programs.
>
> For example fgrep correctly shows the help-message.
>
> But if I copy everything to a USB-stick or another computer then nothing
> works anymore :(
> For example fgrep terminates without any output and without any
> error-message.
>

Do you have a modified /etc/fstab file?  Or perhaps a configuration file
like ~/.profile?  Maybe some changes you've done there is getting in the
way.  You also need to make sure the /etc exists, there is a thread that
watches for changes to it.  There is nothing else in MSYS that is
dependent on its installation system like the registry.  You should be
able to do just this.

--
Earnie
-- http://www.for-my-kids.com

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Re: Portable MSYS ?

stn021
2011/5/6 Earnie <[hidden email]>
stn021 wrote:
> Hi,
>
> how can I make MSYS portable ?

Well you did that already.

> I have copied all the executables and all DLLs of the MSYS-folder and
> subfolders into one new folder.
> Now I can use the programs.
>
> For example fgrep correctly shows the help-message.
>
> But if I copy everything to a USB-stick or another computer then nothing
> works anymore :(
> For example fgrep terminates without any output and without any
> error-message.
>

Do you have a modified /etc/fstab file?

I copied D:\etc and D:\util (the folder with the exes and dlls) to another computer's drive D: without any further modifications. On one computer it works, on the other it does not :-(

 Or perhaps a configuration file like ~/.profile?  Maybe some changes you've done there is getting in the way.

see above: same config, 2 computers, different results ...
Actually it was three computers. This morning I plugged my USB-stick with msys into someone else's XP. Again no output from fgrep, tail and a few other programs :-/
 
 You also need to make sure the /etc exists, there is a thread that watches for changes to it.  

Yes, I noticed. (Proof: If I renamed D:\etc to something else and the programs didn't work anymore :-)
 
There is nothing else in MSYS that is dependent on its installation system like the registry.  You should be able to do just this.
 
I read somewhere that msys depends on a few DLLs in the windows-folder. Don't know any details nor where I saw that.

Strange ...

Stefan


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Re: Portable MSYS ?

Keith Marshall
In reply to this post by stn021
On 06/05/11 13:34, stn021 wrote:
> how can I make MSYS portable ?

I run it it in the PortableApps.com framework, from a USB stick.  It
probably doesn't need this, but I find it convenient to have it there,
alongside gVimPortable and FirefoxPortable.

Here's how I set it up:

1) Download the platform kit from http://portableapps.com and run its
installer to install it in the root directory of the stick -- let's call
it U:\ -- so you get U:\StartPortableApps.exe and its supporting
infrastructure in U:\PortableApps\

2) Create a new directory, U:\PortableApps\MinGW

3) Download Console-2.00b147-Beta_32bit.zip (or a later version) from
http://sourceforge.net/projects/console and extract the six files from
its contained Console directory into U:\PortableApps\MinGW

4) Download mingw-get-0.2-mingw32-alpha-3-bin.zip (or newer) from our
own sourceforge repository and unzip it into U:\PortableApps\MinGW

5) In U:\PortableApps\MinGW\var\lib\mingw-get\data\ rename (or copy)
defaults.xml to profile.xml

6) Run U:\StartPortableApps.exe

7) In the PortableApps.com control panel, select Options, and then
"Refresh App Icons"

8) Again in the PortableApps.com control panel (click the System Tray
icon to reopen it if necessary) select the "Console" application icon,
to start a cmd.exe console window

9) In this cmd.exe window, run bin\mingw-get install msys-base

10) Right-click in the console window, select Edit->Settings and open
the "Tabs" dialogue; add a new entry with title "MinGW32" and set the
command string to "msys\1.0\bin\sh.exe --login -i" (without the quotes)
leaving it in the second tab position

11) Close the settings dialogue

12) Right-click again, and select File->New Tab->MinGW32 and check that
this opens a functional MSYS shell; when you are happy that it works
correctly, reopen the settings dialogue, and move the MinGW32 tab up to
the first (topmost) position in the tabs list.

