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Windows Services For Unix Now Free Of Charge

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the making-it-up-in-volume dept.

Microsoft 687

pole writes "Version 3.5 of Services for Unix will be free. Previously, it was $99. This article at Information Week has the details. It contains an NFS client and server in addition to POSIX libraries and utilities including pthreads. Aside from the NFS utilities, how does the environment compare to Cygwin?" An anonymous reader adds links to coverage at and at, writing "The reviews for these tools have been highly favorable. It looks like the next volley has been fired in the struggle between Windows and Linux."

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why the fuck.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7975858)

why bother to use NFS for Windows if you are already on a Windows enviornment? NFS is NOT FUCKING SPEEDY, NOT FUCKING SECURE, and is NOT FUCKING SMART.

Use Samba for networking when any Windows machines are involved.

For fuck's sake.

Re:why the fuck.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7975878)

How do you realy feel?

Re:why the fuck.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7975964)

ahh, the Network FaILurE System...

SMB is incredibly slow... (3, Informative)

etymxris (121288) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975981)

going between Windows and Linux boxes. I speak from first hand experience. An FTP transfer of the same (very large) file goes 10 times as fast on my gigabit network. I can't speak for NFS, but SMB is certainly not the be-all-end-all for serving files.

so lets make this simple (4, Interesting)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975859)

Let's make this simple for simple people like me. Does this mean in a week I can go to Microsoft's website, download a .exe file, run it, and be able to mount NFS partitions off my linux file server? I could ditch samba? Yes no?

Re:so lets make this simple (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7975892)

Yep. It's that simple. SFU used to be known as Interix... you might have heard of them before MS ate them...

Re:so lets make this simple (5, Funny)

deego (587575) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975897)

> Let's make this simple for simple people like me. > Does this mean in a week I can go to Microsoft's > website, download a .exe file, run it, and be
> able to mount NFS partitions off my linux file
> server? I could ditch samba? Yes no?

Sure! Just don't forget to read the gazillion-page EULA very carefully ;-).


Re:so lets make this simple (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7975987)

you are such a fucking faggot i would fucking shoot you through your fucking skull if i ever see your queer ass in your faggy gay pride parade with your fucking rainbows and assless chaps you fucking homo, i bet you go around and tell everyone how you love linux and hate microsoft because you are a fairy fucking faggot who sucks rms's cock and you like to gargle linus torvalds shit because he's your fucking boyfriend and you think your funny because you have microsoft it's little fucks like you who piss me off and make me want to not use open sores software because you fucking eliest faggots think you're hot shit and think world hunger and aids can be solved with linux so why dont you just shut the fuck up you fucking douchebag and go back to sodomizing tux the fucking penguin

Samba won't be popular until... (5, Funny)

Jahat (671757) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976083)

it is ported to Windows. (BTW... Got this from some other post on Slashdot a long time ago)

Re:so lets make this simple (5, Interesting)

dtperik (695891) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975912)

I was thinking the same thing. Does anyone know if the Windows NFS client works well enough that "straightforward" file access from Windows to Linux will be available? This could be a boon to even more Linux server installations.

Re:so lets make this simple (5, Informative)

Sexy Bern (596779) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975921)

My experience of SFU was that it was much more reliable than Hummingbird's implementation of NFS client.

I really can't remember any glitches using it for 2+ years against Solaris 2.6 boxes.

Re:so lets make this simple (1)

NightSpots (682462) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975961)


FYI, there's also a windows NFS server that IBM uses in its TotalStorage NAS line.

It's REALLY, REALLY nice to be able to have a single NAS that serves windows and NFS shares, and that interfaces with the IBM DLT Libraries.

Re:so lets make this simple (2, Informative)

wwest4 (183559) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976056)

Network Appliance.

Re:so lets make this simple (0, Redundant)

TWX (665546) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976077)

Wow, that's a lot of acronyms. I've seen more on one page, of course, but not in two sentences.

Let me try to break this down...

For your information, there's also a windows Network Filesystem server that International Business Machines uses in its TotalStorage Network Attached Storage line.

It's REALLY, REALLY nice to be able to have a single network attached storage that serves windows and Network Filesystem shares, and interfaces with the International Business Machines Digital Linear Tape Libraries.

Okay, I'm done now.

Re:so lets make this simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7975967)

if you need it to be that simple, you shouldn't run linux.

Re:so lets make this simple (5, Insightful)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976063)

ah but i use linux because it is simple. hard to learn, simple to use. i quite find windows simple to learn, hard to use, and i fancy the elegance of plain text everything that i get with my linux server.

Re:so lets make this simple (2, Informative)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976086)

Does this mean in a week I can go to Microsoft's website, download a .exe file, run it, and be able to mount NFS partitions off my linux file server?

So long as you are talking about Windows Server then yes.

Microsoft motives? (5, Insightful)

glinden (56181) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975861)

Can you say, "embrace and extend?"

Re:Microsoft motives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7975959)

Creepy. I was just about to post that same thing, punctuation and all, but I checked the page first.

