Use the 40 Most Common Unix Utilities under Windows

Do you often find yourself missing common Unix utilities such as grep, awk, sed or touch when working under windows? Do you keep typing ls when you really meant dir? If you do, you are in the same boat as me.

There are many solutions for getting Unix like functionality under windows. The most popular and robust one is installing Cygwin which is a self contained, fully compliant POSIX environment that can be run on top of windows. If you are planning to do anything interesting you should definitely get it. But it might be overkill just for the basic functionality.

If you just wand to call few crucial missing from the default cmd shell, you need the Berkeley Utilities Package.

Berkeley Package

The linked page offers you a zip containing the 40 most commonly used Unix tools such ported to DOS. Yes, you didn’t misread that. These are all DOS ports – which means that running them is a little bit like running the good old blue EDIT text editor. Your cmd console might blink, and resize for a second, and then go back to normal, and your prompt will reset to use the DOS 8 character filenames in your path.

Odd DOS lieke behavior

But I think this is a smart price to pay for the power you gain by having tools such as grep, sed, awk, paste and etc at your fingertips. All these utilities work natively without the need to install some sort of runtime environment such as Cygwin. Just drop them somewhere in your Path and you are done.

[tags]windows, unix tools, unix utilities, berkeley utils, berkeley untilities, tools, grep, sed, awk[/tags]

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6 Responses to Use the 40 Most Common Unix Utilities under Windows

  1. Craig Betts UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Solaris Terminalist says:

    Microsoft Services for UNIX has these ass well. I have used SFU for some thanks to the mix of systems I have at work.

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  2. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Oh yeah! I forgot about these. I think that SFU actually might have more tools.

    Now that I think about it… Didn’t Sun release something like that also?

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  3. Craig Betts UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Solaris Terminalist says:

    [quote post=”1813″]Now that I think about it… Didn’t Sun release something like that also?[/quote]

    Think opposite. Sun had PC NetLink, which provided Windows NT 4.0 domain services for Solaris. It had a native net commands with all the same flags/options as the Windows version. I used to use this over Samba until AD came out. I keep hoping Sun will continue with an up-to-date version, but I won’t hold my breath. Samba 4.0? Maybe . . .

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  4. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    There was a program I found the website of via stumbleupon looking like a kind of reverso-WINE, called LINA (LINA Is Not an Acronym), looks like it requires some kind of re-packaging of linux binaries into .lina files (although it says they’re just in a zip archive, so nothing too fancy, and through some technical wizardry they make it work in Windows, Mac OS or Unix

    Aside from the fact that most open source projects release for all the OSs they can port to, this could be useful for any linux-only applications

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  5. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    oops, forgot the link – http://openlina.com/index.html

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  6. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Interesting project. Although Cygwin already kinda does that. It gives you a fully functional POSIX environment, so you can actually compile most linux packages on it.

    Once I actually set up full KDE on top of Cygwin. It was slow, but functional. :P

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