13) In the MinGW32 tab run "mount U:/PortableApps/MinGW  /mingw" (again
without the quotes); this will let you run mingw-get directly from the
prompt, to install any extra components you would like.

14) Quit from both your MSYS shell and the cmd.exe shell you used for
the initial installation.

15) Start the "Console" application again, from the PortableApps.com
control panel; this time it should immediately start an MSYS shell

When you get this working to your satisfaction, come back here and we'll
explore some console settings adjustments you may wish to make, and some
installation wrinkles which may need to be addressed, (e.g. how do you
handle a change in the USB drive assignment on startup?).

--
Regards,
Keith.

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Re: Portable MSYS ?

stn021
Hi all,

thanks to Keith and Earnie for the suggestions.

Integrating MSYS into the portable apps-suite along with other portable software is a cool idea.
MSYS would then appear in the start-menu, making the USB-stick like a self-contained computer that can be used anywhere.

For now I stuck with simpler method of just copying everything in one folder
(and hoping that it works :-)

Earnie was right, the msys-programs are portable almost by themselves. I messed it up when I did not notice that the copy-process had aborted before copying \etc, due to a network-error. So \etc was missing and of course nothing worked.

As a summary, in case someone reads this later on: MSYS can be made portable like this

- install MinGW+MSYS once on some computer
- take every Exe-file you find in the MSYS-folder (C:\MinGW\msys) and copy them into one folder of your choice (example: D:\msys)
- same for every DLL
- Important: copy the folder ETC (c:\MinGW\msys\1.0\etc) to the root-directory of the drive with the EXE-files (D:\etc if you use D:\msys)
- include D:\msys in the PATH. (This can AFAIK be done dynamically with the portable-apps-launcher that Keith suggested)


The one thing that is not immediately obvious is the folder \etc and its files. If that is missing the msys-programs terminate without any output, error or warning.



It appears the the contents of the files in \etc are NOT important.
My \etc\fstab always contains the line "D:\MinGW\   /mingw".
Yet I can plug the USB-stick anywhere with different drive-letters and/or copy msys+etc to different drives (tried C:, D:, F:, G:) and it always works. No modifications necessary. Very nice :-)



Cheers
stn



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Re: Portable MSYS ?

Keith Marshall
On 07/05/11 12:56, stn021 wrote:
> It appears the the contents of the files in \etc are NOT important.
> My \etc\fstab always contains the line "D:\MinGW\   /mingw".

Which sets up the mount point for your MinGW directories, (as opposed to
MSYS directories), so the the /mingw/bin references within the MSYS
$PATH can be resolved to invoke e.g. D:\MinGW\bin\foo.exe

> Yet I can plug the USB-stick anywhere with different drive-letters and/or
> copy msys+etc to different drives (tried C:, D:, F:, G:) and it always
> works. No modifications necessary. Very nice :-)

I suspect that your mount point references may not always work as you
expect, if that D:\MinGW was a reference to the USB device when you set
up the installation.  If your USB drive mounts to E:\ on another host,
which lacks a suitably compatible MinGW installation at D:\MinGW, then
while your MSYS programs will continue to work okay, your MinGW
programs, (which live in /mingw/bin rather than /bin), likely
will not.

That was one of the "wrinkles" I had in mind, when I replied last night.
 We may need to add start-up code to /etc/profile, so we can rewrite
/etc/fstab to make drive letter assignments for paths on the USB device
follow any changes to that device assignment.  This is an issue I have
not yet needed to address, (because on every host where I've used my
portable MSYS installation, the device has always had identically the
same drive letter assignment), but I suspect it may only be a matter of
time before I have to deal with it.

--
Regards,
Keith.

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Re: Portable MSYS ?

stn021


2011/5/7 Keith Marshall <[hidden email]>
On 07/05/11 12:56, stn021 wrote: 

> Yet I can plug the USB-stick anywhere with different drive-letters and/or
> copy msys+etc to different drives (tried C:, D:, F:, G:) and it always
> works. No modifications necessary. Very nice :-)

I suspect that your mount point references may not always work as you
expect, if that D:\MinGW was a reference to the USB device when you set
up the installation.  If your USB drive mounts to E:\ on another host,
which lacks a suitably compatible MinGW installation at D:\MinGW, then
while your MSYS programs will continue to work okay, your MinGW
programs, (which live in /mingw/bin rather than /bin), likely
will not.

