UNIX Interoperability and Windows Vista

UNIX Interoperability and Windows Vista

There was SFU 3.5 Interoperability components. It got ported to Windows Server 2003 R2. And now we have similar interop components packaged with Windows Vista too. Windows Vista Ultimate and Enterprise editions include the Client for NFS and Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications (SUA). These Vista editions are targeted towards power users and large enterprise customers who are more likely to be benefitted from these components. However, none of the server components from SFU product line (namely Server for NFS, User Name Mapping, Server for NIS, Password Synchronization etc) are included with Vista.

You can install these components using the Programs and Features in Control Panel and then using the Turn Windows Features on or off -

Installing SUA adds only the subsystem and a program group - Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications. You need to download the utilities and SDK separately. The newly-added program group has a link to the Utilities and SDK download page.

New additions are SVR-5 Korn shell and over 150 utilities (which are found in the /svr-5 directory) and a Visual Studio Debugger add-in. This release also enables development and porting of custom UNIX applications using the Windows OCI (Oracle Call Interface) and Windows ODBC libraries which are collectively referred to as Mixed Mode.

Shanmugam, Program Manager with Microsoft maintains a blog about SFU, SUA and IDMU. You read more about these components in his blog.

Installing Client for NFS adds a Services for Network File System (NFS) MMC Snap-in to manage the Client for NFS configuration. The noticeable difference from R2 (apart from the GUI itself) is that you have two check-boxes to selectively enable User Name Mapping and/or Active Directory lookup for the UNIX identity mapping information -

Another difference is that now you can use the GUI to instruct the Client for NFS to use (or not to) reserved ports. This was otherwise done by tweaking a registry key (HKLM\software\Microsoft\Client for NFS\CurrentVersion\Default\UseReservedPorts) in previous releases -

Client for NFS in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2003 R2 supports RFC2307 attributes so it can also fetch UIDs/GIDs etc from any LDAP store which is RFC2307 compliant. I have tested this feature with Active Directory and this really is a cool addition to this component.