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A GUIDE TO WINDOWS VISTA
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Microsoft Windows Services for UNIX (SFU) is a software package produced by Microsoft which provides a Unix subsystem and other parts of a full Unix environment on Windows NT and its successors. The subsystem included is called Interix.
Like the Microsoft POSIX subsystem in Windows NT, Interix is not an emulation of a Unix kernel, but rather an implementation of a user-mode subsystem running directly on top of the Windows NT kernel.
It is important to note that though both Cygwin (a free alternative to Interix) and Windows Services for Unix provide header files and libraries that make it easier to recompile or port Unix applications for use on Windows, they do not make Windows binaries compatible with Unix binaries.
The current version of SFU contains:
SFU does not contain the following (but binaries are available for a separate installation):
Although X Window System client libraries and applications are provided, SFU does not contain a native X server. Any of the numerous third-party Windows X servers can be used. Fully featured free alternatives include Cygwin/X, Xming, WeirdMind and WeirdX.
Current release is version 3.5 on January, 2004.
Windows Server 2003 R2 contains most SFU components, namely Microsoft Services for Network File System (NFS), Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications (aka Interix), and Identity Management for UNIX.
Windows Vista Enterprise and Ultimate Editions will also contain the Services for Unix components, now called the Subsystem for UNIX-based applications (SUA).
Microsoft does not intend to produce any further standalone versions of the product. SFU will be available for download  until 2009; general support will continue until 2011; extended support until 2014 .
Microsoft Windows Services for UNIX is targeted to Server and Professional editions of Windows, and it is not supported nor available for consumer editions.
Categories: Articles to be merged since November 2006 | Microsoft software | Microsoft Windows