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Install a collection of various tools and libraries aimed to provide a Linux-like environment on Windows Operating System and pick the components that you want to deploy on your system.
Cygwin consists of a collection of various tools and libraries aimed to provide a Linux-like environment on Windows Operating System. It acts as an emulation layer, making it possible to run native Linux applications on Microsoft Windows.
Originally developed by Cygnus Solutions, but acquired in 2000 by Red Hat, Cygwin is mostly bent on providing programmers with a simple way to provide Windows compatibility for applications that were originally developed for Linux environments. A few examples of Unix applications ported successfully are KDE, GNOME and Apache.
Cygwin consists of a DLL whose purpose is to provide POSIX API functionality and a collection of utilities that are able to accommodate the Unix look and feel on Windows computers. Components such as syslogd, inetd, crond and several such daemons are deployed as services, thus making it possible for Windows to behave in a Linux manner.
Being such a complex application, a sophisticated installation is expected. Deployment requires several user interventions, as well as a working Internet connection for downloading files from dedicated servers.
Users are advised to pay attention to the packages they select during setup; the more components, the longer the installation process. By default, the selection is minimal and includes only the bash shell, as well as core utilities, which are common in Unix command-line.
Other components, such as terminals (mintty, util-linux), text utilities (grep, diff, patch), shells (dash, zsh, tcsh), servers (Apache, PostgreSQL, OpenSSH) and other development-related utilities are available in optional packages.
However, the default selection should be enough for compiling source code in order to produce GUI or console applications that are compatible with Windows. After all, the beauty of Cygwin comes from the fact that developers need not make extensive changes to the code, but few adjustments and additions.
Linux On Windows Linux Environment Linux Emulator Linux Emulator Environment Emulation
You can personalize the appearance of your desktop by adding various custom-designed widgets meant to simplify your day-to-day tasks.
You do not need to be a developer or have extensive technical skills to enhance the looks or functionality of your computer. Instead, you can simply turn to specialized software, such as BeWidgets.
This application helps you tweak the appearance of your desktop with several widgets you can personalize to your liking.
Before you get to benefit from the features of this utility, you need to login to Microsoft Store and download its package to your PC. It goes without saying that you need to be running Windows 10 or 11, otherwise you cannot install BeWidgets.
Right off the bat, you can access the main window and explore the available types of widgets: time, date, photos, finance and app shortcut.
Depending on the widget you want to add to your desktop, you get access to different settings. For example, you can specify the image folder and the picture sorting order, as well as the transition delay.
When dealing with the time or date widgets, you can select the separators you prefer, the background colors and the font sizes, while also making them unclickable or always on top.
If it is the finances widget you are interested in, you can either choose one of the integrate stock market symbols, or you can add your own.
Regardless of the type of widget you added, BeWidgets allows you to customize their position and dimensions to suit your preferences, thus making sure they do not interfere with your current desktop layout.
To wrap it up, you can rely on BeWidgets whenever you want to make your desktop more efficient or simply more appealing, even if the provided widgets are not that numerous. However, you can modify a lot of their parameters and adjust them to your needs.
Widget Designer Create Widget Add Widget Widget Tweak Customize Date
Make the Start Menu in Windows 10 resemble the one in Windows 7 using this reliable and customizable software utility that integrates within your OS.
When Windows 10 was officially launched, it aimed to provide users worldwide both with a familiar interface and with numerous functions to increase their productivity.
However, if you are one of the people who consider the Start Menu could still use some work, especially when it comes to simplifying it, you can try Start10.
Due to Start10, you get the possibility to make the Start Menu on your Windows 10 computer resemble the one included in Windows 7.
This means that it comes with a Search box for looking up files, folders or programs, while also including multiple power options (sign out, lock, restart, shutdown or hibernate).
If you have some time to spare, you can experiment with the many customization options of Start10 until you are pleased with the outcome.
For example, you can switch to a different Start Menu style or theme, as well as choose a custom PNG or BMP image for the Start button. The transparency and the texture colors can be altered as well, with only a few mouse clicks.
Once you have selected a new configuration, you can simply open the Start Menu and view its changed looks in real-time, without needing to restart the PC.
Due to Start10, you can also personalize the links displayed in your Start Menu, even if you are not a computer expert. You can select the folders that should be accessible in the right-hand side, as well as define their opening behavior.
The newly installed apps can be highlighted in the Start Menu, to make them more noticeable, and the number of large icons can be user-defined.
