Cygwin, a Linux-like environment for Windows, released version 3.4.0, comes with full ASLR enabled by default.
Cygwin is a well-known tool among computer users who, in the recent past, have been looking for a way to run Linux emulation on Windows. But, of course, we’re talking about days when Windows and Linux were on opposite sides of the fence, and concepts like Windows Subsystem for Linux seemed more like a script for a science-fiction movie.
Let’s explain in a few words what Cygwin is. It is a set of open-source tools that enable Linux applications to be compiled and executed on a Microsoft Windows from a Linux-like command line interface. The tool was developed by Cygnus Solutions, which Red Hat later acquired.
Recently, Cygwin devs released version 3.4.0, so let’s check what’s new.
Cygwin 3.4.0 Highlights
In this release, security has been improved. Cygwin 3.4.0 runs with full address space layout randomization (ASLR) enabled on Cygwin DLL by default. ASLR is a technique used to increase the difficulty of performing a buffer overflow attack that needs the attacker to know the location of an executable in memory.
Furthermore, the special handling of the
.com file name suffix has also been removed. So, from now on, it should always be used explicitly.
However, the most significant aspect of this release is removing support for several old versions of Windows. Cygwin 3.4 dropping support for Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and 32-bit Windows, including WOW64 on 64-bit Windows.
In addition, Cygwin 3.4 will be the last major release providing support for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2012. Its next major release, Cygwin 3.5, which is planned for late 2023, will only support the Windows versions listed below.
- Windows 8.1
- Windows 10
- Windows 11
- Windows Server 2012 R2
- Windows Server 2016
- Windows Server 2019
- Windows Server 2022
Cygwin 3.4.0 is available for free download from the project website. For a complete list of changes, view the release notes.