Life in the Slow Lane

Perforce and Cygwin

May 31st, 2007 · 3 Comments

I love Perforce as an SCM system - it’s not as dead simple as SVN but it’s pretty simple to use once you understand what a clientspec is (in fact I wrote the Perforce SCM plugin for Maven 2.x).

I like cygwin - the installer is horrible but it works ok once you get past that.

The problem is that the two don’t work too well together. cygwin likes to use pseudo-unix paths on Windows that look like /cygdrive/c/src/foo/bar instead of c:\src\foo\bar. So when you create a bash script to automate some file chore, those paths are used. Well, Perforce doesn’t understand those paths. Others have suggested creating a clientspec whose root matches the cygwin syntax and use that clientspec with the cygwin tools. My solution is simpler but non-obvious: use the cygpath command to convert the cygwin path to a standard windows path but it must be an absolute path. If it is not an absolute path, p4 tries to resolve the path and cygwin will hand it a cygdrive-style path again.

p4 edit `cygpath -a -w $file`

I hope this helps someone else with the same problem!

Tags: Software

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tony Smith // Jun 15, 2007 at 3:37 am

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your comments - glad you like Perforce. One thing that might also help you is to use the Cygwin client instead of the win32 client, as that understands Cygwin paths.

    Try this one:

    Obviously you need to make sure that this p4.exe is ahead of the Windows one in your PATH.

  • 2 P4 Cygwin client does not work for me // Jul 26, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    The Cygwin Perforce client does not work for me or a colleauge. We still get “path is not under client’s root.

  • 3 Jonathan // Jul 21, 2008 at 7:12 am

    Try adding the following to your .bashrc and then p4 from commandline just works:

    function p4() {
    export PWD=`cygpath -wa .`
    /cygdrive/c/Program\ Files/Perforce/p4.exe $@