MSYS2 is an independent rewrite of MSYS, based on modern Cygwin (POSIX compatibility layer) and MinGW-w64 with the aim of better interoperability with native Windows software.

The name is a contraction of Minimal SYStem 2, and aims to provide support to facilitate using the bash shell, Autotools, revision control systems and the like for building native Windows applications using MinGW-w64 toolchains.

We wanted a package management system to provide easy installation of packages, and ported Arch Linux's Pacman. This brings many powerful features such as dependency resolution and simple complete system upgrades, as well as providing the build system - makepkg{,-mingw} - which is used to make these packages. The set of software-building recipes (PKGBUILD and patches) for MSYS2 itself are at:

.. and those for MinGW-w64 (native Windows software) are at:

Both 32 and 64-bit are supported.


  • MSYS2 Cygwin fork
  • Port of Arch Linux's Pacman
  • Hundreds of FOSS packages

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  • Amazingly usefull

  • This project is all around an excellent way to use *nix command line software and tools on Windows. It feels like a simplified and less bloated version of Cygwin. It's faster than Cygwin, but lacks the same depth of emulation Cygwin offers. Processing a few hundred megabytes of text in the shell is many times faster than Cygwin, but there is no X11 support at all. The only flaw is the redundant and irritating package naming convention that was used. All packages are prefixed with their internal subsystem name (which is the same as the repository name...) and also their externa subsystem name. For example: mingw32/mingw-w64-i686-libgusb, instead of i686/mingw32/libgusb. This makes finding and installing packages extremely tedious compared the ArchLinux's native pacman.

  • I use MSYS2 to build certain programs in Windows binaries. This is the best tool I use.

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