Re:Microsoft motives? (4, Insightful)

NightSpots (682462) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975997)

If Microsoft provides a client for Unix filesystems, they get "embrace and extend" comments.

If Microsoft doesn't, they get the "refusing to support open standards" comments.

What do you want them to do? Do you want them to attempt to work with Unix, or do you want them to completely ignore the fact that Unix exists?

Re:Microsoft motives? (1)

glinden (56181) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976084)

Good point, and I agree with you. Personally, I'm pleased that these tools are now available for free and appreciate the move by Microsoft.

But, somewhere in the back of my mind, I'm wondering what Microsoft's next steps might be. Will I like what Microsoft does next? There's some reason to believe, given Microsoft's past behavior, that I might not.

Re:Microsoft motives? (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976061)

So, Microsoft just can't do anything right, eh?

Re:Microsoft motives? (1)

arhra (559935) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976064)

You mean like linux embraced and extended the POISX standard?

Re:Microsoft motives? (1)

gcaseye6677 (694805) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976075)

Dont forget the third part: Extinguish.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7975862)

plain old fp

Fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7975863)


Death to Mumia (-1, Offtopic)

CreamOfWheat (593775) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975865)



CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975882)

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7975867)


Re:FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7975922)


Windows? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7975870)

What's it all about? Is it good or is it whack?

Damn 2 minute posting ban. That's whack

FP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7975874)


Re:FP (-1)

Proctal Relapse (467579) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975954)

you fucking

at FPing. go back to mama's teat. you're not ready for the internet yet.

Thank you Microsoft (5, Insightful)

Mongo222 (612547) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975875)

What a fantastic set of tools for people who are migrating thier windows boxes to a Linux/Unix envirornment. Glad they finally saw the light of day and are working to join us.

bass ackwards (5, Funny)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975890)

It's really "unix services" for "Windows". They can't even get the name right - what else did they screw up at the forge of Mordor?

how it compares (5, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975901)

I've not used cygwin, but I have used the SFU demo.

They include gcc, but most of the other utilities are from OpenBSD or other non-GPL sources (there are about 40 different licenses included). ActiveState perl is also included, though you can get that free anyhow.

Re:how it compares (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976065)

how the fuck is this comment "funny" it should be flamebait who the fuck is the fucking faggot that fucking modded this fucking queer ass comment as funny you little 14 year old linux developers think its fucking funny to make fun of microsoft you fucking communist faggots who have gay anal sex with esr and rms you fucking hippies take a fucking shower you faggots i fucking hate you all and fucking would shoot you in the fucking pelvis with a .357 if you fuckers ever run into me i swear i will kick your fucking asses

This could backfire on MS (5, Insightful)

SkArcher (676201) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975903)

The idea is obviously to encourage migration from Unix to Windows, but it can just as easily be used to encourage migration in the other direction.

It is to be hoped that such opportunities are taken up by people wishing to get the out of MS lock in in a gradual manner.

Re:This could backfire on MS (4, Insightful)

nate1138 (325593) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975951)

Regardless of whether or not it backfires, it _does_ help interoperability, and that is a Good Thing no matter how you look at it. Almost nobody is exclusively Unix or MS, nor should they necessarily be.

The only bitch I will have is if this is like other Microsoft attempts at "interoperability" where they break shit. Think kerberos, java, etc.

Re:This could backfire on MS (3, Insightful)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976047)

The idea is obviously to encourage migration from Unix to Windows, but it can just as easily be used to encourage migration in the other direction.

Doubtful. Companies that are already Windows shops have a hard time taking all those windows documents and spreadsheets and power point presentations etc... and switching them over to a *nix equivalent (or standard format). The chances of a backfire are minimal.

The tools that do this were already available in the forms of SAMBA (and others). I'd say this is just a better way to help people switch from *nix environments to Windows (and MS is making it free so it isn't "worse than the open source solution").

Quite an ingenious decision on the part of MS, if I may say so.

No multithreading (3, Informative)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975905)

A shallow compatibility layer. I like it better than Cygwin, but that is just me.

Re:No multithreading (2, Interesting)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975977)

I for one would rather get kicked in the bean bag then be forced to use Cygwin. But thats just me. I'll see how this compares to UWIN [] when its out for download.

Windows finally gets NFS support? (1, Funny)

SeanTobin (138474) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975907)

Well heck, I guess to make this fair we are going to have to impliment SMB support.

Oh Shit I just had a hot steamer in my pants (-1, Offtopic)

CreamOfWheat (593775) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975911)

thought it would just be gas..but no first a hershey squirt and now a real explosion...what a day to wear tan khakis...oh crap the smell and now its running down my leg...jeeze that stuff is hot!...should have purchased those "oh shit i crapped my pants" adult pampers...what am i to do?

Re:Oh Shit I just had a hot steamer in my pants (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976000)

How about posting some original material. And maybe post it just once per day? That is a couple of good recommendations.


Re:Oh Shit I just had a hot steamer in my pants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976003)

Remain calm. Put your hands in your pockets and grab ahold of your underwear. Pull your underwear forward and hold to make a pouch that will prevent any more goodies from escaping. Calmly walk to the bathroom. Remove your pants and underwear. Sit by gloryhole and await further instructions.

