Home > Unix > Microsoft To Launch Windows Services For Unix 3.5 Next Week Microsoft To Launch Windows Services For Unix 3.5 Next Week Eugenia Loli 2004-01-12 Unix 34 Comments Windows Services for Unix 3.5, which is currently in beta testing and will be officially launched next week at the LinuxWorld Expo, is updated for the latest round of Windows offerings, Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 34 Comments 2004-01-12 5:54 am Is this version also based on OpenBSD? http://www.deadly.org/article.php3?sid=20030927090008 2004-01-12 6:06 am AFAIK MS uses Interix for their Unix Tools. Just checked out Interix’s site and here is an interesting tid bit. Microsoft® Windows® Services for UNIX (SFU) 3.0 has the Interix subsystem technology built in. SFU 3.0 provides platform interoperability and application migration components in one fully integrated and supported product from Microsoft. Interix provides a powerful, high-performance environment in which to easily run UNIX applications and scripts on the Windows XP/2000/NT operating systems. http://www.interix.com/ Its on the main page. So I guess the answer to your question, YES MS is using internix which uses OpenBSD. I wonder if MS will ever donate money to any *BSD projects for their help. 2004-01-12 6:19 am I was just checking out the forums at internix and notice something quite interesting. It seems that most of the questions are based on Windows users trying to learn SFU/Unix rather than Unix users moving to Windows. I see at least 2 possibilities with this scenario: 1) Windows user learning Unix (not for migration). People are asking question about building X and adding packages (pkg_add). Could WinX admins be using Unix to enhance their boxen? Just doesn’t ring the migration bell. 2) Windows user learning enough about Unix to go through migration. Seems like there is a different target audience that is being hit than the one being presented. What do other OSNews readers think? 2004-01-12 6:35 am tell me the pros/cons versus cygwin? 2004-01-12 7:35 am Roberto Dohnert reviewed SFU 3.0 for OS News in June 2003. Here’s a snippet : ” I was also able to do a remote installation of FreeBSD with SFU”. Can you imagine having to put up with a BSOD when installing FreeBSD remotely ? Maybe there are a few IT managers who don’t know that 100.00 $ will get them a fully configured Pentium II 450 MHz on which they may install the freely available Suse, Red Hat or Solaris. 2004-01-12 7:44 am Here’s the thing, Stevie: Some of us actually run a lot of Windows tasks on our server that aren’t available on other platforms. Your $100 (is that US or Canadian? Bah!) won’t go very far in providing that enterprise compatibility; hence, WSU is a reasonable compromise. 2004-01-12 8:33 am >tell me the pros/cons versus cygwin? I am not an expert but cygwin includes a lot more up to date stuff and also is designed to work better in both directions. Windows Services for Unix 3.5 is designed to get you over your Unix hump and not much else. It designed for migration and is not meant for you to run it as a permenate solution. Microsoft’s aims are to get people to switch to Windows totally and not to promote dual enviroments or provide updates to keep you going etc… 2004-01-12 8:35 am Oh yeah I forgot ! Cygwin is free constantly being updated but Windows Services for Unix is not free and is only updated once in a very long time or only when there are serious bugs. Again it’s designed to help you in ease true a Unix transition and move totally over to Windows. 2004-01-12 9:44 am ..compared to natively compiled GNU tools! http://www.weihenstephan.de/~syring/win32/UnxUtils.html 2004-01-12 10:20 am While cygwin might be slower then ported unix apps, it is still and amazing piece of work. I was running fluxbox / postgres / X11 and it worked great for a development machine. i would not using cygwin versions of rsync or apache/ftpd as a production server because of overhead cygwin apps. But those people who have strict rules about what OS they can run on there work computer cygwin offers a great alternative. Furthermore — with ported unix app’s , you are still stuck using cmd.exe or another window’ish shell — while w/ cygwin I am able to use xterm or rxvt — -greg 2004-01-12 10:28 am But those people who have strict rules about what OS they can run on there work computer cygwin offers a great alternative. The stuff I linked to does offer the same great alternative as Cygwin, minus the sluggishness. I think you missunderstood my post. Unfortunately, people that need a UNIX environment on Windows, often think that Cygwin is the only free laternative. Not so! 2004-01-12 10:39 am I responded because i felt your Subject line “Cygwin is a piece of crap” was a bit harsh ;-] I agree that people tend to choose Cygwin tools first when there are looking for Win32 UNIX tools.. for example the windows admin where i work, tried to use the cygwin version of rsync to manage a 25GB archvie — you can imagine he was not very impressed by the speed ;-] -greg 2004-01-12 10:48 am Sometimes there’s a precompiled version of a program by the team who coded it. MySQl (Cygwin), Apache (?), and DOSbox (?) come in mind as examples. Why bother to get dev tools, if there’s such a precompiled version already? Unless ofcourse, it got compiled using Cygwin while performance is an issue — like in the case of MySQL. Some people actually do use a Cygwin alternative like VC, MingW, [..]. 