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I'm interested in experimenting with replacing our dependency on MKS with MS' Sevices for Unix toolset. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with deploying SFU on a shared drive? We like to, wherever possible, host our dev tools on one central NAS and call to the NAS to access the tools instead of rolling stuff out to each and every desktop.

I'm not interested in the NFS support or ActiveState Perl. Really, none of the daemon technology is required here. I'm looking for replacements for the coreutils/binutils stuff you find in Linux (and MKS on Windows): sed, awk, csh, bash, grep, ls, find -- the meat-and-potates command line apps that our build and test scripts are built around.

If I limit the install to just the Interix GNU Components (and maybe the Remote Connectivity components) will is run nicely from a shared location?

Edit: So the answer is, "No, you cannot". At least not easily. I get this:

alt text

To head off some questions:

  • Yes, I've looked at Cygwin. Unfortunately it's performance in our build and test environment is poor. It runs considerably slower than MKS and it's not a direct drop-in replacement for MKS (thanks to its internal pathing and limitations with commands like 'ps'), so it's a tougher sell.
  • Yes, I'm looking at the MinGW offering in parallel to this.
share|improve this question
@Ian C. - MS SFU is a subsystem that runs on top of the Windows kernel at the same level as the Win32 subsystem, which is likely why it needs a local install. I don't know if this will help, but take a look at the product Ch:, It gives you many of the Unix utilities, and may work for you. – Joe Internet Mar 12 '10 at 22:02
@Joe Internet - thanks. I'll look into that on Monday. – Ian C. Mar 13 '10 at 2:42
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I've not tried it, but it should work.

I'd say just run a test. That's going to be the best way to find out.

Install it, map a drive/folder on your local machine to the location. Add that to your path. And just try using each on a set of files on your drive and on the NAS.

share|improve this answer
Thanks Tyler. I'll roll it out this way, but with Windows installers I'm always worried about the local changes it's making: registry modifications, local DLLs being dumped in %SystemRoot%. Mostly interested in knowing if anyone has bumped up against nastiness like that. – Ian C. Mar 12 '10 at 17:56
@Ian it's a pretty light install, it does other stuff but most of the functionality you get just by adding those tools to your path – Tyler Mar 12 '10 at 18:11
@Tyler: Oh well! I tried. :) – Ian C. Mar 12 '10 at 19:51
@Ian, what about installing it locally, copying the files to the network share, uninstalling it. And then adjusting the path. It really seems like it should work. – Tyler Mar 12 '10 at 22:59
@Tyler: I think I'm asking more of a toolkit that's dead at the end of month than I should be. I'm giving up on this one, but thanks for the help. SFU is no longer being offered after March of this year. Figure I should take MS' hint. :) – Ian C. Mar 13 '10 at 2:43

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