Re:Oh Shit I just had a hot steamer in my pants (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976012)

I hear timothy likes it when people take a dump on him... maybe he could lick your asshole clean.

This is actually very good! (4, Interesting)

The One KEA (707661) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975914)

Something like this happen could mean that Microsoft is starting to have a slight change of heart about the presence of Linux/UNIX. Having this available for free could be great boon to people who have to run Linux alongside M$ - this ranks right up there with Samba, IMO.

Especially interesting is the addition of the pthread library to the Posix API package.

Re:This is actually very good! (1)

clifyt (11768) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976090)

Actually, there was an article a few days back where M$ said they were going to release tools to help folks move away from Linux environments as a way to bring their wayward sheep back into the fold.

Nothing of a change of heart...its another salvo against Linux from M$ and nothing else.

Personally, I run the GNUTools (along with PHP and Apache -- when I don't have to deal with ASP scripts I can't get away with) on my Windows boxes...actually translating some Linux stuff right now to Windows using these very tools -- I'd keep it all in Linux, but I'm programming against a third party app that the university has licensed which only works under Wind'rs and my old scripts HAVE to communicate with this one :(

The great thing about using GNUTools and PHP and otherwise is they are platform doesn't matter what you program them on, they just work (err...kinda...other than funky OS stuff that needs tweaked a little).

Again, nothing nice from Windows, and if I recall correctly, these tools are actually licensed from SCO, so I'd rather not use them either way...I'll stick with the stuff from the good guys...

Good business decision (4, Funny)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975915)

This is probably a good thing for Microsoft: make it easier to run Unix (aka Posix) apps on their systems. Odds are, they walked into too many meetings like this:

Salesman: So, that's how much switching to Microsoft Server will cost.

IT Guy: Yeah, but then there's the development costs of porting over our Unix and Linux stuff over.

Salesman: Who needs it! We've got IIS!

IT Guy: Yeah, but we developed our own apps or used some open source stuff -

Salesman: Agggghhh! We speak not its name!

IT Guy: Um, right. Anyway, now we'd have to redevelop those for Windows. How much does that Unix thing cost on Microsoft?

So now the answer is "free". I'm not saying I like Windows servers over Unix-style boxen - but this was a good business choice for MS.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

"Salesman" and "IT Guy" in same conversation? (3, Funny)

jlusk4 (2831) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975985)


Re:Good business decision (1)

praxis (19962) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976032)

Somehow I don't really think the previous SFU price of $99 was really a problem when faced with re-coding even a small sized project.

Not all so hot (5, Informative)

etymxris (121288) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975919)

I guess it depends on what you use it for. But as I have to do development work in Windows, I thought I'd try it out. Searching through the million line source tree our company has took about 10 times as long with 'grep' that came with "Services for UNIX" as it did with 'grep' that came with a now ancient version of MKS. Both of these were slower that current GNU grep on a Linux box, but the difference between GNU and MKS grep is not dramatic.

The lesson stays, however. If you expect to basically start with all the power of your Linux box, you'll be sorely dissappointed, just as someone expected the ease of use of Windows coming to Linux will be sorely dissappointed.

Is the source around? (3, Interesting)

torpor (458) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975925)

Anyone know?

I'm not gonna use it unless I get the source. Period.

Re: got your source right here (4, Informative)

ubiquitin (28396) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976036)

Interix [] used OpenBSD [] as is evidenced at []

So like 95% of it is just OpenBSD, mostly pulled from theh 3.0 release tree.

I have had unix tools for windows for a long time (1)

mpost4 (115369) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975926)

for free, one word, cwywin. It even has emacs (let the holy wars begin), cvs and gcc, it is a attempted to have a full unix envioment in windows.

Re:I have had unix tools for windows for a long ti (5, Funny)

Bingo Foo (179380) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976028)

one word, cwywin

Ah, yes. The Welsh-centric fork of Cygwin.

Re:I have had unix tools for windows for a long ti (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976038)

What the hell is cwywin anyway? Nice "one word."


Linux, meet the blue blanket. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7975928)

Dissertation on the uselessness of Linux zealots

A spectre is haunting the world -- the spectre of the Linux zealot.

What the Linux zealot is will appear evident to whoever has experienced or came in contact with the discussions which daily rage the Web disguised as news, e-mails, reference material, etc. The Linux zealot, is nothing but an animal wandering unceasingly in virtual and true reality (which moreover he treats in the same way) claiming to be an authority on the Linux operating system, an out-and-out guarantor for everyone's freedom, opposed to any safeguard of intellectual works (for a Linux zealot, the expression "copyright" is tantamount to sin against the Holy Spirit: there is no kind of expiation); in fact, he champions software freedom as a fundamental point for world evolution.

But first and foremost, the Linux zealot is a deeply dangerous being as he claims to be the guardian of truth, and sees with suspicion (when it goes off well) or scorn (for the rest of cases, i.e. most of them) those people who simply think differently from him.

