Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 16th Jan 2006 19:06 UTC, submitted by anonymous
General Unix "UWIN or Unix for WINdows, is developed and released by AT&T Laboratories and David Korn - the creator of Korn shell. UWin basically consists of a set of tools and libraries which helps application developers compile and run Unix applications natively on windows. The tools include a complete shell (Korn Shell) for Windows which is bundled with all the command line tools you find in Linux/Unix."
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by Karrick on Tue 17th Jan 2006 14:21 UTC
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From when Windows NT was first developed it has had a POSIX subsystem which allowed applications to call standard UNIX (i.e. POSIX) API. In fact, Windows NT also had an OS/2 subsystem, and even Win32 is implemented as an API subsystem, although it happens to be the default. The Windows NT subsystem model turns out to be a very elegant design that the Windows NT developers intended to assist corporations and perhaps government bodies to migrate machines using "legacy-architecture" x86 binaries to Windows. This is the exact same capability that FreeBSD and NetBSD "compat" libraries provide. Similarly, Solaris allows you to run Linux-x86 binaries inside Solaris without being in a container with the same "compat"-like technology. Note, this is not VMWare, or Xen technology, but merely implementing another Operating System's API like the GNU Wine project is working on.

Microsoft SFU is a set of UNIX programs compiled against this POSIX.dll already in your machine. However, one important note worth mentioning here is that Microsoft SFU refuses to install on a Windows XP Home machine. It requires Win2000 Pro or WinXP Pro. The reasoning is that it is meant to entice sysadmins to migrate to Windows while still having that UNIX-like experience on the command-line.

That being said, to get the true UNIX experience on Windows XP Home, (if you don't want to fork over excess of $200 for a Pro license for that brand-new laptop that had XP Home bundled with it...), then you'll have to use Cygwin, UWIN, or a number of other packages. As said above, some people might claim that Microsoft SFU is cripple-ware because of this silly limitation.

According to UWIN's website, UWIN re-implements the POSIX API, which in my initial view may be overkill based on the fact that the API is already licensed by Microsoft and sitting on each machine (POSIX.dll). However, perhaps it was re-implemented because of Intellectual Property rights:

Another interesting question nobody has yet asked is how AT&T (indeed the original creator of UNIX) is able to give away the source code to the UNIX API implementation if the UNIX IP was sold to Novell and then to SCO. ??? Maybe since the library was re-implemented from scratch by David Korn and parts contracted out to a company in India... Just a thought...

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