2004-01-12 11:14 am you can imagine he was not very impressed by the speed ;-] In this fast field of action, it is either cool or a piece of crap – there is no middle ground. *nix heads are etched with fopen(), fork(), pipe(), etc, that are unavailable natively on win32. On solid win32 platforms, fast IO are achieved through overlapped IO and/or IoCompletionPort. 2004-01-12 11:48 am “*nix heads are etched with fopen(), fork(), pipe(), etc, that are unavailable natively on win32.” fopen() and pipe() are there but you have to prepend an underscore to pipe(). fopen() http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/vclib/html/_crt_fopen.2c_._… _pipe() http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/vclib/html/_crt__pipe.asp 2004-01-12 12:16 pm “Some of us actually run a lot of Windows tasks on our server that aren’t available on other platforms”. Let me guess : in order to leverage Unix ressources in your network, you need to shell out money for a half baked version of Unix utilities while the real thing is available for free ? What a smart way of spending the company funds. By the way, the $ 100 I mentioned were US, check out ebay if you want. 2004-01-12 12:33 pm Well, until recently, Linux has been a half-baked clone of UNIX so I guess we’re even. 2004-01-12 12:42 pm Where I work, we have two Win2k servers – one for Active Directory, and one for file serving. We use Services for Unix 2.0, and although it mostly works, we have some odd problems with it. First problem is any time we save a file from Unix, the file modification time gets set in a way that causes whatever program wrote it to think that the file was modified by another process. For example, every time I save in Emacs, the next edit I try to make will give the message “File has been changed on disk, continue anyway?” Permissions and groups displayed by “ls -l” usually don’t have any baring on reality. The group is often just a random number around 4 billion (it may be 2^32 – 1, can’t check right now). The permissions only have any basis in what they actually are if the file was created in Unix. Files created in Windows usually appear to be chmod’d 000. Konqueror has a lot of trouble browsing the NFS share. If I double click a folder icon, I get a permission denied error. But if I type the path into the address bar, making sure to include a trailing /, everything works fine. The worst part is any time we add or modify a user in the Active Directory, it prevents the Unix machines from working. Most users will end up being denied access to everything on the NFS share. Some users will be completely unaffected. Which users are affected seems random, and differs each time. Rebooting the file server and/or the active directory server just changes which users have problems. The only solution we found was to shut down both Win2k servers and all Unix machines, wait a few minutes, then turn on the active directory machine, then the file server, then the Unix machines, each time waiting for the previous machine to finish booting. We ordered Services for Unix 3.0 when it was free recently, but when we mentioned it to someone else at work, he claimed that the previous sysadmin tried it but only had more problems, so he downgraded back to 2.0. Most people would prefer just switching the servers to Linux, but doing so would cause a massive disruption to everyone during the switch. 2004-01-12 1:22 pm I have a beta version of the new 3.5, this release is much better than 3.0 it is more up to date. From what I was told by a Microsoft rep was that 3.0 was more geared towards a company migrating from UNIX to Windows while 3.5 is much more geared toward integration and interoperability with Linux and UNIX, one of the things I like about 3.5 is that BASH is included where before you had to obtain BASH through a 3rd Party. 2004-01-12 4:40 pm Let me guess : in order to leverage Unix ressources in your network, you need to shell out money for a half baked version of Unix utilities while the real thing is available for free ? What a smart way of spending the company funds. By the way, the $ 100 I mentioned were US, check out ebay if you want. Is the issue here being against MS or is the issue that there is something better? If using MS saves me 1 hour, the 100$ you talk about is more expensive than my time. I’m confident I’m not alone in this situation. I agree that Unix is nice, but there’s frankly not much to complain about when it comes to MS. It’s cheaper than Linux these days even, assuming you run just normal operations… Red Hat is really expensive. Nope, we won’t run Debian or Gentoo, it’s considered unstable and as we start loosing hours it’s just not worth it anymore. Use the right tool for you job, no matter if that be Windows or Unix… 2004-01-12 4:43 pm I’ve used this Microsoft package, though I was not aware that it was in Beta. I had it on an academic license, and I thought it was pretty neat. IMO, it’s basically exactly like cygwin except for a few things: – You don’t get to pick what packages go in – It’s slow – tcsh is the default shell (iirc) The advantages of it are: – It comes with an nfs client/server – It comes with development tools that aren’t half bad. I had some very unix-intensive code (using full unix IPC, forks, and the lot), and it ran fine under this emulator. So yeah, worth 100$? Not to me, but maybe my boss. :/ 2004-01-12 4:50 pm Nofi, but i find your current hack… ugly. Why do you wish to use NFS btw? Is downtime really important when you reboot so much? Does the system have to be 24/7? Though i do not know the exact environment, from what i gathered 2 possible solutions come in mind: 1) do the migration in the evening or weekend. TYT. Quite a common solution 2) grab one client PC, put Linux on it, set that up as server, copy database over thus migrating one server. Delete Windows from that server, put Linux on it, and that one is setted up correctly. Do the same with the second one and voila. That’s, how much downtime? 