But what's Linux? A Linux zealot will never give an authentic answer to this kind of question. He won't, not because he doesn't want to (even if this is the case), but because this question has been answered already, somewhere else by someone else. Linux is nothing but an operating system. The Linux zealot will claim that it is a different operating system from all others. But this is not the case. Because an OS is an OS, its main function is to manage the resources of a machine we will call "computer" from now on, for comfort of description. By the term "computer" we mean what is commonly meant by this expression, i. e. the system of hardware resources which are fixed to a certain purpose, be it home use, business use, or server management. Linux is an operating system. Like Windows, MS-DOS, OS/2, etc. There is no difference, in this sense, between Linux and other operating systems. Linux manages a computer, no more, no less. So do MS-DOS, Windows and OS/2. What the Linux zealot self-importantly and arrogantly highlights, is the fact that Linux is a free operating system, i.e., it is made available free of charge to the end user. This of course isn't true at all, but the Linux Zealot believes it. Linux is freely distributable, not free of charge. This means that the kernel and everything included in the operating system's minimal requirements can be freely distributed, not that they must be distributed free of charge. This is the first great misapprehension of the Linux zealots, who find their claim challenged by facts: if the essential parts which make the operating system, and some additional software, are freely distributable, they should explain the reason of the costs -- not prohibitive but certainly notable -- of the most popular Linux distributions, Red Hat and SuSE foremost. And most of all, they should explain the fact that companies like Red Hat are regularly listed on the stock exchange, and Mr. Linux Torvalds enjoys a rather high standard of living. These benefactors of mankind, these software alternatives, these computer non-conformists (so much non-conformist as to be terribly conformist in their non-conformism) naturally justify the distributing companies' profits with excuses like "but there's a printed manual", "but the bundled software is qualitatively and numerically superior compared to the most popular distribution". "but it is easier to install" and other unspeakable nonsense. "On the other hand" they say "if someone wants Linux, they can just as easily download it from the Internet". Sure. Download it from the Internet. But how long must you stay connected, if you regularly pay an Internet bill, to complete the download of an updated version of a decent distribution of an operating system? So what? Is Linux free? No. Linux is not free, same as nothing downloaded from the Internet is free, unless you have access to an University server or can in whatever way scrounge a connection. If you ask a Linux zealot to burn the material you are interested in, he will do so with great disappointment, and at least he will ask the money for the CD back, or will invite you to make a donation to the GNU project, another sublime decoy produced by the zealots' ingenuity.

Why don't Linux zealots explain what Linux is and how it works? Simply because it is characteristic of the Linux zealot to be self-sufficient, to be content with what he himself (as a single person or as a representative of the collective entity of this operating system's users) makes. In this, the Linux zealot is wholly equivalent to modern religious cults like the Jehovah's Witnesses, or ones of the last century, like the Mormons. The Linux zealot never asks anything outside of what the Linux world makes inside itself: in fact, he gets all the angrier everytime he has to deal with news, questions and inquisitiveness from the outside world. In this case, one cannot say that the Linux zealot be on par with his co-religionists of the Kingdom Hall. In fact, when Jehovah's Witnesses are asked questions by an external person, they are glad, they try to explain, they're inclined to a dialogue, and they bring themselves into question. If they don't have a sure answer on the question of the Trinity, they say: "Sorry, I can't answer you now, but I'll of course think about it, perhaps we'll meet in a few days and I'll give you an answer which is based on something firmer than my personal hypotheses". It's a fair attitude. Saying "I don't know" when someone asks us something is a good start. You stop, you collect informations, you work out, and then you go on. Instead the Linux zealot doesn't do so, he refers you to his literature, and that's it.

Hence, to the question "What's Linux?", which can be replaced by an appropriate number of other questions on the subject, according to the interlocutor's interest, the Linux zealot will always answer referring you to something others wrote for him, showing not only unparalleled pride and haughtyness, but especially a clear inability to reason for himself, seeing his stubbornness to persist putting forward solutions which are found inside documentation or manuals written by someone else. If moreover you approach the Linux world through the gateway of the so-called "external" (e.g. manuals bought in a bookstore, books or publications which aim to explain the Linux operating system and phenomenon to "people"), you will be looked upon with scorn, because for a Linux zealot, anything dealing with Linux which was not produced inside the Linux official channels does not merit consideration. If, for instance, you are looking for a manual and you find one of these books (absolutely useless in most cases, one must admit) which cost at least $ 50, containing step-by-step instructions for Linux installation and usage, possibly with an obsolete CD attached, and decide to pick it up, the true Linux zealot will give you his usual scornful look, and will say you were ripped off, as there are some wonderful tools on the Internet, which are called "Linux Documentation Project", which were written by a lunatic who had the wonderful idea to gather up a ponderous work where, of course, you won't find any answer to your questions, and in addition, it's free. Do you have a SuSE distribution and don't know how to install it? Don't be frightened: you won't find a solution in the Linux Documentation Project. Never mind though; the work is ponderous, someone got the brilliant idea of making it available free of charge (and hitherto it's entirely their own business), but it's not necessarily valid. Should you try printing it, what with the paper and the ink cartridge -- not to talk of the printer itself, which may well be a write-off in the end -- you will spend a lot more that the dead tree book and CD you had set yourself to buy.

