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Cygwin allows you to run many Linux and Unix programs under Windows. It is available at For the purposes of these instructions, we will take it for granted that you have already installed and set up Cygwin and X11. If you need help with those tasks or want more information about Cygwin and X11, consult the following:
Cygwin User's Guide:
Cygwin and X11 User's Guide:

Run the Cygwin setup program and select the following under the Libs directory (the versions that I installed are in parenthesis):

  • gd (2.0.21-1)
  • gtk2-x11 (2.4.3-2)
  • libpng (1.0.15-4)
  • libpng12 (1.2.5-4)
  • libpng2 (1.0.12-1)
  • libxml2 (2.6.9-1)
  • xpm-nox (4.2.0-4)

These libraries will draw in a number of other dependencies. Complete the setup process to install the libraries.

You will also need to install the Standard MIME Type Database from
I was not able to find the database in the Cygwin setup utility, but the Gnome 2.4 on Cygwin project has a binary port available for download here:
Unzip and untar this file in the Cygwin root directory

Obtain the Rox Cygwin binary here (it will have "cygwin" in the file name):

Extract the rox archive in the Cygwin root directory and run 'rox' in a command prompt. If everything is set up correctly you will be rewarded with a Rox Filer window.


  • If you get a series of errors similar to the following:

** (ROX-Filer:1760): WARNING **: Couldn't recognize the image file format for
file '/usr/local/apps/ROX-Filer/images/dirs.png'

The gdk-pixbuf library does not have up-to-date information about available image loaders. You can remedy it with the following command:

#gdk-pixbuf-query-loaders > /etc/gtk-2.0/gdk-pixbuf.loaders

  • If you get the following error:

** (ROX-Filer:2108): CRITICAL **: file mount.c: line 212 (read_time): assertion
`stat(path, &info) == 0' failed

It is caused by a missing /etc/fstab. If you do not have one, create one:

#touch /etc/fstab

  • If you get the following error:

No fonts found; this probably means that the fontconfig
library is not correctly configured. . .

You need to set up your /etc/fonts/fonts.conf file. My fonts.conf listed several directories, none of which existed. I added /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts, which did exist, to the list. I also downloaded the Gnome Bitstream Vera Fonts ( and extracted them into /.fonts. Then run the following command:


to index the font directories.

Related mailing list threads:

Windows version is very old

Note that the version of ROX-Filer linked here is very old (2.1.2). The current version is 2.7.1:

Anyone want to try updating the instructions?

It's much easier now

I just compiled ROX-Filer 2.8 from source in a fresh install of Cygwin. Starting with Xwindows, Openbox and gcc installed, I worked my way trial-and-error through installing the following dependencies:
all of which are available from the Cygwin setup packages.
Starting ROX-Filer I get a couple of warnings:
Warning about a missing /etc/fstab I fixed as above.
Warning about a missing icon text-plain and 'hicolor' theme - this should be fixable with the hicolor-icon-theme from, but that package will not compile on my computer. It gives errors which appear to be script errors. I'll keep trying.

100% now

I found the hicolor-icon-theme in the X11 section of the Cygwin setup packages. Now ROX-Filer seems to be 100%.

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