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win7util — a set of utilities for interacting with the Windows shell and desktop from Cygwin scripts

Version 0.2a, March 2013

What is this?

win7util is a set of command-line utilities for doing windows shell and desktop operations from the Cygwin prompt, or from shell scripts. Few of these utilities do anything that can't be done with other Windows command-line tools; however, the advantage that win7util has is that all pathnames are in Unix format, thus avoiding the irritation of constant back-and-forth pathname conversion.

At present, win7util provides utilities to:

  • Manage Windows (not just Cyginw) processes
  • List and manage top-level Windows on the desktop
  • Set power state
  • Set desktop component visibility, including wallpaper
  • Copy text to and from the clipboard
  • Run a shell as a different user

As the name suggests, win7util was designed for use with Windows 7. It probably won't work with earlier Windows versions, and some of the utilities will behave differently on Windows 8.

Please note that win7util is a work in progress, and new utilities are added from time to time.


To install the binary distribution, download the binary tarball (see below), and unpack it in the / directory of your Cygwin installation. You will need administrator rights to do this.

To build and install from source, download and unpack the source tarball (see below), and run make then, with administrator rights, make install.


You can get help about any of the win7util utilities using the ordinary man command; e.g:
$ man win7util-list-processes
Alternatively, full documentation in HTML format is here.


win7util is distributed free of charge, according to the terms of the GNU Public Licence, version 2.0, in the hope that it might be useful to somebody. In brief you may use this software as you wish, at your own risk, provided that the original author is acknowledged.


Binary distribution
Source code
Copyright © 1994-2013 Kevin Boone. Updated Mar 03 2013