Look what the cat dragged in (with the new MSDN shipment):

Microsoft Interix gives you all the features of a traditional UNIX operating system, including pipes, hard file links, UNIX networking, and UNIX graphical support through the X Window System. It also provides UNIX and POSIX.2 utilities such as KornShell, awk, and vi. The Microsoft Interix environment is not an emulation; it is a native environment subsystem that integrates with the Windows NT kernel, just as the Win32 subsystem does. Shell scripts and other scripted applications that use UNIX and POSIX.2 utilities will run under Microsoft Interix. To port C source code from a UNIX system to Microsoft Interix, you will need the Microsoft Interix Software Development Kit. Microsoft Interix Release 2.2 functionality includes gcc and g++, new libraries and utilities, syslogd and utmpx functions, performance improvements, and improved interoperability with other filesystems such as NFS and Samba.

Earlier releases of Microsoft Interix before release 2.2 went under the name OpenNT

Just for the record, Microsoft Interix was originally not a Microsoft product. It is an acquisition; it was originally developed by Softway Systems, and bought from Softway by Microsoft after 2.2 was released (and the opennt->interix name change took place).

When Softway owned it, the UNIX community loved interix, and thought it was a really cool technology. Now it's owned by Microsoft, so it's believed to be tainted, or something. Questionable but not unrealistic conspiracy theories exist that Microsoft is either going to use Internix as a stepping-stone to create their own monopolistic UNIX foray, or that Microsoft only bought Internix because they were afraid it was too useful a technology to not be under their direct control (where they can kill or cripple it whenever they feel it becomes dangerous). Microsoft's website tries as hard as possible to pretend Softway Systems never existed, although if you poke around you can still find the PR release in their archives from when they bought Internix..

One thing to note is that between Mac OS X, Internix, and Be, within a year or so POSIX will become an almost literally global standard, with its apps capable of running literally anywhere.. should be interesting. Those who control the APIs control the industry.

I'm a Unix guy living in a multiplatform world. I run Interix, since the OpenNT days, and agree that it's a very cool piece of technology.

(So long as the Win32 subsystem of NT isn't doing much, it can benchmark/perform right up there with BSDi and similar systems, on matching hardware - cool.)

As a product, it's actually gone throught the X/Open certification process, and has passed as a full blown, Posix2 compliant Unix(r) Operating System, just like Solaris, Unixware, etc, etc... which is more than Nutcracker will ever be able dream of. :)

I use it for integrating with all my Unix boxes - the SSH daemon I run on my NT boxes is the *same* source code (a couple minor tweaks) as I run on my Linux/etc boxes, the same config files get distributed to the NT boxes with rsync... all running natively in the POSIX subsystem.

And it all works seemlessly, as it ought since I have the *same* programs running on every box... :)

I don't beleve that Cygwin, MKS and so on can touch it for performance or functionality - all of the other products in this space run under Win32, and have to kow-tow to it's conflicting behaviours.

As best I can determine the development team working on the product hasn't changed greatly since the acquisition, so my biggest fear is that the product may not be accepted as part of the internal Microsoft Religious Panthion of Technologies, and therefore may indeed get shafted.

When the acquisition went down, I was thinking hey! Maybe nt5 will have the runtime enviroment shipped as a default part of the OS... but noooo.... so now I'm hoping that whatever internal BS they have to go through results in it at least shipping by default with Whistler...

You'd still have to buy the SDK, but the SDK is cheap anyway, so it's a small price to pay to be able to compile regular Unix source code with GCC on NT...

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