That is a reasonable assumption.


I may have unintentionally caused a misunderstanding here. My intention is only to make MSYS portable, meaning mainly the unix-text-utils like sed, grep, vim etc.

A portable MinGW is a whole different matter. MinGW is a compiler-suite with all kinds of internal depencies, like preprocessor, header-files, libraries etc. I have used MinGW as a compiler before, but only in a non-portable unmodified installation as provided by the installer.

For a portable MinGW the launcher of portableapps is a very elegant solution, and it would be my first choice too. I am surprised to see that portableapps.com so far offers only very rudimentary support for portable MinGW. I am sure that a lot of people would have use for that.


Regards
stn





 


 

That was one of the "wrinkles" I had in mind, when I replied last night.
 We may need to add start-up code to /etc/profile, so we can rewrite
/etc/fstab to make drive letter assignments for paths on the USB device
follow any changes to that device assignment.  This is an issue I have
not yet needed to address, (because on every host where I've used my
portable MSYS installation, the device has always had identically the
same drive letter assignment), but I suspect it may only be a matter of
time before I have to deal with it.

--
Regards,
Keith.

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Re: Portable MSYS ?

Keith Marshall
On 08/05/11 14:59, stn021 wrote:
> For a portable MinGW the launcher of portableapps is a very elegant
> solution, and it would be my first choice too.  I am surprised to see
> that portableapps.com so far offers only very rudimentary support for
> portable MinGW.  I am sure that a lot of people would have use for
> that.

I wasn't even aware that the PortableApps.com folks offered their
own flavour of MinGW/MSYS.  I just did a search on their site, and
sure enough, yes, there is something there, (although they seem to
have dropped MSYS from their offering, which appears from reading
their development notes, to be focussed on GCC3).

While I applaud their efforts, it is a shame that they have just
ploughed in on their own, without so much as a heads-up here; I'm
sure that, with appropriate dialogue and co-operation, the end
result could be so much better.

FWIW, I am not using their build.  Barring the drive letter mapping,
putting things in the correct location within the PortableApps.com
directory framework just works, without needing any heavy development,
(such as they suggest is needed).  Even the drive letter mapping, I'm
convinced, is easily and quickly soluble, (with an entirely MSYS based
solution).  IMO, their development plan is overkill, but then, perhaps
their objectives differ from mine -- for me, MSYS as a foreign app
within the PortableApps.com framework seems completely sufficient,
(but I have no interest in Code::BlocksPortable or EclipsePortable
integration, or some such, which may be their goal).

--
Regards,
Keith.

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Re: Portable MSYS ?

Earnie Boyd
In reply to this post by stn021
stn021 wrote:
> The one thing that is not immediately obvious is the folder \etc and its
> files. If that is missing the msys-programs terminate without any output,
> error or warning.
>

Only the directory is needed for the thread to work correctly.

> It appears the the contents of the files in \etc are NOT important.
> My \etc\fstab always contains the line "D:\MinGW\   /mingw".
> Yet I can plug the USB-stick anywhere with different drive-letters and/or
> copy msys+etc to different drives (tried C:, D:, F:, G:) and it always
> works. No modifications necessary. Very nice :-)
>

Well /etc/fstab is the WINDOWS to POSIX directory mapper.  This is the
file that the MSYS thread watching /etc cares about so that when you
change the file the mount table is refreshed.  So if D:\MinGW is
available then no matter where MSYS exists, /mingw will point to
D:\MinGW.  I D:\MinGW doesn't exist you will get an error during the
access of /mingw.

