HOW TO: Understand Compatibility for a UNIX-to-Windows Migration

This article was previously published under Q323952
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
When you migrate from UNIX to Windows 2000, you must modify and carefully transfer some information. Some elements of the two platforms are compatible. In this document you learn about the elements that are compatible, about the elements that need attention, and about the tools that are available to help the migration process.

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File Format Compatibility

You can transfer most binary-format files from UNIX to Windows without modification. Binary compatibility is the responsibility of the program. For example, graphics files, movies, and other binary data files are the same on both platforms. Binary executables are not transferable.

For text-format files, UNIX uses a linefeed character to end each line in the file, but Windows uses a carriage-return and linefeed-character sequence to end each line. This difference may cause problems in the following files:
  • Text-based data files.
  • Script files for Perl, Python, or other languages.
HTML files are not affected because browsers ignore line termination.

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Programming Language Support

Windows supports C, C++, and Java languages directly or by means of Microsoft Visual Studio. Java-based programs do not require any modifications. You have to rewrite programs that are written in C and C++ if the programs use libraries other than the standard C and C++ versions. There are also versions of Perl, Python, PHP, and other languages that are available for Windows and that work for most scripts.

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Networking Support

Windows 2000 supports the BSD networking standard. Because of this, you can use standard TCP/IP networking principles. Windows 2000 also supports standard UNIX services such as DNS, DHCP, HTTP, FTP, and others.

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POSIX Compatibility

Windows 2000 is compliant with the POSIX 1003.1 standard. It is not compliant with the later POSIX 1003.2 standard.

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Interoperability Support

The Microsoft Services for UNIX product incorporates many tools and utilities that you can use to migrate between the two platforms. These tools and utilities also act as conduits between the platforms during general use. The Windows Services for UNIX product also includes an NFS client and server, user and group data conduits that you can use to share information between UNIX and Windows computers, and tools that you can use to migrate authentication and permission data.

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For more information about Windows Services for UNIX, visit the following Microsoft Web site: For additional information about how to prepare for a migration from UNIX-to-Windows, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
324215 How To: Prepare for a UNIX-to-Windows Migration
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Article ID: 323952 - Last Review: 02/27/2014 18:42:36 - Revision: 5.2

Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition, Microsoft Small Business Server 2000 Standard Edition, Microsoft Internet Information Services 5.0

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