One cannot see why the Linux zealot has to look up and down anyone who commits the crime of not applying to the usual informative circuit of truth distribution. It's as if the mafia got angry at a drug addict who took detoxification instead of applying to his usual dealer for his daily supply of illegal drugs. In the Linux world, everything which is approved is legal. In this sense, the Linux zealot has no differences whatsoever with the Holy Inquisition or with the Imprimatur Commission of the Holiest Romanest Apostolicest Churchest.

Because what one does verify, is that Linux is a hard-to-use operating system, at least in the install phase. Especially if one wants to make it cohabit, at the start, with another OS with better-known features, waiting until one is more familiar with it, one must know what a partition is, how to create one, how two operating systems can safely coexist, and so on. But the Linux zealot doesn't explain this, he doesn't want to. "There are loads of explanations and publications; if one doesn't know what to do, he should refer to these and he'll find the solution to his question. If he doesn't, it's a sign that he hasn't understood some basic concepts, and he must go a step backwards before carrying on". It's a very peaceful and logic wiewpoint on the surface. On the contrary, it's extremely violent and disrespectful. It's violent because one quietly calls the user an idiot without taking direct liability for what one says. It's disrespectful, because every user is different, and everyone has different requirements from time to time, from machine to machine.

What the Linux zealot never understood and will never understand, is that it's the user who chooses the available resources he needs, out of how he needs them, and out of how he can use them, there are no ready-made solutions which fit everyone. This is why the Linux philosophy is losing and will never gain ground, because it's not respectful, it's angry, it's gloomly and worryingly contentious, it demands others to adapt without being content with adapting to others' requirements. The Linux zealot doesn't proselytize those who are interested in using Linux, even if just to see how it works; the Linux zealot crusades against all other operating systems, especially Microsoft's. If someone doesn't agree with the way Microsoft work, distribute, and sell their software, or with their already unchallenged domination over the market, it's fair that he should create his own alternative channels, but it isn't at all fair that he demand others to comply. If a Windows user asks a Linux user about a malfunction he found in his operating system (Windows, not Linux), at the very least he will be answered that Windows is an OS that doesn't work, that it can't be OK, that Bill Gates sells his products and that these products are paid even if they're included with a computer. Among the Linux zealots there are the mysterious figures of the Microsoft conscientious objectors, i.e. those who buy a computer, demand a bare machine, and ask for the operating system money back, pointing out that they're free to install whatever they want on their computer. With the result that the storekeeper understands he has a PITA in front of him, and sells the computer to someone else who doesn't make such a fuss, or sells the bare thing to him, making however a profit on the sale of the operating system he retains to himself, and will sell underhand to someone else. This is the great illusion: the Linux zealots think they've put a "system" under check, but the system keeps working even without them, or rather better, because from the business point of view, the less headaches the better. The saying of the Linux zealot is not "people have the right to do what they want" (in which case one cannot see why he gets so angry on those who use Microsoft products, as they also are doing what they want!), it is "I do what I want and the world must see and must know". Indeed. But one doesn't see why. One doesn't see why the world ought to know that a Linuz zealot uses Linux, same as one doesn't see why it should know that Linux exists and is free. If someone chooses to buy an OS which costs money, but allows him to do stuff more intuitively, one doesn't see why he could not. It's exactly like people who can't ski, and instead of plunging on the slope and snowploughing, they pay for the lessons of an instructor on the beginners' slope. The idiocy of the Linux philosophy appears particularly in the claim of free circulation of the OS and software in question. It's not by chance that Linux is a very common operating system in anarchoid environments. And when one speaks of anarchoid environments, one means precisely "anarchoid", not "anarchist". These who respect freedom do not force their truth on others' choices.

Windows crashes on you? First of all, you must reformat your hard drive and install Linux. Can't use an operating system without a GUI? Don't be afraid, Linux has an extremely heavy-to-load ugly-as-hell user-friendly interface, which will solve every problem for you, by shamelessly copying Windows. So then, we might just as well keep using Windows, which at least we know, and has a more pleasing look. You know, Linux zealots are especially angry by nature, and they object to this remark that there's no reason whatsoever to use Windows. If they need a word processor or a spreadsheet, there are free ones for Linux, without need for Office: in conclusion, Linux has everything you need to manage anything, so why insist on using something you must pay for when there are other applications which are free? The answer is simple: because it's not their own business. But they don't know this, or rather, so they pretend. Choices are no longer personal: everyone can use what he wants, as long as he uses what they want.

One of the objections which most frequently are made to the Linux zealot is that Linux is a hard to learn OS, that one must be a programmer, or anyway, know a lot about programming, to modify the source codes of freely distributed programs. Linux zealots use to answer, with the snooty self-importance which sets them apart, that Linux is a software made exactly for these in the know. So why on earth do they want Linux to be accessible to the humblest of users? If one can't program, if one can't use Linux, why should he be forced to use it? The answer is very simple again: because otherwise Linux zealots get angry and take it as a personal offence. Same as the fact that there are some people who develop software for whichever OS and sell it making a profit from their work is a personal offence. Again, the solution is only too simple, one doesn't need to bother Dr. Watson to find it: as copying software without permission is a crime in most countries, instead of attacking the law, they attack these who profit from it. These people clearly have never bought a newspaper in their life, when they go to the bookstore, they walk up to the pay desk with provocative and know-all attitude, and start saying: "A book cannot be intellectual property of the author, but of the people who read it".

