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I am a Windows user who wants programs like grep and sed along with other utilities like ls, cut etc in my command prompt. I came across 2 packages which would accomplish this

I would like to know what is the difference between the two both feature wise and more importantly performance wise before I choose between them. From what I have seen GnuWin32 is a super set of UnxUtils. Is this correct ?

Note by Barlop
this question was asking about coreutils and unxutils, but since he was talking about grep and sed, it's clear he meant to ask about gnuwin32 and unxutils, and that is a much more useful and important question than the mistaken one. If people want to revert it to coreutils and unxutils then i'd be happy to go with that and post another question for gnuwin32 and unxutils. Also, any proper answer to his original question would correct or answer regarding his mistake but also answer what he meant. So there's no loss in correcting his question.

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3 Answers 3

unxutils has old versions of a bunch of some of the most useful utilities. including grep for example.

gnuwin32 has later(more up to date) versions, of a much larger number of utilities. That's obviously a major advantage.

Bear in mind that gnuwin32 has that major advantage.

With unxutils, you can run into issues as it uses old versions, and when looking for help people will expect you to have the latest version of this or that command.

There are some smaller advantages that unxutils has, that makes unxutils very useful.

  • unxutils has xxd, gnuwin32 does not. (Note, VIM 7 also has xxd)
  • gnuwin32 as of writing(2014) has a broken tail -f, unxutils's tail -f is older but works. (mentioned here )
  • the following is a smaller advantage, but if you're very lazy, or just want to use it quickly, then unxutils is just a zip you can extract the executables and go. Gnuwin32 involves a wizard to install various bits, and even some individual utilities have to be installed separately like a setup executable for wget, one for grep e.g. (grep-xxxx-bin.exe). with unxutils you just extract from their wbin directory within the zip. Bear in mind though they are older versions so if possible, if not being too lazy, one would generally see if gnuwin32 has it.
  • unxutils can work standalone where lots of the equivalent gnuwin32 binaries cannot. So if you don't want to or can't install gnuwin32 then you can use a command standalone, from unxutils. For example, gnuwin32's tr.exe requires two dll files in its directory or it says they're not there and won't run. gnuwin32's sed doesn't work standalone, whereas unxutils tr.exe and sed.exe work fine standalone.

The unxutils sourceforge link has unxutils.zip and unxupdates.zip (the latter being a subset of unxutils.zip but with later versions). The sourceforge link's unxutils.zip is down but is available https://archive.org/details/UnxUtils

Generally look to Gnuwin32, but know that unxutils has some advantages.. Gnuwin32 has almost all the commands that unxutils has, plus a lot more.

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Unxutils are windows native, and have no dependancies - but haven't been updated in a while, and are a subset of coreutils. You'd need a *nix style environment for coreutils, so you'd need to run them in cygwin or similar

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The installer for coreutils for windows should take care of any dependencies gnuwin32.sourceforge.net/packages/coreutils.htm –  Nifle Jul 27 '10 at 16:05
unxutils are technically not a subset of coreutils. besides versions of commands. unxutils has xxd which coreutils and even gnuwin32 does not have. Also as of writing, gnuwin32 has a broken tail -f, but unxutils's tail.exe -f works fine. sourceforge.net/p/gnuwin32/bugs/242 Also gnuwin32 has its own coreutils gnuwin32.sourceforge.net/packages/coreutils.htm –  barlop May 5 '14 at 9:01

Coreutils from GnuWin32 has 'cut'; see http://gnuwin32.sourceforge.net/packages/coreutils.htm

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