All in all, Start10 can come in handy to all those who liked the Start Menu in Windows 7, and are looking for its familiar feel while benefiting from the functions of Windows 10.
Windows 10 Start Menu Start Menu Alternative Customize Start Menu Start Menu Customization Replace Alternative
Personalize your Windows setup before installing it on your computer by using this reliable and straightforward software solution.
Tech-savvy users are often looking to create customized versions of their Windows setup files before installing them on their computers.
WinNTSetup is one of the utilities that you can rely on to achieve this goal since it can help you personalize the setups of multiple versions of Windows.
It needs to be emphasized that the application was created mainly for experienced users, so novices are advised to ask for help before attempting to come up with their custom installer.
You need to start by browsing to the WIM image you want to use, no matter if it is a WIM, SWM or ESD file. Alternatively, you can right-click the ‘Search’ button to browse to and load an ISO file.
Once this step is completed, the application displays a list of the available Windows editions that are supported by the file.
WinNTSetup provides you with a hefty list of enhancements that you can apply to your newly-created Windows installer.
As such, you can disable Aero transparency, Windows 8 lock screen or the Windows 8 first logon animation. The operating system can also be set to boot directly to the desktop, thus bypassing the Start screen.
Additionally, you can remove the arrow from the shortcuts or get rid of the ‘Shortcut to’ string whenever a new shortcut is created.
If you are confident that you know what you are doing, you can take things one step further and disable system restore, hibernation, UAC or Windows Defender.
Another handy function of WinNTSetup is that you can use it create a partitioned Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) for installing the customized edition of Windows. You also get to attach an existing VHD to your PC or detach one you no longer need.
To sum it up, this utility can prove to be a genuine lifesaver for those looking to generate personalized versions of Windows setups. It could use with some documentation, yet it is assumed that those who use it already have advanced PC skills.
Customize Windows Customize Installer Installer Creator Customization Customize Tweak VHD
Adjust the brightness levels as well as the backlight on multiple external monitors with the help of this nifty little tray application.
Having multiple screens or monitors is without a doubt one of the best-proven ways to increase overall productivity since it allows us to share data between apps more easily, as well as have a far better multitasking experience.
Happily, Windows 10 is quite good at handling multiple monitors, and it even offers a lot more options in this regard than earlier versions. Nevertheless, when it comes to adjusting the brightness and even backlight of external monitors, Windows typically doesn’t fare all that well.
Hence, if you’re working with multiple monitors and often feel the need to change the brightness and backlight levels, then we definitely suggest taking a look at Twinkle Tray.
In short, Twinkle Tray is a super-stylish and very efficient, Electron-based application that provides instant access to the brightness levels of all compatible monitors and, as its name suggests, it does so directly from the system tray.
Before we go even further, it’s worth noting that the app uses DDC/CI (Display Data Channel and Command Interface) and WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) to establish communication with your monitors.
Right off the bat, one of the best aspects of Twinkle Tray is just how seamlessly it integrates with Windows 10. Once installed, the app adds a small icon in your computer’s system tray from where you can normalize the brightness levels across different monitors via easy-to-operate sliders.
For such a seemingly straightforward app, Twinkle Tray offers a surprising amount of configuration options. Just head over to the Settings menu, and you’ll see that the app can be set up to automatically launch at system startup, change the brightness update rate (by default it’s 500 ms), and even choose between various GUI themes.
Taking everything into account, Twinkle Tray is a very good application by all standards. It’s very useful, easy to install, effortless to work with, and it looks right at home on Windows 10.
Adjust Brightness Backlight Adjustment Control Monitor Brightness Backlight Monitor Adjust
Adjust the brightness of multiple monitors easily from the system tray, with this lightweight, user-friendly and unobtrusive app.
It is not uncommon to have to adjust your monitor’s brightness multiple times throughout the day, and this can get very difficult if you are using two or more displays.
Monitorian is a very useful application that enables you to control the brightness of every connected monitor from a simple UI in the system tray area. It integrates perfectly with the OS, and it is exceedingly simple to use.
Once installed, the application looks right at home on your desktop. It features a minimalistic design that goes great with the Windows 10 interface, so much so that you could swear it was a part of the OS to begin with.
Monitorian is only displayed in the system tray, and a single mouse click is all it takes to bring up the configuration panel. Two button sizes are available, so you can even customize its looks based on your preferences.
While this application can be useful even if you only have one display, it really comes into its own if you are sporting a multiple monitor setup. Up to four are supported at present, and it should be noted that they must be DDC/CI-enabled.