For them, the intellectual work does not exist as such, but as a collective work. They wanted to make a free OS? Indeed, and they even want us to thank them. We can. Provided that they leave us, at last, in peace. Laughing.

Based upon OpenBSD (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7975929)

Microsoft based this product upon OpenBSD: 008 []

From India with love (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7975931) ervices-for-unix.asp

Great Acronym! SFU! (5, Funny)

slacy (605407) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975932)

Wow, what a great acronym, and I'm quite surprised that they seem to be actually using it externall!

Anyone who disagrees with microsoft can just SFU! I mean, install SFU from

(Just in case somebody missed it, SFU = Shut the F**k Up.)

Re:Great Acronym! SFU! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976015)

Um, nobody missed it. HTH, HAND.

Re:Great Acronym! SFU! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976026)

Wow, what a great acronym, and I'm quite surprised that they seem to be actually using it externall!

Anyone who disagrees with microsoft can just SFU! I mean, install SFU from

(Just in case somebody missed it, SFU = Shut the F**k Up.)

...actually it's STFU, but nice try.


I am very excited about this! (1)

m3j00 (606453) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975933)

I'm sure all of my fellow Eunuchs are also very pleased to hear this.

i really do appreciate this (1)

hyperstation (185147) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975937)

i was gonna buy it...

but now that i don't have to pay for it, it'll be even cheaper to move from IIS to *nix. Yay!

Good Old Econ 101 (5, Insightful)

stuffedmonkey (733020) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975940)

We are really starting to see the results of constant economic pressure in Microsoft. Once a monopoly has real competition - it is forced to either *gasp* innovate or lower prices! I think in the coming years, All computer users will benefit from Linux - even if they never use it. Windows users will see lower prices and a somewhat friendlier Beast, and Mac users are already getting a ton of great open source product integreted into OS X.

Re:Good Old Econ 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976070)

just like they stopped seling IE and started giving it away and then netscape went bankrupt. Just like they've added hundreds of free features to Windows hat put other companies out of business. Linux should be justa little bit worried.

Unix Tools for Windows (1, Interesting)

drizst 'n drat (725458) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975941)

Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't Microsoft pursure licensing or incorporation of the Mortice Kern Software (MKS Toolkit) a while back (like their SFU 1.x release). MKS has had a nice set of tools for using Unix(like) commands in MS Windows. MKS is still is a pretty good product too IMHO.

Where will this end? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7975943)

What next? Will they start giving away web browsers for free?

Get there together (0, Flamebait)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975946)

I think the best way to get to the future, is together. Solaris web servers, FreeBSD app servers, Linux, BSD, OSX, and windows workstations, OpenBSD firewalls. This sounds like utopia to me. So, the sooner MS opens up it's doors and accepts the *nix world as a partner and not an advisary, the sooner we can got o my perfect place.

Way be to Microsoft!

Re:Get there together (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976014)

"Solaris web servers, FreeBSD app servers, Linux, BSD, OSX, and windows workstations, OpenBSD firewalls. This sounds like utopia to me."

Sounds like my apartment. Well I dont have much BSD stuff and I use Netscreen firewalls. Also you would have to add SGI to the workstations list.

No big deal, really. (3, Interesting)

ubiquitin (28396) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975947)

Microsoft was giving tons of them away on their Windows 2003 Server promotional tour and as has been note elsewhere [] this is really just an OpenBSD distro with a few more LDAP-ish tools thrown in.

I think the message from Microsoft with all of this seems to be that Unix stuff is worthless and just a hassle to tie together with their products. Reality: Microsoft products are a huge liability. Ask anyone who has had their files randomly mailed due one of the thousands of email viruses. The security breaches that Microsoft products bring to the table far more than offset any of their claimed savings in techie hours. Typical BigCo at this points wants to be safeguarding what productivity they have, not tossing it away by opening up more holes than can be patched twice monthly over broadband. Bleh. Even if they gave away MicrosoftServer 2003, I still wouldn't bite. Put the Exchange stack on Linux, and then we'll talk.

GPL (1)

gtrubetskoy (734033) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975955)

how does the environment compare to Cygwin?

I wouldn't be surprised if it is based on Cygwin, and they're not going to distribute the source code like they are supposed to under the GPL until FSF makes a big deal out of it.

Re:GPL (1)

NightSpots (682462) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976059)

Of course you're entirely wrong, because it's based on BSD licensed tools from other (non-linux) operating systems.

Windows needs more apps (4, Funny)

mattkime (8466) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975958)

This great news for those windows users out there. It will be surely provide much needed apps for this upstart operating system. Now, whenever someone says, "Windows? But what can I do with it?" you can point out that they can run their favorite unix apps.

