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Re: UnxUtils, Unix tools on Win32

From: Earnie Boyd
Subject: Re: UnxUtils, Unix tools on Win32
Date: Fri, 19 May 2006 07:22:09 -0400
User-agent: Internet Messaging Program (IMP) H3 (4.0.4)

Quoting "Leeuwesteijn,Joost" <address@hidden>:

Hi *,

This might be slightly off-topic but I think most people using GNU make &
Win32 run into this at some point so that's why I post this here.

Is anyone using UnxUtils (to get some highly required Unix-like features on
Win32) in his/her build environment? I'm using it for its native
gawk/grep/echo/sort/etc. See websites: and

I never liked this project very well.

It is referenced quite a lot on the Net but the project doesn't seem to be
very active anymore.
Has anyone been able to compile these tools from source? I've downloaded the
source from its CVS but no luck compiling it. Support doesn't seem to be
available :-(

What other Unix tools are people using on Win32? What I've found so far:
- Cygwin

Cygwin is a full blown POSIX emulation so that you don't have to ``port'' the UNIX source code to WINDOWS. When you build using GCC it requires it cygwin1.dll runtime to support it.

- MinGW

MinGW provides GCC and binutils that builds ``native'' binaries (i.e. requires MSVCRT.DLL) and doesn't require a special dll. Also provides freely distributable msvcrt and w32api headers and import libraries. MinGW has MSYS (Minimal SYStem) which contains a modified version of Cygwin but its purpose is to provide a shell environment for the MINGW32 target. The modifications removed all registry fingerprint, auto conversion of pathing from POSIX to Windows, and reduced /cygdrive/c to just /c. The shell provided is bash but name sh for POSIX compliance. MSYS uses MinGW gcc so there is no dependency on any special runtime dll in your built code.

- GnuWin32

Many unixy tools ported to native MSVCRT can be found here. If MinGW doesn't provide it, you should use it from here.

Any other (free, open source) tools I should know about?

Too many to list here.

I put GNU make and it's source into our archive, compiled it using Visual C
6. No problem. I was hoping to do the same with other GNU tools but no luck
so far.

You should be able to take make-3.81 source and build it in MSYS using ./configure --prefix=/mingw && make.

Earnie Boyd

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