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Re: Native Windows NT POSIX capabilities

On Fri, 30 Mar 2001, Vladimir G Ivanovic wrote:

> Just to clear up some misconceptions. Microsoft entered into an
> agreement with Softway Systems for them to build a Real POSIX (tm) layer
> on top of the NT kernel. It worked with WinNT 4, and I know that because
> I still have a copy (although it's not installed; cygwin is.)

Correct. Microsoft published a crippled POSIX subsystem for certification 
purposes only, and it was never meant to be used for any real work. 

> The goal for Interix's POSIX layer was to run Linux applications, so it
> was to be a complete POSIX implementation. Modulo bugs, I believe they
> achieved their goal. I don't know what the relationship is between
> Win2K's POSIX layer and Interix's.

The goal of Softway, then renamed Interix, was to provide a usable
POSIX subsystem, not to run linux applications per se. Marketing blurb
confuses the issue as usual. As you point out, Microsoft has acquired
Interix, and now you can buy the subsystem directly from Microsoft.

> AFAIK, the full source for Interix was never available, but since they
> used lots of Open Source products in their product, the sources for
> those were available. I could be mistaken about the Interix (not GNU,
> etc.) sources, and if someone posts a URL, then we can all download it.

You're correct. It is a closed-source proprietary implementation, and 
always has been. Interix had provided modified GNU development tools,
as well as many other GNU packages, for which the sources are available
of course.

This is of course rather off-topic for Cygwin list, but hopefully these
messages will provide something to point to in the archives next time 
the question comes up, and come up it will.


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