My work PC unsurprisingly runs Windows, specifically Windows 7 Enterprise. When customer engaged the PCs they provide unsurprisingly run Windows, typically Windows 7 Professional or Enterprise.
If I can use Gnu/Linux, be it on the “bare metal” or virtualized, that’s my preference. I want that clear at the outset.
Usually I can’t run a proper Gnu/Linux environment at a customer’s site. There are many reasons that I won’t go in to. That they deny my first choice is OK. While not optimal it is more than workable. I see it as a challenge.
When I’ve mentioned this to others, often they ask “Why don’t you use Cygwin?” Cygwin, for those who don’t know, is basically a *nux abstraction layer for Windows similar to what WINE provides as a Windows abstraction layer for *nix environments.You can DuckDuckGo for more information and a better explanation.
My biggest problem with Cygwin is that often I am prevented from running it in a corporate environment. Anti-virus, anti-malware, endpoint protection, content filters, proxies, next generation firewalls, and other mechanisms prevent the download or install or execution of Cygwin.
That alone means I cannot rely on Cygwin in many contexts.
Next, many Gnu utilities like Emacs compile natively on Windows and/or are available as native binaries, rendering Cygwin unnecessary. Non-Gnu *nix utilities are also available in similar forms. Most make it through the security mechanisms described, and if so rarely does an organization’s security or compliance team balk at them with a decent use case.
Third, many Windows environment scripting challenges are better met through Powershell than *nix shell scripts. For example, anything remotely Active Directory related can, in my opinion, be done better in Powershell. Plus often I have to provide knowledge transfer to the local IT resources, often Windows administrators.
What I Use:
There may be some bits and bobs from other sites, but these make up the main part of my portable workable environment.
I have a bigger write-up coming describing how I set up my Emacs environment in Windows.
What are your thoughts?