Subject: Re: Linux for Windows
From: Douglas Miller <>
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 1999 12:44:39 -0700

Thanks to all for the feedback you have provided. A couple of general

The magic technology that makes Interix work is in the Interix subsystem,
which replaces the Microsoft POSIX subsystem in Windows NT. While we can
potentially publish source and make freely available the rest of the
product, it is unlikely we could get permission from Microsoft to publish
the source to a subsystem. This still means though that over 99% of the
product source could be published under the terms of the LGPL and GPL for
example. Because we use the subsystem approach, Interix only runs on Windows
NT / Windows 2000. It does not run on Windows 95 / 98. Sorry.

While we may not be able publish the source to our subsystem, we may choose
to make the subsystem binary freely available to all users. The idea to have
a model for charging for commercial use was just that - an idea. We haven't
made up our mind yet and welcome the feedback.

Several people stated, why would I pay money to run Interix and Windows NT
when I can get Linux for free. We have never positioned Interix as a
replacement for commercial UNIX or Linux. We are targeting the product at
people who have made a decision to use Windows as their operating system but
also need UNIX functionality. Functionality being defined as needing to run
a UNIX shell & utilities, need to run UNIX applications, need the
administrative capabilities of UNIX, want to use UNIX tools for development
etc. I myself would be the typical target. I have used UNIX extensively for
20 years but choose to run Windows in order to get access to the wealth of
Windows applications. I could not imagine using a Windows OS without
Interix. I get the best of both worlds. If you don't need Windows however,
then you don't need Interix.

Finally Interix is totally integrated with the Windows environment even
though it runs as a subsystem. You can cut and paste between Windows &
Interix, share files & memory, call Interix apps from Windows and vice
versa, have Windows file associations run Interix apps, mix Windows &
Interix commands in shell scripts, integrate Interix code into COM-based
apps, run Interix apps as NT services etc. Earlier versions of Interix or
OpenNT as it used to be known did not necessarily have all this

Thanks again for your comments.

Doug Miller
Softway Systems, Inc.

Douglas Miller
Softway Systems, Inc. 
185 Berry St., Suite 5514, San Francisco, CA  94107
Tel: +1-415-896-0708 x106      Fax: +1-415-896-0709