If you prefer to link the brightness of two or more devices, you can pair them up so that any adjustments will be made to all of them, minus the monitors that haven’t been selected.
The brightness change is gradual, not instant – it takes one or two seconds for the application to make the adjustment, depending on its magnitude, which I believe is a good approach.
To put it simply, there is no reason not to get this utility if you are using more than one monitor, although those with single displays can still benefit from it. Monitorian offers the simplest possible way of adjusting brightness, and it looks like it’s an integral part of the OS.
Adjust brightness Control brightness Change brightness Brightness Monitor Display Adjust
Enjoy the power of Windows 11 without giving up on the classic and familiar look of your desktop, taskbar, file explorer and the Start menu.
With Windows 11 officially released, users who want to enjoy the power of the new operating system must get accustomed to the new desktop layout and the enhanced looks. While many embrace the novelty, some are not so excited about the changes in appearance, especially since the main working area, the desktop, suffered a few significant changes.
If you are among the ones who don’t like change too much and want to stay in a working environment that is familiar, then you will surely enjoy StartAllBack. Created by the developers of the popular StartIsBack application, StartAllBack is an enhancement tool specifically designed to bring back the classic layout and looks to a Windows 11 computer.
What StartAllBack does is restore the classical look of the taskbar, the File Explorer, Windows context menus and the Start menu, of course. Once installed, StartAllBack makes the revamped user interface of Windows 11 disappear and restores the elements that you are familiar with from previous OS iterations.
Please keep in mind that StartAllBack is specifically designed for Windows 11 and will not work on any older operating system. If you want to get back the start menu on Windows 10, then you should download StartIsBack for Windows 10, 8.1 or 8.
Let us begin with the taskbar, which is significantly modified in Windows 11. To be more specific, the new OS brings a centralized taskbar with the Start Menu button placed in the middle as well, creating a layout that might remind you a little too much of the macOS dock.
The original looks and position of the taskbar can be restored thanks to StartAllBack. Task icons are assigned labels, the size and the margins of the icons can be adjusted, and the taskbar can be split into segments. While in Windows 11 the taskbar is pinned to the bottom edge of the monitor, the classic taskbar can be moved to any of the edges. Moreover, the Start button is placed to the lower left corner, exactly where it has been staying throughout
Windows Explorer is also overhauled in Windows 11, with a simplified toolbar that replaces the ribbon-based GUI. You can get back the original ribbon and command bar, as well as the "Details" pane at the bottom of the window and the old search box.
As for the Start menu, StartAllBack restores it to its original position, allowing you to launch apps and navigate the system with a click, with fast and reliable built-in search.
StartAllBack brings back the items that were changed in Windows 11, allowing you to preserve the familiar Start menu, taskbar and Windows Explorer looks. It is all about preference and the will to try out the new Windows looks and layout, but if you prefer working in a familiar environment, then StartAllBack can provide that for you.
Win10 Start menu Start Menu toggle Restore Start menu Start Menu Windows 11 Restore Metro
An advanced tool that enables you to re-map your keyboard by creating several configurations in any language you wish, then install it to the system.
Keyman Developer is a reliable keyboard re-mapping software that enables you to create virtual keyboards in any language you wish. You can easily assign custom symbols to each physical key, then view it rendered on the screen. You can compile your projects for the Keyman desktop application or for the Web typing service.
Keyman Developer allows you to create a virtual keyboard, meaning to re-map the signals sent from the physical keyboard, each time you press a specific button. For instance, in the English alphabet, pressing the ‘A’ key results in rendering the symbol ‘a’ in a typing field, on your desktop. You can re-configure these signals by creating a custom keyboard layout, featuring Unicode or Legacy Code Page sets.
The software can guide you through the creation of your virtual keyboard, starting with a project and ending with the compilation of your own keyboard layout. Thus, you may name the project, in the main tab, set the characters mode and optionally, copyright messages. Next, you need to set the primary and other supported languages. You can select from the Windows provided languages or browse the Internet for ethnologue speeches.
The ‘Layout’ tab allows you to select the graphic signal sent by each key on your physical keyboard. You can choose the font type for the preview, then click on each individual key in the figure and assign a specific symbol from the collection displayed in the box on the right. The box contains both the graphic representations of the letters, characters and symbols, as well as the Unicode values. Additionally, you may add separate functions to the Ctrl/Alt keys corresponding to the right and the left hands.
The software allows you to compile the project and create a keyboard layout that you can save as a file on your computer. Alternatively, you may directly install it to the Keyman Desktop application or upload it to the software’s website, to be used with its online typing service. Moreover, you can create an on-screen version of your keyboard, as well as a taskbar icon, for better identification.