Good, but not great (4, Insightful)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975965)

Overall, services for unix is good. It provides many of the common unix utilities, and it integrates them into the shell [even just cmd] very well. Much better, and 'cleaner' than cygwin. Cygwin has *many* more tools though, and they work 'well enough'.

In my experience, using the two together [having SFU's directory in the path before cygwin's] gives you the best of both releases.

MS finds use for their SCO license... (4, Informative)

PSaltyDS (467134) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975971)

This was speculated on in an article [] at Groklaw [] , that this was the intent (aside from financing the anti-Linux FUD campaign) in M$ paying SCO for a license.

What is the plotline here? (3, Insightful)

heironymouscoward (683461) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975976)

Why does Microsoft want to support Unix/Linux applications on Windows? It does not seem to make sense. Every deployment of a portable application on Windows creates an opportunity for moving to Linux at a later stage (vis. OpenOffice).

Presumably the "Unix" services will include extensions that make the migration a one-way affair. Presumably also Microsoft have some killer Unix/Linux applications in mind that they want/need to be able run on Windows. Apache? Hmmm...

Presumably also the goal is to turn Windows into something closer to what corporate IT centers actually want.

It reminds me a lot of IBM's drive to include Unix-like features in OS/370. An obvious thing, to make one's OS POSIX-compliant. But all POSIX compliancy drives seem to lead to Linux.

So... the very first thing I thought when I first heard about this, and the thing I still think today is that this is the first step in the direction of a Microsoft-branded Linux distribution.

This is a good thing (5, Interesting)

LordZardoz (155141) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975989)

All anti MS rhetoric aside, this is a smart move for them to make. By making support for POSIX api's freely available, it allows someone to port a unix type app over with a re-compile and perhaps some changes to the make file.

People like to roast MS for not adhering to standards, among other things. This partly answers that.

Of course, this does not make MS a "Good Corporate Citizen" any more then donating money to a homeless shelter makes a tobbaco company a "Good Corporate Citizen". But it does show that once in a while, even bad people can do good things, even if the motives are questionable.

And I have no doubt that Microsofts motives will be questioned here.


MS' Hopes (1, Informative)

hirschma (187820) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975990)

Free SFU will likely cause some folks to do the following:

* Stop booting to Linux on their dual boot box,
* Stop buying VMware (for desktop use),
* Stop using that little OSS box on the floor.

Instead, they'll just SFU - it costs nothing, and it lets me run Apache/PHP/MySql, or whatever.

After enough of this behavior modification, they'll lower the boom.

And then SFU will stand for: So, Fuck You.


Yeah, MS marketing director is clever indeed... (4, Funny)

plj (673710) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975992) he mentions that "very few of our customers are going to have a pure Unix or pure Windows environment".

Previously, I used to think that at least half of the MS customers or so would have a pure Unix environment. Thanks for enlightening me, Dennis!

Developing for Windows Services (1)

Jacco de Leeuw (4646) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975999)

Oh boy. I wouldn't want to be a developer of Windows Services for Unix.

You're sure to be at the bottom of the caste system there at Microsoft...

One catch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976002)

Windows SFU will require Office 2003 be installed for some inexplicable reason.

This business-competition evades me (1)

Slime-dogg (120473) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976004)

I don't quite understand how there is a "war" between Linux and Microsoft. Look at it from this perspective: Linux will always be there, will always be built by the community, and will always be an alternative choice for all businesses. Microsoft products, on the other hand, require the company to be intact for them to be maintained and offered.

Microsoft worries about losing business to a non-company entity, which is rightly should worry about. Microsoft trying to compete against a non-company entity like it is a company will not work, though. The only way that anyone could "kill" the Linux kernel is by way of IP and prosecution. This is already being attempted, and will probably not pan out for the ones pursuing that end.

Freedom? (5, Insightful)

condition-label-red (657497) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976005)

how does the environment compare to Cygwin?

One is licensed under GPL, and the other isn't....

Great news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976007)

Now m$ is competing on the same level. Free software.

Face it. You will be assimulated.

Hmm... (4, Funny)

cperciva (102828) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976011)

POSIX environment... C compiler... you know, it should be possible to get my depenguinator [] to work here.

I'm not sure about being able to write the filesystem image to disk, Windows might not allow that.

With availability of Unix services for Windows... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976034)

... wouldn't that make it easier to make Apache work on Windows systems?

And wouldn't the ease of using Apache on Windows cause people to switch from the security-hole ridden ISS?

Specifications and Download (2, Informative)

Jonny Royale (62364) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976037)

If your interested:

The intro & specifications for this are available here [] . The SFU (anyone else wanna add a T there somewhere? :-)) hompage is here [] . However, it appears that the free download hasn't been made available yet on the page.

Windows - *nix or *nix - Windows? (2, Insightful)

deadmonk (568008) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976048)

This is going to be interesting. Microsoft is doing everything it can to hobble OSS projects from interacting with their systems (note the explicit anti-GPL clause in the SMB documentation licenses) and yet they're using OSS tools to try to draw people onto their platform.