--
Earnie
-- http://www.for-my-kids.com

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Re: Portable MSYS ?

whitequill
On Sun, May 8, 2011 at 4:34 PM, Earnie <[hidden email]> wrote:

> stn021 wrote:
>> The one thing that is not immediately obvious is the folder \etc and its
>> files. If that is missing the msys-programs terminate without any output,
>> error or warning.
>>
>
> Only the directory is needed for the thread to work correctly.
>
>> It appears the the contents of the files in \etc are NOT important.
>> My \etc\fstab always contains the line "D:\MinGW\   /mingw".
>> Yet I can plug the USB-stick anywhere with different drive-letters and/or
>> copy msys+etc to different drives (tried C:, D:, F:, G:) and it always
>> works. No modifications necessary. Very nice :-)
>>
Here is my 2 cents, I don't know if this is completely relevant, but;
in an ini file where you are telling windows I want you to run on the
root of this device, a file called; 'xyz.abc' you can tell it run it
on "\zxy.abc" can you tell msys to run on the root directly? as "/"
apposed to "/<drive letter>/folders"?

>
> Well /etc/fstab is the WINDOWS to POSIX directory mapper.  This is the
> file that the MSYS thread watching /etc cares about so that when you
> change the file the mount table is refreshed.  So if D:\MinGW is
> available then no matter where MSYS exists, /mingw will point to
> D:\MinGW.  I D:\MinGW doesn't exist you will get an error during the
> access of /mingw.
>
> --
> Earnie
> -- http://www.for-my-kids.com
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Re: Portable MSYS ?

Keith Marshall
On 08/05/11 22:05, Bj Raz wrote:
> Here is my 2 cents, I don't know if this is completely relevant, but;
> in an ini file where you are telling windows I want you to run on the
> root of this device, a file called; 'xyz.abc' you can tell it run it
> on "\zxy.abc" can you tell msys to run on the root directly? as "/"
> apposed to "/<drive letter>/folders"?

No, this will not work.  Each mount table record in /etc/fstab defines a
simple mapping of winpath to mountpath, in the form:

  winpath <white-space> mountpath

White-space is forbidden within either of the path specifications, (and
quoting to circumvent this is not supported).  Both path specifications
must be absolute, with winpath in Windows format[*] and mountpath in
POSIX format.

An absolute path in Windows format MUST include the drive-letter; (if
you omit it, then your path is RELATIVE to the root of the drive which
is currently selected as default.  I don't know if MSYS will even allow
such a drive-relative winpath specification, but if it does, it WILL
break as soon as you cd to any directory on a different drive from
the MSYS root, because your mount specifications will then have a
winpath which is relative to the root of the wrong drive.

[*] IIRC, slashes and backslashes are considered equivalent within the
winpath specification; MSYS' own mount command writes it with regular
POSIX style slashes.  mountpath is ALWAYS written in the POSIX style.

--
Regards,
Keith.

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Re: Portable MSYS ?

lrn-2
In reply to this post by Earnie Boyd
On 08.05.2011 23:34, Earnie wrote:

> stn021 wrote:
>> It appears the the contents of the files in \etc are NOT important.
>> My \etc\fstab always contains the line "D:\MinGW\   /mingw".
>> Yet I can plug the USB-stick anywhere with different drive-letters and/or
>> copy msys+etc to different drives (tried C:, D:, F:, G:) and it always
>> works. No modifications necessary. Very nice :-)
>>
> Well /etc/fstab is the WINDOWS to POSIX directory mapper.  This is the
> file that the MSYS thread watching /etc cares about so that when you
> change the file the mount table is refreshed.  So if D:\MinGW is
> available then no matter where MSYS exists, /mingw will point to
> D:\MinGW.  I D:\MinGW doesn't exist you will get an error during the
> access of /mingw.
You can make a batch file or a script that fills /etc/fstab with correct
paths (since the letter of the USB drive is generally not known until
you plug it) before running msys. You can even make a shell script do
that, and then call `mount -a' in Msys to mount new directories.

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Re: Portable MSYS ?

Keith Marshall
In reply to this post by Keith Marshall
On 08/05/11 17:59, Keith Marshall wrote:
> I wasn't even aware that the PortableApps.com folks offered their
> own flavour of MinGW/MSYS.  I just did a search on their site, and
> sure enough, yes, there is something there, (although they seem to
> have dropped MSYS from their offering, which appears from reading
> their development notes, to be focussed on GCC3).

