Setting the Windows Path Variable for Cygwin…when you’re not allowed to

Several years ago, whilst working in an organisation that thought that organising functions into silos was an outstanding idea, I needed to have a UTL_FILE_DIR added to the init.ora ( this was back on Oracle 8i, since you ask).
Not having sufficient access to be able to implement this change myself I had to request it from the DBA group….based in Madrid.
The request was to enable us to write to a directory on the same server as the Database. Not being involved in the physical configuration of the database, I left it to the DBAs to pick which directory to use.
This change, which would’ve taken me 2 minutes, disappeared into the system. The DBAs had to refer it to the Linux Admins( Poland), who had to then discuss the matter with the Storage Team (Switzerland).
End result : six weeks later I get an automated mail saying that the call has been resolved…and I end up with a unix environment variable called $UTL_FILE_DIR. Oh, how we laughed.

All of which brings me to the point of this post – if you happen to find your Cygwin usage stymied by the fact that you haven’t got access to change your system variables, you could of course, bribe, curse, blackmail, or otherwise argue your case with the powers that be…and maybe get somewhere in about 6 months.

Alternatively, you can just write a wrapper script to add the required directories to your PATH variable and then kick-off cygwin. For example, to add TextPad to the path :

@echo off
set PATH=%PATH%;c:\program files\textpad 5\
c:\cygwin\cygwin.bat

Incidentally, if you’re wondering what this Cygwin thing is, have a look here.

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