It's dirty fighting - they're taking every advantage afforded by the very kind of freedom they're actively trying to stamp out.

That's one of the unfortunate costs of freedom - some will use it against you. The OSS community is an open book, theirs is a very closely guarded hand of cards..

Here's the million dollar question: Is there anything that the OSS community can do to compete with this kind of underhandedness?

A smart move (5, Interesting)

the_crowbar (149535) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976051)

I hear quite a bit of complaining on Slashdot about Microsoft and their software/business practices. The complaints may have some merit, but I think a no-cost tool that helps integrate Windows and *nix is great.

Diversity is the only way to survive. If Linux (or any OS) dominates to the extent Microsoft has we all lose. I think Microsoft is starting to see that. They may be simply acting like they want interoperability, but if it makes my job (mixed *nix/windows admin) easier without costing my employer more than I am all for it.

BTW I have a copy of v3.0 that I got for the cost of shipping. Those who must admin Windows systems but enjoy the tools availble on *nix should definately check it out.


NFS client for win! (1)

AceJohnny (253840) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976052)

FINALLY, an NFS client for win!
That said, I'm still looking for a network file system that I like. Samba gives me white hairs on our student network, as periodically domain browsing goes down (Does it come from the samba master? or from one of those diverse win (95/98/2k/XP) PCs on the network?
What's this Coda FS I see in the kernel, any user experience out there?

aye the best I tell ya (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976054)

From the article:
Oldroyd says. "We want Windows to be the best platform for interoperability."

I think they have a LONG way to go. This would pretty much require destroying all their API's as they exist today, a complete rewrite of windows eliminating all proprietary protocols. Adding noncrippled and nonslow support for all the standard protocols and filesystems out there. Putting a stop to the automatic mbr clearing their OS does on the install.

And that would only get them IN THE BALLPARK of being close to equal to their competition in this respect.

I kinda dont get it. (1)

MajorDick (735308) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976062)

MS has had a Unix toolkit around since NT4 first hit the market, what did it do for them then ?

Cygwin has its uses but I dont see many people running production apps under it , like sendmail or bind.

I guess the new toolkit would have its uses but mostly from people like me who are really *nixphiles at heart but have to use MS platforms for work.

I finally copied DIR over and renamed it ls just so when Im in dos mode I can still type "ls" anyone else keep typing ls in a dos window ?

UNIX isn't Microsoft's chief competitor... (4, Insightful)

Fortunato_NC (736786) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976068)

They need to start offering "Windows Services for Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000", because this is where a lot of their customers hopped off the upgrade bus.

C'mon, raise your hands, how many of you are still administering a pair of Windows NT 4.0 domain controllers because Active Directory was overkill for your single-site 100 employee company? I know I am.

NFS vs Samba-3 (1)

AcquaCow (56720) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976073)

I'm trying to sort out the advantages/disadvantages of using NFS vs Samba-3.

From my understanding, NFS brings with it native file permissions on the remote machine, where Samba's permssions come from a config file.

I haven't done much research into Samba-3, but with past versions, this was the case.

NFS support sounds nice. (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976079)

I got three machines at home. Two linux and 1 windows. Linux for work and windows for gaming. Of course I share directories wich means I now got linux running both samba and nfs. Not exactly optimal.

So could this mean I can ditch samba? Since this is version 3.5 there must be people out there who bought the previous versions. Anyone got experience if it is any good?

And exactly what is MS angle here? By including nfs support for free they are making it a lot easier to maintain Unix machines. No need to install samba anymore to allow windows users access to files on unix machines. If anything this makes unix machines more attractive. What am I missing?

OpenNT - Inteix - SFU (3, Insightful)

Noke (8971) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976081)

First it was OpenNT [] from a comapny called Softway Systems [] which provided a fully POSIX-compliant subsystem replacement for NT.

Later, Softway renamed it to Interix [] , and shortly after that Softway was bought out by Microsoft. At that time, the guts of Interix were used to make the 'Services for Unix'.

What the heck... (3, Insightful)

starseeker (141897) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976087)

"The real driver behind this [pricing] change is this interoperability issue," Oldroyd says. "We want Windows to be the best platform for interoperability."

Since when? Does this mean Windows Whatever'sNext will be able to read Mac and ext2 floppy disks? Does this mean their APIs and protocals will be more open to allow for better communication and cooperation with other platforms?

Or does this mean "We don't want Windows apps kicked out of Unix dominated businesses, and thus begin a general migration away from Microsoft software?"

Or is this a very clever move to get Unix houses to set up one Windows box with this on it in order to be able to interface with the outside world better, and thus give them some targets for the marketing department?

Monopolies aren't interested in interoperability - they're usually out to destroy it. Look this gift horse in the mouth very carefully - Microsoft is not trustworthy and anything they say or do is suspect. This could wind up being just a nice candy piece tossed to the Unix world, but I am forced to wonder what Microsoft is getting from it, and in what situations a $99 fee would stop someone where free is a go-ahead price. Not any big shops, that's for sure. Remember, with any Microsoft move the first rule is to ask what they are expecting to get out of it.
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