Yuck!  Their info page is a disorganised mish-mash of naturally threaded
dialogue, intermingled with notes in reverse chronological ChangeLog
order.  Yuck!  Yuck! and thrice Yuck!

Closer inspection reveals that they do now offer a GCC-4.5 bundle,
(but no MSYS), all wrapped up in a less-than-transparent NSIS based
installer, which I guess makes for reduced flexibility in choice of
add-on components, if you don't like their restricted choice.

I will not be rushing to use their package; I'll stick with my own
installation technique, (which gives me the full flexibility of a
mingw-get managed installation -- it was this inflexibility of NSIS
which led us to dump it, in favour of developing mingw-get).

I guess it might be useful if I were to write up my installation
procedure as a MinGWiki article, when I can find a round-tuit.

--
Regards,
Keith.

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Re: Portable MSYS ?

Keith Marshall
In reply to this post by lrn-2
On 09/05/11 05:14, LRN wrote:
> You can make a batch file or a script that fills /etc/fstab with correct
> paths (since the letter of the USB drive is generally not known until
> you plug it) before running msys.

The place to do it is within /etc/profile, (as a conditional call out to
a support script, e.g. in /etc/profile.d/ -- no, that doesn't exist in a
current default MSYS installation, but it's trivial to add).  I've
already begun development of the appropriate implementation for use in
my own set up; I'll share it, when I've completed it.

> You can even make a shell script do that, and then call `mount -a' in
> Msys to mount new directories.

I don't recall that I provided a `mount -a' option when I wrote the
current MSYS implementation of mount, (and I see no evidence of it
within the code itself).  Indeed, such an option would be pointless,
since mounting is achieved automatically, when /etc/fstab is written.

--
Regards,
Keith.

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Re: Portable MSYS ?

Charles Wilson-2
In reply to this post by Keith Marshall
On 5/9/2011 12:05 AM, Keith Marshall wrote:
> White-space is forbidden within either of the path specifications, (and
> quoting to circumvent this is not supported).

The workaround, for win32 paths, is to use the relevant shortpath.  In a
cmd shell (dos prompt), dir /x will show these to you.

But it is still not recommended practice.

--
Chuck

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Re: Portable MSYS ?

Earnie Boyd
Charles Wilson wrote:
> On 5/9/2011 12:05 AM, Keith Marshall wrote:
>> White-space is forbidden within either of the path specifications, (and
>> quoting to circumvent this is not supported).
>
> The workaround, for win32 paths, is to use the relevant shortpath.  In a
> cmd shell (dos prompt), dir /x will show these to you.
>

Or cmd //c dir //x in an MSYS shell.  But not all FS are setup to store
the 8.3 path so YMMV.

> But it is still not recommended practice.
>

Yes, we do not recommend using directories with white space in the name.

--
Earnie
-- http://www.for-my-kids.com

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Re: Portable MSYS ?

Joel Salomon
In reply to this post by Keith Marshall
Keith Marshall <keithmarshall@...> writes:
>  We may need to add start-up code to /etc/profile, so we can rewrite
> /etc/fstab to make drive letter assignments for paths on the USB device
> follow any changes to that device assignment.  This is an issue I have
> not yet needed to address, (because on every host where I've used my
> portable MSYS installation, the device has always had identically the
> same drive letter assignment), but I suspect it may only be a matter of
> time before I have to deal with it.

How about allowing relative paths in /etc/fstab?  E.g., on a PortableApps system
with MinGW in U:\PortableApps\MinGW and MSys in U:\PortableApps\MinGW\msys, this
would look something like this:

    # Win32 Path        Mount Point
    ../..               /mingw

Does this seem reasonable?

--Joel


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Re: Portable MSYS ?

Joel Salomon
Earlier today, I wrote:
> How about allowing relative paths in /etc/fstab?

Never mind; I just read Keith's explanation of why that won't (or shouldn't)
work, as well as his plan for patching /etc/fstab from within /etc/profile.d/.  
Much better idea than mine.

--Joel


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