Why Can’t We Just Get Along

Why not? If you think that this post will be something about politics or some related nonsense… think again. It’s actually about something much closer to my heart. Interoperability between OSs. But before I begin, let me just rant for a while.

This might be the beginning of a permanent replacement of my seemingly dead WCS posts. The thing is, I do have tons of links to share… but to schedule it weekly… Bargh, time is something I severely lack nowadays… with my new job and all. And when I get back home from work, I’m just pretty much damn bored to spend more time in front of a computer again.

Alright, back to business! See what I’ve got for you today… I know that I usually post about Linux goodies, well today it’ll be different. Since at work, I’m mostly using Windows XP, I kind of miss the powerful command line utilities that come with Linux or other Unix-like OSs. You just couldn’t imagine how I so wanted to grep, diff or gawk some files under Windows. Well, today, to an extent, this has become reality.

All thanks to UnxUtils: GNU utilities for Win32. I’m a very happy guy at work today. I was having some difficulty trying to hack a certain feature in one of the XOOPS module my company is using. It took me about two days to get it working perfectly… and that is just for one installation! We have 13 installations in total for this particular module (long story… basically I’m using it as a multi-group module when it’s not really meant to be used as such).

That’s when I thought, “It would sure be bloody sweet if I could get diff and patch for Win32 at this moment!”. I quick google later, I’m a very happy coder. Hope UnxUtils would be useful for other *nix-based folks who have to use Win32 for one reason or another.

Also, if you’re going to pimp Cygwin in your post, please don’t bother. I don’t really want all the bells and whistles it provides. I just need the more useful command line stuff, rather than the complex dev tools that Cygwin is more useful for.

Another Win32-Linux interoperability tool I stumbled upon is Ext2/Ext3 Installable File System for Windows. I guess the name itself is pretty much self-descripting. This cool app would only be useful for those who dual-boot between Linux and Win32. Linux always had the ability to support multiple FS types either by compiling in the support in the kernel itself, or through loadable kernel modules. This has always been lacking in Win32 systems… at most, all you’ll get is a choice between FAT, FAT32 and NTFS.

Now, all that has changed! What I do like about this program is that it provides native support for the Ext2/Ext3 FSs. Meaning, you can mount them as drives under Windows and browse through them using Windows Explorer or whatever FS browser app you prefer. Ext2 IFS for Windows is freeware… if you prefer something GPL’d, do check out Ext2FSD.

2 responses to “Why Can’t We Just Get Along”.

  1. Dabido (Teflon) Says:

    Woohoo! i definitely have to check out UnxUtil. I miss my Linux box!

  2. Site Admin Azmeen Says:

    I hope you do!

    The text manipulation apps behaves like they normally do on *nix… No suprises there.

    However, some apps like ps for example, are not nearly as useful as the real deal.

    Another funny thing I discovered today about UnxUtils is that ed calls, of all apps, the standard Windows notepad!

    Thanks for commenting 🙂