4 times a short switch of 30 seconds because of switching a networking cable. I’d prefer 1. 2004-01-12 4:52 pm Having read 2 comments about NFS, i’m wondering if there’s a Free (speech), , free (beer), stable NFS client/server for Win32? Has anyone else got issues with Cygwin’s NFS client/server? Has anyone benchmarked the thing? What about MS SFU 2.x/3.x? 2004-01-12 4:55 pm I have had similar complaints about the NFS client of it. It seems as though an NFS client can only create or modify files on the NFS server, RH9 in my case, if the directory is chmod 777. I’ve tried assigning different owners and groups and setting the permissions that way, but now that I see what you’ve said about the large number for a user id, it makes perfect sense. The user mapping didn’t seem to help either. Something else that was strange about all this, I forced NFS all users to root on the directory I exported. Even still, the directory has to be 777’ed. One final complaint about it… I use NFS on my Linux boxes because it has a lot less overhead than SMB. This didn’t really appear to be true for SFU. I tried to copy a 6MB file from my Linux box to the Windows 2000 box running SFU, and it took nearly an hour to complete! When I uninstalled SFU and tried it again, with SMB, I had the file in about 5 minutes. Keep in mind, I have a 100Mb network. In Linux, if I try the same thing, but with NFS, the file is transfered in less than 1 minute. All in all, I say that for people looking for an NFS client for Windows should not mess with this. Samba works better. 2004-01-12 5:11 pm Anyone know where i can find out how much and what GPL software is included in this release, can’t seem to find out anything on the MS SFU site. 2004-01-12 5:35 pm The answer to why use SFU is the availability of commercial support. Plus, in corporate dollars, it really is pretty inexpensive for a product that is guaranteed to work on your platform. One has to admit that the NFS server and client (with MMC consoles) are pretty slick, especially at the package price. I don’t believe the permissions problems mentioned above are still present in the recent verisons of SFU (3.0/3.5), but I could be mistaken, which would knock off the value. 2004-01-12 6:03 pm “I agree that Unix is nice, but there’s frankly not much to complain about when it comes to MS. It’s cheaper than Linux these days even, assuming you run just normal operations… Red Hat is really expensive. Nope, we won’t run Debian or Gentoo, it’s considered unstable and as we start loosing hours it’s just not worth it anymore.” Redhat does not equal GNU/Linux. There are plenty of stable distributions of GNU/Linux to go around. And how exactly is Debian not stable? 2004-01-12 6:31 pm I tried using some of the Unix utilities for Windows on one of the college computers today, and I have to say that the ‘zsh’ shell is at the moment not up to the job. For one thing, it still displays the old 8+3 filenames even though we have an XP system. Then again it would be nice if they could get something like this going because the DOS shell is obviously not adequate. But the Windoze screen emulator thing is far worse than the shell, it does not even allow you to scroll unlike on a proper terminal emulator. 2004-01-12 8:11 pm The last offer was sort of a free version and I didn’t get the extra disk they offered. There reply was to pay another 11 something and reorder it. Well, thank you anyway. The CD wasn’t that big of a thrill so the other experience CD wasn’t worth it. There is also the CAL issues so ??? 2004-01-12 8:43 pm Well, I’m not the sysadmin here but a programmer. So the network isn’t my responsibility, although I do end up helping the sysadmin often. The network setup here was done by the previous sysadmin, and I wasn’t here at the time. So I don’t know why he chose the things that he didn’t. Most of my working with the network here has come about as helping the new sysadmin figure everything out. Right now all user data, including home directories, is on the file server. With NFS, we can mount the file server from /etc/fstab and then forget about it. But with SMB, the connection must be made with the username of the person using the connection. I haven’t seen a way to make that work transparently like with NFS. We don’t have downtime issues much now, although from looking at the logs, it seems pretty consistent that once every 3 months we’ll have an issue like I said before about people being unable to access anything. 2004-01-12 9:08 pm if mc is includet ? 2004-01-12 9:47 pm I can’t say for sure, but I’m almost 100% sure it isn’t. 2004-01-13 3:23 am Let’s face it, every OS in one way or another is a clone of Unix. Also, it should be called Unix services for Windows not the other way around. 2004-01-13 3:12 pm Exactly right – they’ve got the name backwards but that’s Microsoft for you; the “Windows” brand has to come first. I used version 3 for some time and it’s okay IF you get all the updates ( and there are lots of them) from http://www.interopsystems.com/tools/index.htm. Without the updates, you’re using a lot of really old crap.