Re-map Keyboard Keyboard Layout Keyboard Creator Keyboard Re-map Layout Language
Keyman Developer is part of these download collections: Key Mapper
Take part in the Insider Preview program to get a glimpse at the latest Windows features and actively contribute to shaping the Windows environment.
The Windows Insider program is created by Microsoft to allow regular users to take the latest Windows features for a spin before an official iteration is released. Thus, anyone with a high level of curiosity can become part of the Insider community and share their experience, offer suggestions and report bugs, helping the development team to design a better OS for everyone.
The Windows 10 Insider Preview does not differ fundamentally from the latest Windows 10 commercial release, so you will be able to see the same start menu, the same desktop environment, and use the same pre-installed applications. Cortana provides guidance during setup and can be used as a personal assistant afterward.
From one release to another, the Windows 10 Insider Preview addresses issues identified by the community and brings to the table new features and enhancements that are first available to the Windows Insiders. Microsoft occasionally organizes Bug Bashes, sending its Insiders on a quest to find bugs and issues in Windows.
There are multiple so-called "rings" in the Insider Preview program. The Fast ring obtains the new builds the fastest, so they get to experiment with the latest features first, at the expense of a Windows environment that is prone to bugs. The releases are then shipped to the Slow ring and subsequently to the Release Preview ring.
Aside from a standard version, Windows 10 Insider Preview is also available in other additional editions, each designed for a specific type of users. The Enterprise edition targets large and midsize organizations, the Home edition can meet the needs of regular consumers, while the Insider Preview Educational is fit for students and other users in an academic environment. Registration is required to get the latest download files for any of the above Insider Preview versions.
Downloads for the Windows 10 Insider Preview are usually available as ISO files, which can be deployed either in a virtual machine or used to create bootable USB drives. Microsoft recommends you to avoid installing Preview builds on a home or a business PC, as such Windows iterations are unstable, still in the testing phase and might experience crashes. Even if you decide to go against this advice, please remember to create backups of your data beforehand.
In case you want to return to your previous Windows version, please note that the recovery partition of the OS cannot be used once an Insider Preview build is deployed. In other words, you will have to re-install Windows either using an installation media or a recovery media you created prior to installing the Preview build.
The Insider Preview program provides access to exciting new features that will be available to the public in the next official Windows release. It allows the most curious users to get a glimpse at the newest Windows functions while building a solid community ready to contribute to creating a better experience for future consumers.
Operating System Download Windows 10 Insider Preview Windows Insider Insider ISO Windows Insider
Tweaking Windows 11 to your liking has never been easier: modify the taskbar and context menus, adjust the file and folder options, and much more through this intuitive software.
Windows 11 had a quite rocky release: many users of the previous iteration found the new version rather unremarkable, owing to the host of changes that modified the user experience in unnecessary ways.
The new taskbar was rather controversial, and the changes to the context menu behavior weren't all that popular either. While Registry Editor tweaks do exist — such as making the taskbar smaller — the extra steps involved may put off some users. Windows 11 Fixer aims to make it much easier to modify Microsoft's latest OS release: alter the taskbar and right-click menu, tweak the file explorer, and much more — all with a few clicks.
This is a straightforward utility, accessible to anyone wanting to modify the design and behavior of their Windows 11 machine. It's a no-nonsense app where you can see everything at a glance: modify the taskbar, right-click menu, file explorer, file and folder options, as well as alter Windows settings, all from the main interface.
All that is required from you is choosing your preferred options: make the taskbar look like on Windows 10 by changing its location, modifying its size, and removing the unnecessary widgets. If Windows 10's way of handling context menus appeals to you more, you can have Windows 11 exhibit the same behavior via this app.
The same can apply to the other settings: input your preferences, then reboot your system. Prohibit Windows from searching online, disable the Widgets service, and uninstall Cortana — it's all so easy.
There's also a designated section in this program for installing programs: you can install Firefox or Chrome this way, and the Recommended Software provides you with valuable tools for your machine: PowerToys can greatly boost your productivity, for example.
What's more, seeing hidden folders can be toggled via the app, and there's also an option for file extensions. You can also apply Microsoft's suggested settings for security and privacy, as well as change the system theme and transparency.
Windows 11 Fixer provides plenty of functionality to help users make Microsoft's latest OS release feel more like home.
Windows Optimizer Customize Windows Fix Windows Windows Fix Optimizer Fixer